Another ObamaCare delay — and giveaway

posted at 9:51 pm on August 28, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Unlike some of the earlier delays, the latest deadline miss from HHS will not have too much impact on the rollout of ObamaCare — assuming it’s as easily resolved as HHS thinks.  Finalized agreements with the insurers competing in federal exchanges won’t be executed until a couple of weeks past the deadline, which may mean that some exchanges won’t be able to feature the plans at the October 1st deadline:

The Obama administration has delayed a step crucial to the launch of the new healthcare law, the signing of final agreements with insurance plans to be sold on federal health insurance exchanges starting October 1.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notified insurance companies on Tuesday that it would not sign final agreements with the plans between September 5 and 9, as originally anticipated, but would wait until mid-September instead, according to insurance industry sources. …

The reason for the hold-up was unclear. Sources attributed it to technology problems involving the display of insurance products within the federal information technology system.

Peters said only that the government was responding to “feedback” from the companies, “providing additional flexibility and time to handle technical requests.”

This isn’t postponing key enforcement provisions, as the White House has unilaterally decided to do with employer and insurer mandates, although it should. HHS has had more than three years to work out the requirements for exchanges with insurers, and the fact that they can’t execute the agreements nor feature the plan data properly should be big red flags about the readiness to enforce the individual mandate and pay out the subsidies.  With other parts of the system non-functional, such as bilingual services and income verification, this is just another reminder that ObamaCare exchanges are going to short consumers on information and informed plan choice required by the mandate, as well as put them at risk for identity theft.

The news isn’t all bad this week.  Reuters reported yesterday (through Newsmax) that one key constituency won’t have to worry about the mandates in ObamaCare …. the unions:

Backers of the law say that, unlike the employer mandate, the individual mandate is essential to ensure enough individuals are enrolled in the system to allow the online marketplaces to function.

The rules announced on Tuesday offered good news to employees getting health coverage through a union-sponsored plan. They clarify that these employees will not be penalized, said tax lawyers who reviewed the rules on Tuesday.

Many union plans didn’t meet the requirements of the ACA, either offering too little coverage, or more often, too much — making them “Cadillac plans” subject to penalties.  While this blurb is a bit vague, it appears that HHS has taken the heat off of the unions by deciding not to enforce those mandate requirements on union plans.  It’s not clear whether this addresses the other union demand to make those in these plans eligible for federal health-insurance subsidies. If not, and it doesn’t seem to mean that from Reuters’ reporting, then the AFL-CIO complaint that employees will bail out of their plans to go into the exchanges still looks like a real problem for unions that derive plenty of income from their insurance plans.

The other issue that has unions belatedly balking at ObamaCare is the erosion of full-time work.  Frobes’ Grace-Marie Turner argued yesterday that this was a real problem, corroborated by real data and not just anecdotes, and explains why delaying the employer mandate didn’t make a bit of difference:

Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that the ratio of part-time to full-time jobs has completely flipped this year from historical trends.  Last year, six full-time jobs were created for every one part time job.  This year, only one full-time job is being created for every four new part-time jobs.

The shift to part-time has accelerated over the past several months because of the “look back” provision in ObamaCare that sets the baseline this year for the number of full-time workers a company employs to determine their compliance with the employer pay-or-play mandate.

The administration may have been trying to stop the damage when it announced in July it would delay for a year the reporting requirements for the health law’s employer mandate – the requirement that businesses with 50 or more employees provide health coverage that is acceptable to the government or pay a fine of $2,000 to $3,000 per employee per year.

The statute is very clear that the employer mandate is to take effect on January 1, 2014, not a year later as the White House now has directed.  The House of Representatives was more than happy to give the administration legal authority to delay the employer mandate and passed legislation in July to make the delay legal.  But, astonishingly, the president vowed to veto the legislation if it were to reach his desk – which it will not because Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid will not bring it up for a vote.  The president would rather rewrite the law by administrative edict instead of following the Constitutional route of asking Congress to change it.

