Hours on a concrete wallAs the country turned its attention towards the July 4th holiday, the Obama administration announced late Tuesday, July 2nd, that the enforcement of the employer mandate will be postponed until 2015.  The sound of the business community breathing a collective sigh of relief has been heard above the roar of the nationwide firework displays. Originally set to go in place January 1, 2014, the employer mandate requires all companies with 50 or more employees to offer government approved health care to their workers regardless of the ability to pay.

The Obamacare mandates placed on employers and individuals are the primary means by which the health care law works to achieve universal coverage.  Without such requirements and the penalties attached to them, individuals and businesses in a free country may find a better use for their hard earned dollars.

The employer mandate’s complex reporting requirements and the need to rework them were cited by the Obama administration as the cause for the delay.  And, after reading quotes from the Obama crew, one would think there wasn’t a more business friendly bunch to lead the country.  Bloomberg reports that Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President Obama, wrote in a blog post announcing the delay,

“In our ongoing discussions with businesses we have heard that you need the time to get this right.  We are listening.”

A more cynical, and perhaps realistic view, may lead one instead to conclude that the upcoming 2014 mid-term elections are the primary driver behind the latest in a long line of postponements connected to Obamacare’s implementation.

Fox News quotes Republican Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming as saying,

“It’s also a cynical political ploy to delay the coming train wreck associated with Obamacare until after the 2014 elections.”

Democrats will not be immune to all public discontent over Obamacare, however.  At least for now, the individual mandate is scheduled to go into effect on January 1st.  The Obama administration maintains that the government run health care exchanges will be up and running on schedule ready to accept new customers anxious to overpay for health care.  To all seasoned observers of the Obamacare disaster, this is a pollyannaish view to be sure.  United Healthcare, Aetna and Cigna have declined participation in California’s exchange, Covered California, and the idea that young people will be willing to pay premiums two or three times higher than what was available pre-Obamacare is ludicrous.

With the employer mandate gone for now and the individual mandate in tact, one has to wonder how the average American will afford health coverage come January 1st in order to comply with the law. Obamacare has already wreaked havoc on insurance premiums, gun shy employers have begun ceasing coverage or moving employees to part time and the economy is nowhere near full employment.  This may not be good for Democrats’ prospects in 2014, but it will be good for the Obamacare exchanges badly in need of customers and it will also be good for the much prized Obamacare hand-outs in the form of insurance subsidies to those who would otherwise be priced out of the exchanges.

So, is there more to the delay of the employer mandate than the mid-term elections?  There is no denying that postponing the mandate makes the individual more reliant on the Obamacare exchanges and gives the federal government the opportunity to snare more Americans with government aid.  Democrats have spent half a century pushing for universal health care; they are not going to let Obamacare go down no matter how unmanageable it becomes.  Hooking more Americans through government subsidies and getting rid of all other health care options (i.e. employer sponsored health care) may be the most expedient way for Democrats to achieve their goal.

So, OLC members, batten down the hatches.  We are in for a bumpy ride ahead.  Democrats are on the precipice of achieving universal health care and freedom lovers are on the verge of seeing the Democrat’s dream collapse.  Its too soon to predict a winner, but one thing’s for certain, victory will go to the side which sticks to its principles, makes their voices heard, and does not succumb to the allure of the almighty dollar sure to be brandished about to all weak kneed politicians.  Are you listening Governor Kasich??

Let’s do what we can in Ohio to stop the Obamacare train wreck.  Keep calling your State Rep, State Senator and Governor Kasich.  Tell them to say NO to the Obamacare/ Medicaid expansion bucks in Ohio.

Further Reading:

Bloomberg article “Health-Law Employer Mandate Delayed by U.S. Until 2015”

Fox News article “Administration Delays Key Obamacare Insurance Mandate”

LaTimes article “United Healthcare, Aetna and Cigna Opt Out of California Insurance Exchange”