How businesses are reacting to Obamacare delay

The temporary reprieve is eliciting plenty of 'we told you so' responses. But the move could be 'deviously brilliant' politically.

By Jonathan Berr Jul 3, 2013 2:27PM
When the Obama administration announced that a controversial rule in the Affordable Care Act requiring that larger employers provide health care coverage to their workers or face penalties would be delayed for one year, business groups and other critics could barely contain themselves.

Amanda Austin of the National Federation of Independent Business was typical. In a statement, she noted: "This is simply the latest evidence that implementation of this terrible law is going to be difficult if not impossible, and the burden is going to fall on the people who create American jobs. Temporary relief is small consolation."
The National Restaurant Association
struck a slightly more conciliatory tone, noting that it appeared as though the administration had listened to "the concerns of our members . . . and the need for additional time to be able to comply effectively."

In the short term, this was a shrewd political move by Obama. For one thing, by delaying the rule to 2015, he removes a talking point for the Republicans heading into the 2014 midterm elections. Moreover, it seems likely that the rule, perhaps the most controversial part of Obamacare, will get pushed back past the 2016 presidential elections. 

Medical doctor with scalpel (© Sean Justice/Corbis)Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former head of the Congressional Budget Office under President George W. Bush, described the delay as "deviously brilliant" in a blog post. "Democrats no longer face the immediate specter of running against the fallout from a heavy regulatory imposition on employers across the land," he wrote.

Republicans have to be careful not to overplay their hand. Although Americans are closely divided on the questions of whether the law should be repealed, some aspects of it are quite popular, such as forbidding insurers from denying coverage based on a preexisting conditions.

Indeed, CNNMoney noted that very few businesses are subject to the Obamacare employer rules and most already provide insurance. While some critics have argued that employers would slash workers' hours below 30 a week to avoid the mandate, no evidence shows that such a practice is widespread, the site says.

One thing is for sure: Changing the nation's health care insurance system is far more of a daunting challenge than even the president's most ardent supporters imagined.

Follow Jonathan Berr on Twitter @jdberr.

Jul 3, 2013 3:27PM
How about this health care plan. Everyone will get free basic healthcare to cover preventative care, generic medications, and minor procedures. This would be optional and anyone can opt out at anytime. People who want additional care can purchase it though a private health care provider. This way we get rid of the free rider ER problem and allow the free market to work.
Jul 3, 2013 3:23PM
Instead of voting 37 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act the Republicans should be voting to pass their own healthcare bills. If they can gain enough support from the people by clearly stating what kind of legislation they want there would be more pressure from people to repeal the ACA if people like what they hear. 
Jul 3, 2013 3:05PM
The only health insurance that should be allowed for anybody is major medical.  All other health issues should be paid in cash. This type of insurance is affordable, and the office visits and outpatient cost would come way down, they would have to to attract business in a free market. If you want your employer to pay for your major medical you should aim for a job that will offer this as a benefit. To compete for these jobs you will need either, an  academic education, or you should learn a trade. This is how it was when I was younger. I remember the first HMO when our control was taken from us little by little (what  Dr you could see, what hospital you could use) and due to the astronomical cost we started having to pay for this, first a portion of the premium than the entire cost. This was the beginning of the decline of our health care system. We do not need Obama care it will only get worse, we need to go back to when we were responsible for our own decisions when it comes to our health and our money.
Jul 3, 2013 2:37PM
The GOP needs to roll out sob stories of people that will now die because of the delay(true or not doesn't matter), that is what the left would have done, and it clearly works.
Jul 3, 2013 7:26PM
Well, you should see what some companies like UPS are doing -  "following their assesment of what other companies will do, quote" :
1- there will be a "penalty" - increase per year - of insurance for smokers. Only choice is quit, and do it quickly, 2 days after formally making anouncement, internally. 
  2- If the company your spouse works for offers insurance, UPS will automatically drop off your spuse from the covergae and she/he will have to obatin coverage form the company she works for

I wonder whjat would be next......this from a company that had a reputation to protect its biggest assest: your own people...mind you, this only applies to non-union workers.....and it's being blamed on obamacare.....really?  explain that to me, please.... 
Jul 3, 2013 7:48PM

first they voted with their feet. now they are dragging their feet. obamacare dies a slow death. a death by a thousand cuts. a death by a thousand delays. it will not get repealed.  eventually somebody will ask "what ever happened to obamacare"? there will be no answer. there will be complete silence. that will be the eventual end of obamacare. it will be R.I.P. obamacare. don't think many tears will be shed.

Jul 4, 2013 9:08PM
If the rule is so good for people, why is Obama delaying it in conjunction with elctions?

Shows this whole Obamacare thing is a failure and if he can delay it until he leaves office, he can blame the total failure n the next President.

