Via Daily Mail:
A Treasury Department official who declined to be named confirmed to MailOnline on Tuesday that the Obama administration will not begin enforcing employer mandates in the Obamacare law until 2015 – one year later than originally planned – and pinned that change of direction on a combination of politics and economic realities in the marketplace.
Mark Mazur, the Assistant Treasury Secretary for Tax Policy, announced on the agency’s blog that the administration ‘will provide an additional year before the … mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements begin.’
The blog postexplained that the delay was intended to leave time to simplify reporting requirements and give companies time to adapt.
But the Treasury source said the extra year will give the White House an extra year to persuade health insurers to participate in the exchanges that make up the backbone of the Affordable Care Act.
The revised timetable, the source added, will also push back the final implementation of Obamacare’s penalties past the 2014 midterm elections, providing Republicans fewer chances to highlight the law’s potentially harmful effects on businesses’ bottom lines.
The Obama administration’s new schedule means business won’t be penalized immediately for failing to enroll all their workers in health plans and report the results to the federal government, Bloomberg News was first to report.
The U.S. Supreme Court green-lighted Obamacare in June 2012 on the basis of Chief Justice John Roberts’ decision to treat the law’s penalties as ‘taxes,’ but now those taxes won’t be levied on businesses for another year
The Affordable Care Act includes financial penalties on companies that fail to comply if they employe 50 or more people. The Treasury Department is involved because the Internal Revenue Service, a Treasury sub-agency, will be tasked with enforcing the law and assessing those penalties.
‘Obamacare is a flawed law,’ Republican National Committee Deputy Press Secretary Raffi Williams told MailOnline. ‘It has been from day one and continues to be one now.’
‘This latest announcement is just another sign that the president and his administration are afraid of the havoc that this imperfect law will wreak on everyday Americans.’
Meet the tax man: Assistant Treasury Secretary for Tax Policy Mark Mazur (R) announced Tuesday that the government will delay penalizing companies that don’t comply with Obamacare
Politico noted that Tuesday’s pivot from the White House will not affect the so-called ‘individual mandate,’ which will require most Americans to be insured. It also won’t delay the scheduled October rollout of health care marketplaces, called exchanges, set up to help taxpayers and companies find coverage that satisfies the Obamacare law.
The administration has been on a full-court press in California, Texas and Florida, enlisting the help of Hispanic advocacy groups and Spanish-language media networks to encourage enrollment in advance of the autumn start date.
The Treasury Department said it expects to publish regulatory rules in one week that will formalize the new 2015 enforcement deadline for companies.