The government will postpone enforcement of the so-called employer mandate until 2015, after the congressional elections, the administration said yesterday. Under the provision, companies with 50 or more workers face a fine of as much as $3,000 per employee if they don’t offer affordable insurance.Roll Call, a Capitol Hill publication that skews left, naturally thinks that this decision probably will stand up:
Michael Tanner, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, said Obama appeared to be stretching his authority to the limit.“It’s less of a frontal assault than it is a flanking maneuver,” he said. “He may be violating the spirit of the law but not necessarily the letter. The legality is up in the air.”The law says flat out that the employer mandate will go into effect for all months after December 31, 2013, but hey, spirit, letter, whatever. This is, let's face it, an acknowledgement that the law is a train wreck and that implementing it on schedule will do nothing but kill jobs, destroy the economy and, oh yeah, cost the Democrats an enormous number of seats in 2014 if those things are happening in the lead up to the midterms. Solution? Delay those consequences until after the midterms.
I don't think it will help. The Obamacare taxes will already be punishing the economy, people in the individual insurance market will already be paying triple the rates they were (or violating the must-buy personal mandate, which is not being suspended) and businesses will still be positioning themselves for when the must-provide mandate finally kicks in. The employer mandate means many businesses will choose to employ fewer people full-time, and many others will opt to pay the fines rather than provide health insurance, as the fines will be cheaper.