Jul 4, 2013 12:23PM
Get rid of all but private insurance plans.  Nobody should be responsible for paying for your medical bills but you.  Employers offered it to entice and retain the best employees, but with it becoming mandatory, it will no longer serve that purpose, so it should be dumped.  If it is important to you, you will find a way to pay for it.  And by getting the government out of it, prices will drop as the companies have to compete for our business. 
Jul 4, 2013 12:15PM
the mandate for all "americans" to pay for health insurance should also be think the average america can afford a $10,000 insurance tax
Jul 4, 2013 11:11AM
The tenets of the law are clear and necessary - the execution is flawed - the lawmakers need to work on the execution by doing what is right for their constituents and keeping the health industry, healthy.  This country has the resources to create a health care system that assures a healthy population with no one suffering because of lack of help. The lawmakers need to address the value of money within this health care business, focus on 1st principles such as developing preventative and lifestyle health standards to eliminate self-induced chronic illness, getting the cost of medical and hospital visits down and hold each person (and doctor) accountable for demonstrating that they are taking steps to better the health of themselves and their patients with a premium scale that enforces adherence to standards as well as others - we can't continue as current and this ACA just does that - maintains the status quo and puts the burden for abuse on those that can afford to pay. 
Jul 5, 2013 8:14AM
How ignaorant can the working person be. Nothing is free absolutley nothing is free. Someone is going to pay for it. This Obuma needs to be relieved of duty and the sooner the better. I cant remember a worse individual acting as President in this century nothing but a loud mouth tyrant
Jul 4, 2013 4:16PM

this clusterpuck will be run exactly like social security. the younger people will be paying in while the elderly use the bulk of the services as age causes most of the medical conditions. in fact the government is counting on the younger people to support this for it to be successful. and 30 or more years down the road after you have paid in you are not expected to receive but the minimal of health care. this is a fact. go over to the google news and boards. they at least spell it all out. msn is keeping you ignorant. so if you are young and just entering the work force you are gonna be faced by a double whammy later. no guarantee of getting back much in the way of  a social security check and very little in health care benefits. you all had better think long and hard on this one. unless of course you are the  "in government we trust"  types.

Aug 3, 2013 12:06AM
The last part of this article is a complete lie, and there is evidence all over the place how Obamacare is destructive.  Nearly every single fast food place, big box store, and major retailer has drastically reduced or stopped hiring full time employees altogether. Take it from someone who has three working age teenagers, there are absolutely no entry level full time jobs with benefits anywhere to be found, and most of the places will tell you straight up the reason they won't make you full time is they don't want to pay for Obamacare.
Jul 4, 2013 4:51PM

It is humorous to hear liberals and democRATs argue that a government run Monoploy would be better...   Monopolies ALWAYS charge premium prices, and offer the worst products.  Add on to that this would be government run, and I can see medicine stagnating in the 1950's, people waiting months to see a doctor, and having very poor healthcare.   We already see the high prices because of government involvement via Medicare...


We will VA level of service hospitals, the compassion of the IRS, the rules of the EPA, and the competence level of the Imbecile Obama...


Already with years to prepare we can see the "Train Wreck" (the words of the guy that wrote and sponsored the bill, a democrat), and we will know who to blame...  VOTE out every democrat on the ballot.  Don't vote for socialists...

Jul 4, 2013 4:22PM
it's not the governments job to keep you healthy. it's your job to keep yourself healthy and fit. you all are gonna pay bigtime when you give this responsibility over to big brother.
Jul 5, 2013 12:47AM
obama passes this can of worms to hillary in 2016. reid and pelosi also fall on their swords because of it.  obama? he's living the good life in his 22 room mansion in hawaii. pretty devious no?
Jul 8, 2013 1:31PM
Phony political theater from the Kock bros owned republican party. ONLY idiot sheep swallow these idiots puke. Dysfunction is their aim and only purpose in OUR political process. These next elections are CRUCIAL if the American middle class wants our country's "dream" to stay alive.
Jul 3, 2013 6:26PM

Someone:I agree with your post.When is the last time you ever heard of a time when Republicans ever

came up with a solution?All they do is bellyache and cry and blame everything on the Dems.

Repubs are against healthcare,against education.against infrastructure.They are for benefit cuts,

for war,for screwing the little guy,for corporate welfare and tax breaks for the rich.

Jul 3, 2013 5:50PM

Someone on here posted the following:


"...I for one wont stop until the health care discrepancies I studied in college are reduced if not eliminated..."



My response follows:


Now your challenge, which I hope you're succesful at, will be to implement your well-meaning progress within the strictures outlined above.  Anybody can just force people to help one another, but that's not true progress -- That's a dictatorship.  Work within the framework, rather than deconstructing it like some hipster, please.


And don't let your professors brainwash you with one-sided opinions.  Many of them are truly closeted leftists.  That's not rhetorical name-calling either -- I mean REALLLY leftists.  They'll have you believing that Hitler was "right wing", but socialism is socialism, and a thing cannot be the opposite of itself.  Can it?  Oh, the illusion of polarity.  

Jul 3, 2013 3:48PM

"One thing is for sure: Changing the nation's health care insurance system is far more of a daunting challenge than even the president's most ardent supporters imagined."


It's not an easy job but somebody's got to do it and I for one am up for the challenge! It's a good model, we just need to work through the details. No politician is enrolling patietns, no legislator is buiding specialty care networks but those that do, are. I for one wont stop until the health care discrepancies I studied in college are reduced if not eliminated. It's a problem worth addressing on a large scale. Go PROGRESS!

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