White House spokesman Jay Carney defended sudden delays of provisions of the controversial Obamacare law in a press conference Monday, saying “We are flexible, because that is the right thing to do and to be.”
Carney was responding to GOP criticism of recent delays in the implementation of the 2010 Obamacare law.
Last Tuesday, administration officials said they would delay a rule requiring companies to tell the government if they are providing health care insurance to their employees for one year.
On Friday, officials also rolled back rules intended to curb fraud that could result if employees with company insurance programs also apply for federal subsidies.
“The fact is that 96 percent of employers, roughly, already provide insurance, and numerous experts agree on this matter, that the decision to postpone implementation of this provision… will have no significant impact,” Carney said of the employer mandate.
He also downplayed the scale of the rollback: “When you talk about delay of the employer responsibility provision, that affects about 4 percent of employers with more than fifty workers,” Carney insisted.
The press secretary said the successes of the Affordable Care Act have already driven competition by creating new marketplaces.
“The creation of these marketplaces is adding competition and, therefore, a positive impact, a downward impact, on costs in many cases, because that’s what competition can do,” he said
He added that the roll out of the massive program is on track for starting in October, when people will be allowed to buy insurance on government-run “marketplaces.”
“We’re interested in getting it right, because we believe that getting it right will further the benefits that will be available to more and more Americans as the Affordable Care Act is implemented,”