Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer sounded the death knell for Obamacare’s employer mandate Monday night, calling the White House’s explanation that the latest delay is all about proper timing “a farce” and claiming they will eventually “have to cancel” the mandate altogether.
On Monday afternoon the Obama administration announced yet another delay to the employer mandate — the portion of Obamacare requiring businesses with more than 50 employees to provide them with health insurance, which was already delayed for a year last summer (RELATED: Obama admin announces ANOTHER employer mandate delay). The White House explained that the botched rollout and complicated transition meant that employers needed more time to wrap their heads around the new rules.
Krauthammer didn’t buy a bit of it. “The whole idea here that the administration is trying to promote — that it’s a timing issue, we’ve got to ease them into this — is a farce,” he said, speaking on Fox News’s “Special Report” Monday, along with National Journal reporter Ron Fournier and Fortune Magazine reporter Nina Easton. “It’s the substance of it. They’re getting tremendous complaints from small businesses that they can’t do this. It will destroy their business.”
“And that’s why there’s a delay,” he explained. “It’s a political delay. But in the end, they’re going to have to decide: in or out. I think in the end, they’re going to decide they’re going to have to cancel it, because there’s no way it’s not going to increase joblessness on top of the 2 million that will already be leaving on their own.”
Krauthammer was referencing last week’s non-partisan CBO report, which estimated 2 to 2.5 million people would voluntarily leave the workforce due to their ability to receive government-subsidized healthcare.
Fournier, often an apologist for the White House on healthcare, was at a loss. “As someone who has said that I want this to work, I could be charitable and say that a law like this, you need flexibility to implement it and at the end of the day, the Republicans are playing politics with it,” he began. “The problem is, this thing is getting as flexible as Gumby. And if you keep stretching it, it’s gonna break.”
“And secondly, they’re playing politics here,” he continued. “I happen to agree with Charles. This is more about the midterm election than anything else. They want to push this thing off because they know it’s coming down the road. And it’s not the only uncomfortable, tough thing they have to deal with to transform one-fifth of the economy. They’re doing a miserable job implementing it, and I think they’re on the brink of ruining the ability to insure these people.”
Host Bret Baier asked whether the delay will truly help vulnerable, red-state Democrats up for reelection this November. “What would help is if the law was working!” Fournier responded. “But it might hurt less if you can push off some of the pain. But there’s still going to be a lot of pain coming down the path.”
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