The damage is real, and the one-year delay is unlikely to have a significant impact on hiring.  Businesses are not going to hire full-time workers for year or less only to have to fire them next year.

Delaying the enforcement doesn’t change the “look-back” time frame at all.  Obama would have to change the statute to do that — as he should have done with the mandate deadline as well.  Businesses clearly aren’t taking any chances, and as Turner writes, they aren’t going to create full-time jobs this year just to lay people off next year.

Addendum: Be sure to read Paul Hsieh’s analysis of how ObamaCare values a human life.


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What a dick..

Electrongod on August 28, 2013 at 9:53 PM

Ditto EG!

Evening

CoffeeLover on August 28, 2013 at 9:55 PM

CoffeeLover on August 28, 2013 at 9:55 PM

How are you doin’?

Electrongod on August 28, 2013 at 9:57 PM

Anyone else watching Outdoor Channel?

davidk on August 28, 2013 at 9:58 PM

pretty good thanks. And you? Remember my advice…one step/one day at a time?

I am kinda sorta anxious over this Syria thing.

CoffeeLover on August 28, 2013 at 9:59 PM

The rules announced on Tuesday offered good news to employees getting health coverage through a union-sponsored plan. They clarify that these employees will not be penalized, said tax lawyers who reviewed the rules on Tuesday.

Libfree, explain please. Seriously, explain this.

Bishop on August 28, 2013 at 9:59 PM

Oboehnercare.

davidk on August 28, 2013 at 10:02 PM

Anyone else watching Outdoor Channel?

davidk on August 28, 2013 at 9:58 PM

No..

Is Obama on there too?

Electrongod on August 28, 2013 at 10:02 PM

I’m still astounded that media and the GOP ignore this constant flouting of the law!

PattyJ on August 28, 2013 at 10:03 PM

…Ed don’t sleep!

KOOLAID2 on August 28, 2013 at 10:04 PM

Electrongod on August 28, 2013 at 10:02 PM

LOL

CoffeeLover on August 28, 2013 at 10:04 PM

CoffeeLover on August 28, 2013 at 10:04 PM

Any particular style of coffee you like?

O/T..
Of course…

Electrongod on August 28, 2013 at 10:06 PM

The president would rather rewrite the law by administrative edict instead of following the Constitutional route of asking Congress to change it.

…thank you…Justice Roberts!

KOOLAID2 on August 28, 2013 at 10:06 PM

Just scrap this boondoggle already. Single Payer Is The Goal. America, Americans wake your sorry asses up!

Bmore on August 28, 2013 at 10:06 PM

KOOLAID2 on August 28, 2013 at 10:06 PM

KOOLAID2!!!!!

Electrongod on August 28, 2013 at 10:06 PM

EG just the old-fashioned regular kind. Cream no sugar LOL Do you drink it?

Bmore…that was the plan all along. I remember early on the Ds were p*ss*ng and moaning about it not being single payer. Read that O assured them it was okay…they went mostly silent after that.

CoffeeLover on August 28, 2013 at 10:09 PM

Dang Ed, long day or what? Please tell me you aren’t stuck doing QOTD too. You gotta be worn the heII out. ; )

Bmore on August 28, 2013 at 10:10 PM

CoffeeLover on August 28, 2013 at 10:09 PM

Yep, almost makes the cynic believe it was designed just fail.

Bmore on August 28, 2013 at 10:11 PM

CoffeeLover on August 28, 2013 at 10:09 PM

:)

For some reason.,..
I knew that…

Electrongod on August 28, 2013 at 10:12 PM

The House of Representatives was more than happy to give the administration legal authority to delay the employer mandate and passed legislation in July to make the delay legal. But, astonishingly, the president vowed to veto the legislation if it were to reach his desk – which it will not because Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid will not bring it up for a vote.

It’s almost as if the Democrats will do anything to keep Republicans from getting any credit for anything – even if they’re giving the dems what they want.

Or it’s just knee-jerk “do the opposite”, or something. I mean really, it’s almost like a temper tantrum. Of course, compromise to them is Republicans doing what they want, when they want it.

