“We have to pass the bill so we can find out what’s in it,” Mrs. Pelosi once remarked in a rather unlettered response to concerns over the Affordable Care Act. Foresight might have appended: “And so Mr. Obama can change it whenever it pleases him.” The Treasury Department announced yesterday that it would be further delaying the now-twice-delayed employer mandate provided for in the heath care law. The move comes in response to business pressure and to a failure by the administration to actually define what must be covered in employee health insurance plans. It joins a long list of other changes, revisions and backpedals that the administration has already decreed these past months.
Yesterday’s amendment to the so described “Law of the Land” relaxed the employer mandate for 2015, granting a one year extension to small businesses that employ between 50 and 99 workers. Originally, the law was set to go into effect January 1st. Mid-size businesses will now be able to exempt themselves from the mandate until 2016, pending further delays of course.
The Obama Administration was clear in adding that these businesses that qualify will need to certify with the federal government that they are not cutting back employment simply to fall beneath the threshold for exemption, but it has yet to release a comprehensive plan as to how this will be enforced with any consistency.
What does this mean for the healthcare of employees at these companies? Not much. A large majority, some 91% according to a study by Kaiser Family Foundations, already provided healthcare before the drafters of ObamaCare even contemplated the possibility that they could get away with forcing people to engage in commerce. In a more expository essay, these numbers might beg the question why the employer mandate exists at all, but for now, let it suffice to say that our very own do-gooders at Michigan can relax with the knowledge that private businesses have stepped in where the government has failed.