It was recently announced that there would be a delay in implementing the Obamacare health insurance employer mandate for companies with 50 employees or more. The current delay would hold off fully implementing the mandate until 2015 – one year after the initial implementation date.
For some businesses with 50 employees or more this news came as a welcome relief albeit a shallow relief. This delay is doing little more than putting off the inevitable unemployment spike and employee hour downgrades that will follow the mandate’s implementation.
What I find ironic about this delay is that the initial implementation date came in 2014 – a midterm election year. By putting off the date when these companies will start to feel the pain of the new law – the Obama administration has bought the Democrats time and most likely votes.
If this delay allows companies who were planning on reducing hours or positions because of the new law to put off their initial plans it will save the economy from a new unemployment spike until after the election and it ensures the votes of employees who might have otherwise lost their job or had their hours or wages reduced thanks to the new mandate.
According to the Heritage Foundation – the Obamacare employer mandate will:
- Lower wages and decrease profits.
- Raise the unemployment rate by one-half of 1 percentage point (seems small but it can have a huge impact on the economy).
- Increase the price of goods and services.
- Also, it will cause an invasion of worker’s privacy.
What is even more ironic is that Republicans in the House of Representatives are now trying to delay the implementation of the individual mandate to follow the same timeline as the employer mandate. Do the Republicans in Congress not realize that by delaying the individual mandate they are most likely buying the Democrats more votes and doing little more than delaying the inevitable pain until after the mid-term election? If the Republicans think that delaying the individual mandate will buy them more time to repeal the law entirely – they are sadly mistaken. The only chance of ever repealing Obamacare is to win back the Senate in 2014 and the Presidency in 2016. Delaying the implementation of the individual mandate will not help the Republicans win the Senate back – if anything it could help the Democrats increase their presence in both the House and the Senate.
Not surprisingly the American public is also in favor of delaying the individual mandate. According to a Health Pocket survey only 12% of Americans are in favor of implementing the individual mandate in 2014 while delaying the employer mandate. A whopping 41% are in favor of delaying the individual mandate and the remaining 47% aren’t sure – most likely because they have no idea what is in the law to begin with. Of course, if so few people are in favor of implementing the individual mandate next year – wouldn’t it make more sense never to implement the mandate? A delay of any kind does not fix the problem – it only delays the problem.
Businesses and individuals need to feel the pain of Obamacare in the mid-term election year so they can know what their vote in the previous two elections has given them. As long as these mandates are out of sight, out of mind – American voters will continue to be blindly led along by politician’s lies and cast their vote for any Joe Schmoe who promises them the world. Unfortunately, most Americans need to feel it in their wallet before they are willing to take action at the polls.