Jeff Weimer on August 28, 2013 at 10:12 PM

r LOL Do you drink it?

CoffeeLover on August 28, 2013 at 10:09 PM

I am a coffee expert.,.

[I like to think so]

Black and strong…

Electrongod on August 28, 2013 at 10:14 PM

Bmore….color me cynical!!!

EG…LOL No idea how you figured that out. I dislike Starbucks with a passion. DD when I’m out. When I want to live dangerously…hazelnut creamer :)

CoffeeLover on August 28, 2013 at 10:14 PM

Why on earth did we choose to ruin the finest health care and delivery system on earth? Never mind I already know. Argh.

Bmore on August 28, 2013 at 10:15 PM

While this blurb is a bit vague, it appears that HHS has taken the heat off of the unions by deciding not to enforce those mandate requirements on union plans.

This statement makes me want to type at least half a dozen things that would get me banned from Hot Air.

I’ll mention lotion, and I’ll mention . . . conflict. Most of my comments would involve one or the other.

Axe on August 28, 2013 at 10:15 PM

Libfree, explain please. Seriously, explain this.

Bishop on August 28, 2013 at 9:59 PM

Liberals can only identify cronyism when Republicans do it. Now if this was Bush, you wouldn’t have even had to ask. He would have had a Bishop with a severe admonishment for the president protecting his special interest groups.

smoothsailing on August 28, 2013 at 10:17 PM

Axe…nicely unsaid but said!

CoffeeLover on August 28, 2013 at 10:17 PM

Total disaster … Republicans will get blamed.

Karmi on August 28, 2013 at 10:19 PM

EG…LOL No idea how you figured that out. I dislike Starbucks with a passion. DD when I’m out. When I want to live dangerously…hazelnut creamer :)

CoffeeLover on August 28, 2013 at 10:14 PM

Now that we are on this subject…

I have a coffee maker that brews in 4 minutes or less and isn’t a bunn..
But then it died….
It is still alive today…

Electrongod on August 28, 2013 at 10:19 PM

Black and strong…

Electrongod on August 28, 2013 at 10:14 PM

You like your coffee like you like your women? :)

I like my coffee like I like my women. Er . . . in a cup . . . um . . . with some sugar and coffee creamer stirred in there, and . . . um . . . fresh, not burnt . . .

Hm. Harder than it seems. Yours was a lot better. :)

Axe on August 28, 2013 at 10:20 PM

Where is the opposition? What are the party of R’s doing to stop this monstrosity? Not nearly enough. Primary them all! Kick the bums to the curb. Start over. Term limits and screw the Supreme Court. Why not? 0 does, right?

Bmore on August 28, 2013 at 10:20 PM

But..but…but we can’t fight Obozo over his mandate, says McConnell & Boehner. F them all.

SouthernGent on August 28, 2013 at 10:21 PM

lol @Axe and EG :)

Bmore I am on the same page you are. I am disgusted with the Republican Party.

CoffeeLover on August 28, 2013 at 10:22 PM

I like my coffee to be like my women too, tied up and kept in a shack out in the woo….I mean…uh….

Bishop on August 28, 2013 at 10:23 PM

Axe on August 28, 2013 at 10:20 PM

LOL..

I can remember by wife leaving a note beside the thermos.

“At your own risk..”

Electrongod on August 28, 2013 at 10:23 PM

Bishop on August 28, 2013 at 10:23 PM

:)

Electrongod on August 28, 2013 at 10:24 PM

Karmi on August 28, 2013 at 10:19 PM

How’s the manatee poaching business going there Karmi. Or is it kaltes? Hit on any 14 year old girls yet this evening have ya?

Bmore on August 28, 2013 at 10:25 PM

lol Bishop

CoffeeLover on August 28, 2013 at 10:25 PM

“At your own risk..”

