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Opinion

Opinion

Editorial: Care act delay

The delay in implementing one of its key provisions could be beneficial for the Affordable Care Act.

July 7, 2013

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Obamacare. Did administration officials blink — or did they wink?

The administration took much of the nation by surprise last week in announcing a year’s delay in implementing a key penalty-backed requirement of the new health care law. That provision would have forced medium and large companies (those with 50 or more employees) to provide health insurance for their workers. And if they didn’t, a series of tax penalties would have come into play.

The requirement was supposed to go into effect beginning Jan. 1, 2014. That scheduled start date is pushed back a year, according to an announcement by Mark Mazur, Treasury assistant secretary.

“We have heard concerns about the complexity of the requirements and the need for more time to implement them effectively. We have listened to your feedback, and we are taking action,” he said. So maybe they blinked.

Business groups applauded the decision.

Some analysts suggested the requirement was delayed in order to pull the rug out from under Republican attacks planned for next year’s congressional elections, giving Democratic candidates a bit of space. If that’s the case, the administration simply winked.

Not delayed is the requirement for all individuals to carry health insurance or face fines, starting next year, another major thrust of the health care law, which was intended to expand coverage for uninsured Americans.

If responding to concerns is indeed the reason that the administration delayed the one requirement, it’s gratifying that criticism of the new law is being considered and acted upon.

Certainly there are issues with the delivery of health care in the United States, and valid criticisms of how health care costs are administered and spread, but the way the Affordable Care Act was pushed through Congress — with key leaders acknowledging they had not read it — produced almost universal contention that flaws in the legislation needed to be addressed. It’s to be hoped that this action delaying the mandate that businesses provide coverage is the first of the needed tweaks and revisions that will be made.

It may not be necessary to throw this baby out with the bath water, if officials and lawmakers, perhaps buoyed by some Independence Day spirit of patriotism and sense of duty to country, come to their senses and compromise.

Comments

Centerville 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I will have to hand it to Brownback and Roberts for supporting the Sibelius nomination: pretty cunning, after all.

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George Lippencott 9 months, 2 weeks ago

To echo the above. The Democratic Members of Congress in their collective wisdom put specific dates in the ACA which were signed by the President. Just how does the President obtain the authority to overrule a standing law?? Does he not require Congressional approval to change the dates? ARE WE HEADED TO THE SC ON SEPARATION OF POWER ISSUES?

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toe 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Obama chooses which laws to enforce and which laws not to enforce. Just like most people choose which laws to obey, and which ones to ignore. Looks like the rule of law is under duress from both sides. Watch Egypt for America's not too distant future.

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boiled 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Oh, and Obama only validates that the 2014 mid-term would be a disaster for him had he implemented the tax, er, uh penalty or whatever it is. I guess you don't know 'til the bill was passed and we still don't know. Unions are certainly happy among other selected groups granted waivers. Again, no biggie. Flexibility is good imho.

ObamaCare: One big taxation scheme.

EPA and Coal? Can't wait to see some serious back-pedaling on that one here shortly.

2014 is key to Obama's completion of FUNDAMENTAL TRANSFORMATION.

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boiled 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Another commentator here speaks of the naivete' of those unapproving of Obama's quest for fundamental transformation. I can relate---it's all good. On the other side of the coin are the lemmings who fell hook, line and sinker for Obama's promises. It's all evened out in the end.

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boiled 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Aww, no big deal. This is but one small part of the flexibility Obama told Medvedev about. He's just tweeking things a bit. Fundamental Transformation is well underway. Just survey your surroundings.

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Richard Heckler 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Obama did improve on a very crummy system that preceded Obamacare. Bit it opened doors for the medical insurance industry to gouge consumers further. Not necessarily the fault of Obama but definitely point the fingers at the insurance industry.

Private insurers necessarily waste health dollars on things that have nothing to do with care: overhead, underwriting, billing, sales and marketing departments as well as huge profits and exorbitant executive pay. As a result, administration consumes one-third (31 percent) of Americans’ health dollars, most of which is waste.

Single-payer financing is the only way to recapture this wasted money. The potential savings on paperwork, more than $400 billion per year, are enough to provide comprehensive coverage to everyone without paying any more than we already do.

Under a single-payer system, all Americans would be covered for all medically necessary services. Patients would no longer face financial barriers to care such as co-pays and deductibles, and would regain free choice of doctor and hospital. Doctors would regain autonomy over patient care.

