Green Room

List: All the president’s Obamacare delays

posted at 11:39 am on February 13, 2014 by

The New York Times compiles a roster of unilateral postponements and alterations to the ‘Affordable’ Care Act, including the following low-lights:

SPRING 2013- Delays for one year the option to provide workers with a choice of health plans on the small business marketplace, limiting them to a single plan.

JUL 2 – Announces a one-year delay in the requirement that larger businesses offer health coverage to their employees or face a penalty.

NOV. 14 – Asks insurers to reinstate plans being canceled because they do not comply with minimum coverage requirements of the law.

DEC. 19 – Announces that people whose policies have been canceled will be allowed to buy catastrophic coverage and will be exempt from tax penalties for not having insurance in 2014.

FEB. 10, 2014 – For employers with between 50 and 99 employees, delays for another year (until 2016) the requirement that they offer health coverage to their employees or face a penalty. Temporarily reduces the percentage of employees that larger companies are required to cover.

Click through for the complete list, which…isn’t quite complete.  Off the top of my head, I came up with two additional (and fairly substantial) items the Times didn’t include:  (1) The decision to delay the law’s subsidy-eligibility verification enforcement standards through at least 2015, and (2) the move to waive caps on out-of-pocket costs, such as co-pays and deductibles, for one year.  I’m sure the Times omitted other examples , too — although in fairness to them, it’s genuinely hard to keep up with the endless parade of changes.  Last July, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius compared opponents of Obamacare to segregationists in a repulsive speech to the NAACP:

“The Affordable Care Act is the most powerful law for reducing health disparities since Medicare and Medicaid were created in 1965, the same year the Voting Rights Act was also enacted,” Sebelius said. “That significance hits especially close to home. My father was a congressman from Cincinnati who voted for each of those critical civil rights laws, and who represented a district near where the late Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth lived and preached.The same arguments against change, the same fear and misinformation that opponents used then are the same ones opponents are spreading now. ‘This won’t work,’ ‘Slow down,’ ‘Let’s wait,’ they say…”

Does the president’s series of “slow down” and “let’s wait” delays remind Sebelius of Bull Connor?  Of course not.  She’s just an incompetent, race-baiting, partisan hack.

UPDATE – Two more: Shifting standards for navigator training (yes, these navigators), and a new three-year “fix” in the offing.  Fox Business’ timeline counts 28 delays.

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…nice…that you can delay a law!

KOOLAID2 on February 13, 2014 at 11:52 AM

The rule change for employers with 100+ employees could be a ticking time bomb for the Dems. According to Census data, roughly 113 million people work for such companies. Kaiser data show that about 95% of those companies offer health insurance plans with employer subsidy.

The rule change means these companies only need to cover 70% of their employees to comply with the mandate, meaning as many as 30% of people who currently have coverage through their jobs are at risk of losing it, and the decisions to make changes to benefit packages will be made in summer and fall of this year. Business is forward-looking, and will need to negotiate plans with insurers and prepare for 2015 compliance months in advance.

Do the math. 30% x 113 million x 95% coverage rate = 32.2 million people who could learn that despite having a plan they liked, they won’t get to keep it. Just in time for the 2014 midterms…

Conservative Mischief on February 13, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Has anyone ever pointed out that Sebelius’ maiden name is Gilligan? No wonder she screws everything up!!

Deano1952 on February 13, 2014 at 11:57 AM


Sachiko on February 13, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Well, in their defense, they probably still haven’t read it, so what’s an unconstitutional executive-edit to legislation…or two…or twenty-eight…between friends, eh?


xNavigator on February 13, 2014 at 5:54 PM

This list was published in the Slimes? What, do they want to go jail?

Ward Cleaver on February 13, 2014 at 6:28 PM