Two weeks ago, President Obama announced he was suspending ObamCare’s individual mandate for one year. The move, which is not legal given how Congress wrote the law, was motivated purely by politics. Employers were beginning to reduce their employee’s work hours in order to avoid the threshold related to the mandate’s penalties (employers with 50 or more full time employees, defined as person who work 30 or more hours per week, must provide the employees with insurance or face fines). Obama did not want Democrats to face the ire of voters whose hours, and thus their paychecks, were reduced because of ObamaCare.
As noted above, ObamaCare requires, by statute, that employers subject to the mandate must begin providing insurance to their employees as of January 1, 2014. The statutory language is unambiguous and yet Obama unilateraly suspended the law without any legal authority. The Republican-led House of Representatives has announced it will pass a bill enacting the President’s mandate delay, thus writing the law to comport with the President’s supported policy.
You would think the President would embrace this idea. You would be wrong. As Michael Cannon with The CATO Institute reports, President Obama has, inexplicably, threated to veto a law containing the policy he supports.
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ObamaCare requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide insurance to all full time employees working at least 30 hours per week. Employers who fail to do this will face substantial monetary penalties. According to Section 1513 of ObamaCare, the mandate takes effect in “months beginning after December 31, 2013”. In other words in January 2014.
In response to the mandate, employers are reducing employee hours to less than 30 hour per week to avoid the mandate and its related penalties. It is decidedly inconvenient for the Democrats that employees are seeing their hours and pay reduced as a result of ObamaCare. Today, the Obama Administration announced they would be delaying the employer mandate until January 1, 2015 (pushing its effective date back one year).
This move is purely political. Voters will go to the polls angry in 2014 if ObamaCare has reduced their hours and pay. The Administration is acting to protect vulnerable Democrats from the consequences of this disastrous policy. Further proof of how political the Administration’s actions are is the fact that the delay expires less than 2 months after the 2014 election. If the mandate is bad policy with bad effects, then the law should be repealed – not delayed until just past Election Day.
The President’s actions violate the law, undermine the rule of law and infringe on Congress’s Constiutional powers. The deadline for this mandate to take effect is January 2014. Obama is ignoring the law. In doing so, he is infringing on the roll of Congress under the Constitution to write the laws.
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Grace-Marie Turner has written an excellent article at The New York Times that should serve as a reminder that even if the Supreme Court strikes down the individual mandate, there are still many reasons to oppose the remainder of ObamaCare. Ms. Turner’s top 10 reasons to still oppose ObamaCare include:
1. Employer Mandate.
2. Conscience Mandate.
3. New and Higher Taxes.
4. The Independent Payment Advisory Board.
5. State Exchanges.
6. Medicare Payment Cuts.
7. Higher Health Costs.
8. Government Control over Doctor Decisions.
9. Huge Deficits.
10. More than 150 New Boards, Agencies and Programs.
Ms. Turner explains each of these issues in more detail and you read her full article here.
Are there many ways that a state could shield businesses in their state from an onerous, job killing tax penalty? In most cases – no. But in the case of ObamaCare the answer is a definitive “yes!!!”
ObamaCare seeks to have states set up insurance exchanges or government controlled “markets” whereby federal subsidies are dolled out so that people can buy heavily regulated, government approved health insurance. According to this article from The Wall Street Journal, if a state establishes an exchange, ObamaCare allows the subsidies to be given out (see Section 1311). If a state refuses to set up an exchange, the federal government will do so but ObamaCare does not permit any subsidies for people who access the federal exchanges (see Section 1321).
So, a state that takes a pass on establishing an exchange (as many states have chosen to do) is effectively telling the feds, “we aren’t going to spend state tax dollars to do your dirty work – have at it.” But here is where a state that decides to take a pass can really benefit that state’s economy. Under ObamaCare, if someone receives an exchange subsidy, their employer is subject to a penalty under ObamaCare but if no employees receive a subsidy employers are not subject to the penalty. Get it? The bottom line is that states can protect job creators from onerous federal taxes if they refuse to create and set up an ObamaCare insurance exchange. That is a significant incentive for states to protect their economy and jobs. The alternative is to create an exchange, letting the penalty kick in, resulting in fewer businesses and fewer jobs which will create a double-whammy for state taxpayers. Taxpayer will have to foot the bill to deal with the further strain on a state’s social safety net resulting from higher unemployment and would end up footing the bill to finance a system to hand out federal bennies. A bad deal all around for states, employers, employees and taxpayers.
Read more about this here.
Dr. Jill Vecchio, a Colorado physician, has produced a seven-part video series about the impact of ObamaCare. The videos include the following subjects: (Part 1) who will be covered; (Parts 2 and 3) what are the costs; (Part 4) state exchanges and employers; (Part 5) doctors and patients; (Part 6) Constitutional issues; and (Part 7) ideas for real healthcare reform.
The videos are certainly worth watching and we hope you will take the time to learn more about how ObamaCare will affect you and your family:
The Heritage Foundation has a new piece detailing some of the specifics problems of ObamaCare’s individual mandate.
The piece concludes, saying: ObamaCare’s “employer mandates are simply too overbearing. As it turns out, most businesses want a way out. Only the few, privileged, and politically connected stand a chance. As Representative Mike Pence (R–IN) said, ‘Higher taxes and government regulations invariably have a cost, and that’s almost always a cost of jobs.’ And that’s something America simply can’t afford.”