I suppose most of you have heard that the Obama Administration ha announces a one year delay in the implementation of the employer mandate. Republican politicians and wonks are squealing with delight, saying this is cause to repeal the entire the ACA. However, there are valid reasons for the delay, and while this will leave a only few thousand without coverage, Republicans do not want to address the RepubliCare scandal that will deny coverage to millions.
The Obama administration’s decision to delay enforcing a pillar of the health care law, the mandate that larger employers provide insurance benefits, raised new questions on Wednesday about the government’s preparedness to carry out the landmark law and emboldened Congressional Republicans to open an investigation into the postponement.
Republican leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee demanded documents and other information from the Treasury secretary and the secretary of health and human services about the decision announced Tuesday to put off for a year, until 2015, the law’s reporting requirements and penalties. Some Republicans said the White House was trying to help Democrats by postponing the changes until after the midterm elections, but others saw no gain for Democrats either way.
“Despite delays and missed deadlines, administration officials had repeatedly testified before Congress that they were still on schedule to implement the law,” said Representative Fred Upton, Republican of Michigan, the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee.
“It’s clear we have no idea the full scope of delays and disarray that may be coming,” he added. “The American public deserves answers.” …
Inserted from <NY Times>
First, let’s not forget how this provision came to be. The version of the Affordable Care Act (AKA), aka ObamaCare that passed the house made the employer penalty a percentage of payroll for their uninsured employees. Republicans in the Senate balked and had it amended to the $2,000 per employee penalty. The employer mandate does not have enough teeth to make employers pay for health care. but it does serve as an incentive the them to reduce their full time payroll below 50. Frankly this provision should be taken out permanently. Almost all employees in 50-200 firms will quality for insuranse exchanges in January, except for those few that fall through a small gap in those states where Republicans have refused to accept federally financed Medicaid expansion.
Nearly half the nation’s states are opting not to expand Medicaid to all of their low-income residents, leaving billions of federal dollars on the table and millions of poor Americans uninsured.
At least 21 states are opting out of Medicaid expansion for next year. In another six states, legislators are still weighing their options, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, which is tracking the states’ plans.
The Supreme Court changed the Obamacare rules last June when it decided that governors and lawmakers could opt out of widening their Medicaid rosters. Under the original health-care reform law, all those earning less than 138% of the federal poverty line, or roughly $31,800 for a family of four, would have been eligible for Medicaid. Medicaid rules currently vary from state to state, but many states provide little to no coverage of childless, non-disabled and non-elderly adults.
A number of governors, particularly in red states, have stood their ideological ground and chosen not to expand, citing concerns about the additional financial burden. The federal government will pay for 100% of the expansion for the first three years, then gradually reduce its subsidy to 90% by 2020… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <WGAL>
This is the real scandal here. Governor Tom Corbett (R-PA) says that the reason he will not expand is that PA’s share, after the initial years, will be over $700 million. What he won’t tell you is that the cost to treat these same individuals in hospital emergency rooms will be many times that. He and Republicans like him are putting ideology over the needs of their citizens.
Chris Hayes and his panel covered the issue.
While very few people will be excluded because of delaying the employer mandate, millions will be excluded, because Republicans are willing to pay much more of their own taxpayers’ money to provide less care to fewer people. That is the bottom line here.
RepubliCare has a built in death benefit.
Pay or die!