The president has unexpectedly announced a delay to the law requiring many businesses to offer coverage.
President Obama shocked the nation with an announcement that was made in a significant concession to business groups, as the administration allowed for a delay in one of the central health insurance components of the healthcare law.
This change was to a deadline for one of the components at the heart of the healthcare reform law.
Now, many businesses that would have been required to offer health insurance to their employees as of January 1, 2014 will have a lot more time to prepare themselves. President Obama has delayed that part of the healthcare reforms for a full year, until after the elections in 2014.
The law states that many businesses need to offer health insurance to their workers or they will face fines.
Though this will still be a requirement of the healthcare law, it has been delayed for a year to provide companies with more time. This decision has reduced the timely implementation of the signature health insurance legislation of the president, but it may also help his administration on a political level by dulling areas of attack during an election year, which would clearly have been a choice strategy for Republicans.
The health insurance requirements of employers are among the most complicated components of the healthcare overhaul, which is designed to broaden the coverage in the country and minimize the number of Americans who are uninsured.
According to Mark Mazur, Treasury Assistant Secretary, in a blog post “We have heard concerns about the complexity of the requirements and the need for more time to implement them effectively,” adding that “We have listened to your feedback and we are taking action.”
Business groups have applauded the health insurance requirement delay decision. U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President Randy Johnson said that it was “A pleasant surprise.” The administration had not given any advance indication whatsoever that it was even considering making this type of announcement, said Johnson. Similarly, the Vice President of the National Retail Federation, Neil Trautwein, said “We commend the administration’s wise move.”