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Ahead of 2014 midterms, Obama delays employer, insurer reporting for PPACA

ObamaCare regulations put in perspective. (Photo: U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell)President Barack Obama, facing ongoing criticism over requirements and regulations in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act commonly called ObamaCare, has decided to give de facto waivers to employers and insurers.

The administration announced on Tuesday a one year delay “before the ACA mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements begin.”

As terms of the bill have moved from the back room to the public arena, Democrats are likely concerned about midterm elections in 2014. More than a thousand waivers had already been given to corporations and labor union groups, even to such groups who lobbied aggressively for the bill’s passage.

Waivers prevented those with generous healthcare plans—many of them union workers—from having to pay taxes on those plans dubbed “Cadillac Plans” by the body politic.

The administration cited simplification of reporting requirements as one reason for the latest delay after reducing the original 21-page application for health insurance into a 3-page application.

Reporting standards will not be a challenge for large corporations, but for small businesses, those standards will be a costly, confusing burden. Most Democrats did not read the mammoth bill before voting for its passage by way of reconciliation manipulated by Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, Democrat from Nevada.

Reid’s home state got a waiver for parts of the bill, and in April, Politico reported there were “confidential talks about exempting lawmakers and Capitol Hill aides from the insurance exchanges they are mandated to join.”

Individuals will still be subject to the mandate, and they will still be subject to the penalty, now called a “tax,” if they do not prove they have acceptable health insurance when tax time rolls around.

Democrats have already repealed some of the taxes contained in the original bill, leaving ObamaCare underfunded. Waivers have also removed sizable sums of revenue Democrats claimed would help pay for the costly legislation.

(Commentary by Kay B. Day/July 3, 2013)

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