Healthcare Employer Mandate Delayed Yet Again

Healthcare Employer Mandate Delayed Yet Again

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When it comes to stalling for time, the new Affordable Care Act has the market cornered. Since it was passed in 2010, enforcement of key eligibility requirements for subsidies have been delayed, enrollment through the marketplaces were delayed twice due to website glitches, opening date for enrollment was moved from October this year to November, and now the employer mandate has been pushed back a second time from 2015 to 2016.

"We understood from the start that there were going to be some challenges in terms of transition. When you've had one system where a whole lot of people did not have health insurance whatsoever for a very long period of time and we finally passed a law to fix that, we knew that there were going to be some bumps," says President Barack Obama.

The delay will give employers who have between 50 and 99 full time employees another year to get ready to offer affordable health care to avoid penalties and fines of up to $2,000 per employee. Mobile's newest congressman, Bradley Byrne says by pushing back the mandate deadline, this is the administration's way of admitting that this law will not work. In a statement released today, he says, in part,

"Whether it is the Congressional Budget Office finding that the equivalent of 2.3 million workers will leave the workforce because of ObamaCare, or the fact that millions of American families are experiencing dropped coverage, skyrocketing premiums, and ill-fitting plans, there is no question this law is just not working."

Local attorneys say while it gives employers extra time to get in line, it may not be so great in the long run.

"Big picture, I think it's just going to make this whole healthcare reform thing more of a mess because it was all initially drafted for everything to work together and as they take it apart or unravel it piece-meal, things are not going to work as we're already finding out," says Celia Collins, an attorney with Johnston Adams.

In the midst of all this, we still don't have a good grasp of how many people have signed up through the marketplace website because of ongoing issues, and we don't know if enough young, healthy people will sign up to help pay for those who can't.

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