Senators advocate delay of health insurance mandate
Federal lawmakers are beginning to call on the Obama Administration to delay one of the Affordable Care Act’s most controversial provisions. The law requires that all U.S. citizens have active health insurance coverage beginning on January 1, 2014. Those that do not have appropriate health insurance coverage could face fines for every year they go without coverage. The provision is quite similar to federal law requiring all drivers in the country to have auto insurance coverage, but the health insurance mandate has managed to generate a significant level of controversy.
Delay may provide consumers with a change to acclimate to federal law
Two Senators have petitioned the Obama Administration to consider delaying the health insurance mandate for a whole year. The delay would allow people throughout the country to acclimate to the Affordable Care Act more adequately and better understand the policies they have access to through state-based exchange systems. Delaying the health insurance mandate has been a focus for many Republican lawmakers recently, but the two latest advocates for delaying the provision are Democrats.
Delay may help government better understand impact of new regulations
The Senators suggest that a one year delay is a feasible option because it would provide the federal government with an opportunity to examine the impact of the Affordable Care Act’s other provisions. Many of these provisions affect businesses rather than consumers and, in some cases, could introduce some degree of new financial pressure to these businesses. The law has also introduced many regulations to health insurance companies throughout the U.S., many of which have not yet gone into effect. The full impact that these regulations will have on insurers is not yet known.
Delayed mandate could placate consumer frustration
According to the Senators advocating the delay of the health insurance mandate, many people are willing and eager to enroll in state-based health insurance exchanges, but they have concerns that the coverage they will receive through these exchanges will be worse than what they currently have. Others are frustrated with the roll out of the exchange network. Many people have been unable to enroll for coverage because of technical difficulties, delaying the insurance mandate may help placate some of this frustration.