Electrongod on August 28, 2013 at 10:23 PM

:) –lol

Axe on August 28, 2013 at 10:26 PM

Well at least today they announced where the administration gets it’s smarts from: Mini-Brains

Limerick on August 28, 2013 at 10:29 PM

Bmore on August 28, 2013 at 10:25 PM

Are you stalking me? BTW, that post is off topic…maybe you should read the rules here.

Karmi on August 28, 2013 at 10:34 PM

Well?

Bmore on August 28, 2013 at 10:34 PM

Instead of entering silly videos in “contests”, American Crossroads ought to be daily demanding that Boehner, Cantor, McCarthy explain why they are simply rolling over or cowering in the corner….I’m not sure which.

I want to know why we aren’t seeing any columns in WSJ or Forbes from these guys, asking any of the dozen questions that need to be asked…or answering questions that their voters are asking

…e.g., why are union members given this break and not others…what is their plan for stopping this monstrosity…

Those three…or even Paul “I’ll debate anyone who says it’s amnesty” Ryan should have daily editorial columns in WSJ, in Forbes, Business Insider explaining the egregious flaws in this bill, the favoritism that’s rampant

…and that latter is so easy…this administration talks about “fairness” but when push comes to shove, they only mean “fairness for the people that give us money…”

Instead…silence…They owe it to the people who put them there to speak out…instead of worrying about the this silly “dreamer fairness” nonsense.

EastofEden on August 28, 2013 at 10:36 PM

Are you stalking me? BTW, that post is off topic…maybe you should read the rules here.

Karmi on August 28, 2013 at 10:34 PM

Allow me. OT. Thought since you cowered away from the other thread you might want to take it up here. I’ll be all to happy to meet you back over there.

Bmore on August 28, 2013 at 10:36 PM

Where is the opposition? What are the party of R’s doing to stop this monstrosity? Not nearly enough. Primary them all! Kick the bums to the curb. Start over. Term limits and screw the Supreme Court. Why not? 0 does, right?

Bmore on August 28, 2013 at 10:20 PM

Excellent post. Well said, indeed. :)

thatsafactjack on August 28, 2013 at 10:37 PM

hi thatsafactjack!!!

CoffeeLover on August 28, 2013 at 10:38 PM

Bmore on August 28, 2013 at 10:36 PM

You were off topic there also. Please read the rules and stop harassing me.

Karmi on August 28, 2013 at 10:39 PM

CoffeeLover on August 28, 2013 at 10:38 PM

Good evening, CoffeeLover. :) So good to see you.:)

thatsafactjack on August 28, 2013 at 10:41 PM

Karmi on August 28, 2013 at 10:39 PM

Karmi I follow the rules. You linked your nom to your blog where you have bragged about killing and poaching manatee. yes? You tried to defend the raping of a 14 year old girl, yes? When the heII did you become so concerned about rules Karmi? For your own convenience?

Bmore on August 28, 2013 at 10:42 PM

thatsafactjack on August 28, 2013 at 10:41 PM

You too.

CoffeeLover on August 28, 2013 at 10:42 PM

thatsafactjack on August 28, 2013 at 10:37 PM

Just a second please Jackie.

Bmore on August 28, 2013 at 10:42 PM

Bmore on August 28, 2013 at 10:42 PM

Again, OT and harassment.

Karmi on August 28, 2013 at 10:43 PM

Bmore on August 28, 2013 at 10:42 PM

No problem, Bmore. I didn’t realize you were dealing with …that.

thatsafactjack on August 28, 2013 at 10:44 PM

The president would rather rewrite the law by administrative edict instead of following the Constitutional route of asking Congress to change it.

…thank you…Justice Roberts!

KOOLAID2 on August 28, 2013 at 10:06 PM

He can’t have Congress thinking they can write legislation, imagine where that might lead!

slickwillie2001 on August 28, 2013 at 10:50 PM

That’s just rich coming from you Karmi. Fine I’ll desist. Your a coward.

