Today's headlines detail the Obama administration announcement that it would delay the health law rule requiring businesses provide insurance to workers.
Kaiser Health News: Employers To Get An Extra Year To Implement Health Law Requirement On Coverage
Kaiser Health News staff writer Mary Agnes Carey reports: "The Obama administration Tuesday announced a one-year delay in the Affordable Care Act's requirement that businesses with 50 or more employees offer coverage to their workers or pay a penalty. Administration officials said the delay was in response to employers' concerns about the law's reporting requirements" (Carey, 7/2). Read the story.
Kaiser Health News: Business Groups, Consumer Advocates, Politicians, Policy Makers React To Mandate Decision
Kaiser Health News staff writer Phil Galewitz reports: "Opponents of the federal health law, especially business groups and conservatives, were quick to praise the decision by the Obama administration to delay enforcing the employer mandate provision by one year, until 2015. Some supporters of the law said the decision would not create major problems. Here is a roundup of some of the statements and edited quotes from interviews within the first few hours of the announcement" (Galewitz, 7/2). Read the story.
Kaiser Health News: Delay In Major Health Law Provision Raises Doubts At Critical Stage Of Rollout
Kaiser Health News staff writers Jay Hancock and Julie Appleby report: "The Obama administration's decision Tuesday to delay a major component of the Affordable Care Act -- the requirement for employers with at least 50 workers to offer health coverage -- postpones another feature of the law and hands ammunition to critics who contend it is unworkable. But it could have a relatively small effect on the number of Americans who gain medical insurance next year. The law's other two major provisions, expanding Medicaid and requiring individuals to obtain coverage or pay a penalty, were projected to add far more people to the ranks of the insured than the employer mandate, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Those measures are still in effect, although many states have opted not to expand Medicaid next year" (Hancock and Appleby, 7/2). Read the story.
Kaiser Health News: Lawmakers To NY Docs: Screen All Baby Boomers For Deadly Liver Disease
WNYC's Fred Mogul, working in partnership with Kaiser Health News and NPR, reports: "Hepatitis C is a life-threatening infection that attacks the liver, but the symptoms often don't show up for years. So Dr. Alex Federman, an internist at a primary clinic at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City, makes sure he urges testing for many patients" (Mogul, 7/3). Read the story.
Kaiser Health News: Capsules: AMA To Do 'Whatever We Can' To Help Carry Out Health Law; Federal Rule Extends Subsidies For College Students
Now on Kaiser Health News' blog, Mary Agnes Carey reports on the American Medical Association's new president and her take on the health law: "In an interview taped for C-SPAN's Newsmakers, Ardis Dee Hoven, who became the AMA's 168th president last month, said the White House has not approached her or the AMA directly about a formal role, but "we have been in communication with many, many individuals in the administration about our role as physicians in this and what we can help them do, and what we can do to help our patients get the kind of information they need. "We will continue to work with the administration and do whatever we can in our power to make this happen," said Hoven, an infectious diseases specialist from Lexington, Ky." (Carey, 7/2).
Also on the blog, Michelle Andrews reports on college students and health care: "While expansion of coverage under the health law has helped about 3 million young people get insurance through their parents' plans, many remain uninsured or have coverage through student health plans. But that's not an option for some students, who might look to student health plans or the online health insurance marketplaces for coverage next year" (Andrews, 7/2). Check out what else is on the blog.
The New York Times: Crucial Rule Is Delayed A Year for Obama's Health Law
In a significant setback for President Obama's signature domestic initiative, the administration on Tuesday abruptly announced a one-year delay, until 2015, in his health care law's mandate that larger employers provide coverage for their workers or pay penalties. The decision postpones the effective date beyond next year's midterm elections (Calmes and Pear, 7/2).
The Washington Post: White House Delays Health-Care Rule That Businesses Provide Insurance To Workers
The White House on Tuesday delayed for one year a requirement under the Affordable Care Act that businesses provide health insurance to employees, a fresh setback for President Obama's landmark health-care overhaul as it enters a critical phase. The provision, commonly known as the employer mandate, calls for businesses with 50 or more workers to provide affordable quality insurance to workers or pay a $2,000 fine per employee. Business groups had objected to the provision, which now will take effect in January 2015 (Goldfarb and Somashekhar, 7/2).
