Ezra Klein: Repeal the Obamacare employer mandate

Elizabeth Dorton Contributor
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Ezra Klein, the liberal blogger behind The Washington Post’s “Wonkblog,” would like to see the Obamacare employer mandate repealed, he wrote Tuesday evening.

Under the health-care reform bill, employers with more than 50 full time employees who either don’t offer coverage or who employ workers that can’t afford health insurance without taxpayers’ help will be monetarily penalized.

The administration was scheduled to start doling out the penalties in 2014, but has now delayed the employer mandate until 2015 — after the midterm elections.

Klein says the policy is “one of the worst ideas in recent memory.”

The problem is that there is a clear incentive for employers to avoid hiring workers from low-income families, Klein writes.

Also, the mandate compels companies to avoid hiring over 50 full-time employees, Klein says.

“By tying the penalties to how many full-time workers an employer has, and how many of them qualify for subsidies, the mandate gives employers a reason to have fewer full-time workers, and fewer low-income workers.”

Klein concludes by saying that the mandate should be repealed.

“As written, the employer mandate probably shouldn’t go into effect in 2014, or 2015, or ever.”

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