Bmore on August 28, 2013 at 10:51 PM

thatsafactjack on August 28, 2013 at 10:44 PM

How you doing Jackie? Thanks, not nearly as eloquent as you. ; )

Bmore on August 28, 2013 at 10:52 PM

I doubt that private industry Unions understand that their leftist/socialist agenda disguised as worker’s betterment means the end of private unions. This realization finally hit home in Germany 10 years ago. As businesses flee union outrageous demands, the void is filled by welfare and government employees. The latter, unionized to the hilt, have already become mere puppets of socialist politicians, able to move policy a bit, but only as approved and often as the politician wishes. Soon they will be slaves as the money runs out and pensions are held hostage. Thus is France.

pat on August 28, 2013 at 10:53 PM

Delaying the insurance agreements have to do with risk assessments. None of the insurers knows what the pool of members is going to look like. This delay allows them time to have the actuaries give a broad assessment of risk and choose correct pricing.

ArkyDore on August 28, 2013 at 10:56 PM

Karmi on August 28, 2013 at 10:43 PM

If you are going to make the kinds of posts you make you need to grow a thicker skin. Nobody here gives a flying hoot about your tears or cries of harassment.

chemman on August 29, 2013 at 1:22 AM

cripe….

what a bloody boondoggle….

own it dear leader/dems/lsm

cmsinaz on August 29, 2013 at 6:25 AM

The rules announced on Tuesday offered good news to employees getting health coverage through a union-sponsored plan. They clarify that these employees will not be penalized, said tax lawyers who reviewed the rules on Tuesday.

This is lawlessness. Absolute lawlessness. The whole law is nothing but a joke today.

JellyToast on August 29, 2013 at 6:31 AM

What an incompetent boob.

I wonder who dresses him in the morning.

avagreen on August 29, 2013 at 6:41 AM

Full repeal is the answer. Never was a healthcare “crisis” in the first place. Every Dem who voted for the mess, needs to go.

Amazingoly on August 29, 2013 at 7:30 AM

Guys/Gals, laws, like the Constitution, are living and fluid! You can make it whatever you need to to be, sorta like Play-Doh, only when you make something it ruins at least half the population of the US!

I suggest everyone start setting aside cash, that way when you need to bribe/buy a doctor, you will be ahead of the curve.

Gatsu on August 29, 2013 at 7:43 AM

I get the feeling that this monster will be continually “evolving” until it mutates enough to destroy us all. Blatant political pandering in the HHS mandate. I keep hoping we’ll wake up and it will have all been a bad dream.

JetBoy on August 29, 2013 at 8:18 AM

Ed,
I think You buried the lede here. I think I would have kicked off with the unions, then go for the HHS contract issue.

matthew26 on August 29, 2013 at 8:29 AM

Delaying the insurance agreements have to do with risk assessments. None of the insurers knows what the pool of members is going to look like. This delay allows them time to have the actuaries give a broad assessment of risk and choose correct pricing.

ArkyDore on August 28, 2013 at 10:56 PM

Actually incorrect. When was the last time you talked to an insurance actuary – and if you did they will need to be fired.

The insurance actuaries have essentially been made obsolete. You cannot do regular underwriting as we historically know it in the exchange system. Rates are set based upon the value of benefits, less allowed administrative expenses, across the cost sharing matrix – bronze, silver, gold, platinum.

Since they don’t know their applicants yet – they are just taking a shot at it – next year, the costs for the plans will either a) go through the roof or b) be held somewhat in check by narrowing the network access where you will have to drive a long way to reach a provider.

Zomcon JEM on August 29, 2013 at 9:20 AM

I like my coffee to be like my women too, tied up and kept in a shack out in the woo….I mean…uh….

Me, I like them like I like my raisin bread… toasted, with a little butter.

Dirty Creature on August 29, 2013 at 10:09 AM

“The people of the United States are more prosperous than the inhabitants of all other countries because their government embarked later than the governments in other parts of the world upon the policy of obstructing business.” -Luwig von Mises

Akzed on August 29, 2013 at 10:11 AM

libfree hit ‘n run again? Someone pls ping me when he answers. I’m sittin’ on the edge of my seat here, people.

Tsar of Earth on August 29, 2013 at 10:29 AM