Physicians would be paid fee-for-service according to a negotiated formulary or receive salary from a hospital or nonprofit HMO / group practice. Hospitals would receive a global budget for operating expenses. Health facilities and expensive equipment purchases would be managed by regional health planning boards.

Costs would be controlled through negotiated fees, global budgeting and bulk purchasing.

http://www.pnhp.org/facts/single-payer-resources

The very crummy system that preceded Obamacare could cancel in the middle of the stream aka any time at all. No matter how much money had been contributed over many many years.

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Ray Parker 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Trainwreck.

Charlie Brown's punt

Charlie Brown's punt by parkay

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Mike Ford 9 months, 2 weeks ago

it's funny how naïve parts of the American constituency is. can I say boo and make you go out and buy up all of the ammunition and guns and be afraid of a president who actually looks out for people instead of the greedy you're on your own crowd? this delay is partly because some of the naïve and non reading populace believed the statements of the political establishment whose only platform is yelling boo and scaring the naïve and willingly fearful. what a platform.

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Kirk Larson 9 months, 2 weeks ago

This actually affects relatively few businesses. Those with more than 50 employees that do not already offer insurance plans to their employees.

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Larry Moss 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Well, if the delay is to create cover for Democrats up for re-election. They're in trouble.

Thus far, the majority of Obamacare has been a negative for the people.

The very few positives could have been made with small changes to Medicare or Medicaid.

But, how could we have known? Nobody read it and the leaders of the Democrats said we'd find out when it was passed. They still haven't read it, we still don't know and it seems to get worse every time we do find something out.

So, they can run from it but, they can't hide from it.

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Richard Heckler 9 months, 2 weeks ago

The 50 million or more uninsured should simply be moved to an improved Medicare Coverage Plan instead of blowing tax dollars on the medical insurance industry. Medicare is by far the most efficient use of tax dollars whereas the medical insurance industry cannot relate to efficiency.

BTW it is my thinking that no business should be responsible for medical insurance coverage. There is no way any business can manage a budget never knowing how much money the medical insurance industry will be demanding from one year to the next. Or never knowing how coverage will be altered from one year to the next. Or never knowing what deductibles or co-pays will be necessary.

The healthcare industry is receiving more than 1 trillion health care tax $$$$$$$$ annually which is more than enough to insure all people in the USA under Medicare Single Payer Insurance. The best 24/7 coverage on the planet for the USA.

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Richard Heckler 9 months, 2 weeks ago

The only answer is to follow what other industrialized nations have done and they are housing zillions of USA jobs.

Healthcare Reform Report Card Comparison

Single-Payer (HR 676 and S 703) Expanded Medicare for All Vs. Proposed Healthcare “Private insurance with Public Option” http://www.healthcare-now.org/docs/spreport.pdf ( very interesting findings)

http://www.pnhp.org/facts/single-payer-resources Physicians for a National Health Program

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Centerville 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Phelps, I'm with you. The whole insane scheme depends on the IRS to force young, healthy people pay in exorbitant amounts . That, and cutting Medicare reimbursements. Well, those and the brainwashing.
Time for Congress to stick a fork in this thing.

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Pheps 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I need the young to start carrying my water. I need them to pay for my medical assistance. Here is a big heartfelt thanks for all the President is making you do. Thanks kids!

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Liberty275 9 months, 2 weeks ago

The ACA is already hurting the poor and middle class as it encourages evil corporations to hire part-time workers. On the bright side, people can still get a second job to make up the difference in pay. They can use that 10 hour/week job to pay for the health insurance since they don't want to pay the uninsurance tax.

Really, I look forward to the ACA forcing young adults to spend thousands of dollars every year on something they don't want.

Making libertarians will be Obama's legacy.

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FastEddy 9 months, 2 weeks ago

According to the President, Obamacare is working exactly as planned. Why would implementation be delayed if the plan is working so well? Can it be that this healthcre program was intended to be an unmitigated disaster and intended as a link to single payer, government-run healthcare? Unfortunately for the left, the 2014 elections loom shortly after full implementation of a bad healthcare program. The only solution is to delay parts of Obamacare to lessen the anticipated negative impact on elections. It's always about politics with this administration. All actions are about maintaining and gaining power. The welfare of American citizens are way down the list as Obama seeks to fundamentally change the nation he despises.

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