The Wall Street Journal: Health Law Penalties Delayed
Some companies had bet the law was going to be overturned by the Supreme Court last year, or by a new presidential administration after the 2012 election. After it withstood those legal and political challenges, some firms said there was too little time remaining before the provision was due to kick in. "They realized they were not ready, and we were not ready," said Neil Trautwein, vice president at the National Retail Federation, an employer trade group. "At the very least, this will give retailers and chain restaurants a chance to breathe." The decision follows media reports that companies had already cut back on some workers' hours to avoid exposure to penalties under the new health-care law. Those who work fewer than 30 hours a week aren't counted as full-time employees, according to the law (Radnofsky, 7/2).
Los Angeles Times: Obama To Delay Healthcare Law's Employer Mandate
The one-year delay, announced by the Treasury Department late Tuesday in response to complaints from businesses, marks a major retreat in implementing the 2010 Affordable Care Act. It also underscores the immense pressure the administration is under as it tries to roll out the extremely complex law. By next year, most Americans were supposed to be guaranteed access to health coverage even if they have preexisting conditions (Levey, 7/2).
The Associated Press/Washington Post: Obama Administration Delays Central Element Of Health Care Law Until After 2014 Elections
Tuesday's move -; which caught administration allies and adversaries by surprise -; sacrificed timely implementation of Obama's signature legislation but might help Democrats politically by blunting an election-year line of attack Republicans were planning to use. The employer requirements are among the most complex parts of the health care law, designed to expand coverage for uninsured Americans (7/2).
Politico: Key Obamacare Rule For Business Delayed For Year
The delay, revealed just as the administration was stepping up efforts to educate the public about enrollment this fall, is at least partial proof of what Republicans have been predicting for months: that the health law is way too complex to be ready to go live in 2014. And that's a message that may well resonate all through next year - including the 2014 midterm elections (Norman and Haberkorn, 7/3).
NPR: U.S. Pushes Businesses' Health Insurance Deadline To 2015
U.S. businesses that had been looking at possible penalties if they don't provide health insurance to their employees by January are getting an extra year before they must comply with the new law, the White House says. The requirement, part of the health care overhaul known as "Obamacare," affects all companies that have at least 50 employees (Chappell, 7/2).
USA Today: Obama Administration To Delay Part Of Affordable Care Act
The announcement by the Internal Revenue Service comes after numerous complaints from businesses that the requirements were too complicated and difficult to implement in time. … Other key parts of the law, including the health exchanges where individuals can buy insurance, are on schedule. The exchanges will open on Oct. 1, wrote Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to President Obama, in a White House blog released Tuesday (Kennedy, 7/2).
Politico: 6 Questions About The Obamacare Mandate
The bombshell announcement came from the Treasury Department on Tuesday night, catching even the administration's close allies by surprise: A key part of Obamacare will be postponed for one year. The employer mandate -; or as the administration calls it, the shared responsibility rules -; was put on hold. Businesses won't have any new requirements to cover workers, or penalties if they don't, until 2015. The news came just as the White House was building momentum for its public education campaign and trying to send out signals that everything was on track for enrollment to begin in October. Tuesday's announcement throws such assurances off course (Haberkorn, Millman and Norman, 7/2).
The Wall Street Journal: Employers Welcome Delay In Health-Care Overhaul Penalties
Employers and their advisers cheered a one-year delay in employer penalties under the health-care overhaul law, but said they remain wary of unsettled details and the law's long-term impact (Thurm and Berzon, 7/2).
Politico: Businesses Cheer Employer Mandate Delay
Under a decision released by the Treasury Department on Tuesday, large employers won't be penalized until 2015 -; and not next year -; for failing to offer coverage to full-time workers. The delay will have less of an effect on small businesses with fewer than 50 employees, who face new reporting requirements under the law but don't have to offer coverage (Cunningham, 7/2).