Seriously, Issa? Another investigation?
While all of the implications for the administration's decision to delay
enforcement of the employer mandate part of Obamacare aren't yet clear, Republican reaction has been entirely predictable: investigate! and repeal!
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN), chairman of the Education and Workforce Health subcommittee, are trying to make it a scandal. First, they scream and yell about repealing the law, and now they say that the administration is ignoring the law by trying to delay implementation of part of it. Congressional experts, however, disagree. Rules and regulatory delays are perfectly legal and quite common.
Other Republicans have been just as predictable in their statements.
“That the Obama administration is putting off this job-killing requirement on employers, but not individuals and families, shows how deeply flawed the president’s signature domestic policy achievement is,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah), the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. [...]
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) renewed their calls for repealing the law in full.
“This further confirms that even the proponents of ObamaCare know it will hurt jobs, decrease economic growth and make it harder for families to have access to quality and affordable health care,” Cantor said in statement.
“Rather than continuing to delay the predictable pain until another Election Day has passed, we should scrap this entire law and instead implement patient-centered reforms before any more damage is done,” he said.
We'll find out now if it really is a job-killer. If business hasn't been hiring just because of the looming Obamacare employer mandate, then we should start to see a real hiring surge right about now. Right? All those companies who don't want to have to provide insurance to their employees should feel absolutely free to start bringing people on. Except that there aren't really many employers
who don't provide insurance: " A total of 87 percent of employers with 25 to 49 workers and 94 percent of employers with 50 to 199 employees offered health benefits in 2012." Furthermore, less than nine percent of American business have 20 to 99 employees and would be included in the mandate.
From a policy standpoint, this delay isn't likely to make a huge difference in much of anything: No, we're not going to see a hiring surge because the law just isn't a job-killer. And from a coverage perspective, the vast majority of businesses will still continue to provide coverage because that's one of the things that makes them competitive in hiring, and because there are good tax incentives for doing it. From a political standpoint, though, it's a problem that the White House is keeping an individual mandate while letting business off the hook for a year. It's a problem that the White House is giving critics who say the implementation is a mess and can't be done effectively and on time more ammunition. And it's likely to make the handful of politically motivated businesses who raised the fuss over the employer mandate push for even more delays.