Nothing suspicious about any of this, move along. Why would anyone be cynical about a major announcement made after hours heading into a holiday, all for political cover?
The ObamaCare employer mandate requiring businesses to provide their workers with health insurance will be delayed by a year, the administration said Tuesday in a stunning announcement.
Delaying the requirement until 2015 is an enormous victory for businesses that had lobbied against the healthcare law.
It also means that one of healthcare reform’s central requirements will be implemented after the 2014 midterm elections, when the GOP is likely to use the Affordable Care Act as a vehicle to attack vulnerable Democrats.
In a White House blog post, senior adviser Valerie Jarrett wrote that the administration believed it needed to give employers “more time to comply with the new rules.”
“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.
“While a delay of this mandate is welcome news since it shows the challenges the employers are facing complying with it, a delay — conveniently past the 2014 election — only adds to the uncertainty these job creators face because of ObamaCare,” Hatch said.
Other Republicans seized on the news, arguing that the delays suggested the law was a “train wreck” and that Democratic candidates in 2014 would have difficulty explaining the delay.
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.
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) July 2, 2013
So: Shouldn’t House and Senate Republicans move next week to delay the individual mandate as well? Will Democrats stand up on the floor of Congress to defend the proposition that businesses deserve relief, but not people? I doubt it. You could see a real rout on the floor of the House—and then the Senate.
Could Obama even sustain a veto of such legislation?
House Republicans should up the administration’s ante and vote to delay not just this one part of Obamacare, but all of it, until 2015. In doing so, they would not only be sparing Americans from Obamacare for another year — and thereby shortening the length of time between when it fully goes into effect and when it can be repealed — they would also be striking a blow for the rule of law. They would be acting through the constitutionally prescribed process of having the legislature make or alter the law, rather than through the constitutionally prohibited process of having the executive ignore or revise the law.
Scarred by years of Republican attacks over Obamacare, with more in store next year, Democrats have settled on an unlikely strategy for the 2014 midterms: Bring it on.
Party strategists believe that embracing the polarizing law — especially its more popular elements — is smarter politics than fleeing from it in the House elections. The new tack is a marked shift from 2010, when Republicans pointed to Obamacare as Exhibit A of Big Government run amok on their way to seizing the House from Democrats.
How’s that working out? Also just a month a go we learned this disaster was as unpopular as ever. So go ahead, Dems, own it.