President Barack Obama has been crowing about the historic accomplishment that is Obamacare since the day he signed it, but it’s been all delays since then.
This week brought the second employer mandate delay. So far, at least ten key provisions of Obamacare have been delayed — some twice — and many more have been technical disasters. Deadlines have been pushed back and enforcement measures have been delayed until 2015 or beyond all without congressional approval.
Here’s The Daily Caller News Foundation’s list.
1 ) Employer Mandate: Delayed for one year, twice
First, it was delayed a year for everyone; now there’s another year extension for just mid-size businesses. The Treasury Department announced before the July 4 holiday that they’d wait until 2015 enforce the requirement for all employers with 50 full-time employees to provide health coverage. As of Monday, enforcement’s pushed back another year for businesses with fewer than 100 employees, leaving the Obama administration to begin enforcing the mandate for everyone in 2016 — right before the presidential election.
2) Equal coverage across differently-ranked employees: Delayed indefinitely
Obamacare prohibits employers from providing cushier healthcare benefits to top execs while offering less valuable plans to the lowest staff in the office hierarchy. The IRS was supposed to issue regulations for businesses to follow by December 2010, but delayed enforcement because, frankly, it’s having trouble just defining what “discrimination” in health benefits even means.
3) Online SHOP enrollment: Delayed one year
If you thought HealthCare.gov was bad, imagine what would have happened had the Obama administration launched its second online exchange in October as well. The Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP exchange, was supposed to launch the same day as HealthCare.gov, but was delayed amid HealthCare.gov’s breakdown until November 2014. Until then, businesses must go to insurance brokers or agents to file paper applications.
4) Spanish-language HealthCare.gov, CuidadoDeSalud.gov: Delayed two months
After launching in December, two months after online enrollment was promised, CuidadoDeSalud.gov received heavy criticism from Spanish leaders and potential customers deriding the site’s language as “Spanglish” and the Associated Press suggested it “must have been computer-generated.” The White House denied the claims.
5) 2015 open-enrollment period for exchanges: Delayed one month
While one month might not seem like much, the timing of this delay makes it especially suspect. The period to sign up for 2015 Obamacare coverage is supposed to start October 15, 2014, but was delayed until November 15. The one-month push, purportedly meant to give insurers more time to evaluate the exchanges, means the second enrollment period (and any remaining glitches that come along with it) conveniently won’t start until after the midterm elections have passed.
6) Enrollment deadline for January 1 coverage: Delayed several days
In one of its more panicky moves, the Obama administration repeatedly pushed back the final date to sign up on HealthCare.gov in order to have coverage on January 1 earlier this year. The first deadline was December 15, which was extended to December 23; and just the weekend before, the administration decided to push the deadline back another day to cram as many enrollments in as possible.
7) Enrollment deadline for April 1, 2014 coverage: Delayed six weeks
At the height of HealthCare.gov’s dysfunction, the Obama administration delayed the deadline to sign up for coverage for April 1 — the deadline for Americans to have health coverage or incur the penalty. As the regulations were written, mid-February was the deadline; but amid HealthCare.gov’s breakdown, the final enrollment day for April 1 coverage was pushed back. The White House denied that the extension was related to HealthCare.gov’s technical problems.
8) Enrollment deadline for Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan: Delayed twice, 2.5 months
The PCIP program was meant to be a stopgap for consumers with pre-existing conditions until Obamacare went live, with a deadline of December 31 last year. First, the Obama administration extended the plan just one month, then in mid-January it pushed the deadline back again until March 15 in order to “smooth consumers’ transition” into Obamacare coverage.
9) Cutoff for plans without essential benefits: Delayed one year — sort of
In response to backlash over at least 4.7 million canceled health plans, Obama allowed states and companies to extend the cutoff for the plans, which didn’t provide Obamacare’s mandated essential benefits. Though the White House attempted to minimize Obamacare’s damage, at least 22 states and several insurers rejected the change. Reports have emerged this year suggesting the administration is considering allowing the plans to continue another three years.
10) Individual mandate exemption for Americans with canceled plans: Delayed 1 year
Several weeks after Obama’s attempt to extend canceled plans was largely thwarted by states and insurers rejecting the delay, the Obama administration delayed the individual mandate for 2014 for those individuals whose health coverage was shut down by Obamacare. These consumers were given a “hardship exemption” and allowed to purchase catastrophic insurance as well.
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