Tags: Obamacare | Delay | Winners | Losers

Fiscal Times: Obamacare Delay Creates New Winners, Losers

By John Morgan   |   Saturday, 06 Jul 2013 11:06 AM

Now that the White House has accepted the reality that Obamacare’s Affordable Care Act is not ready for full implementation, the chess board has changed for a sprawling set of economic and political players.

The result is a clear set of new winners and losers for Obamacare, according to The Fiscal Times, a digital news, opinion and media service.

The crux of the delay is a White House decision to postpone for a year, until 2015, the mandate that businesses with more than 50 employees offer health insurance to full-time employees or pay a $2,000 per-worker government penalty.

The winners in that postponement, according to The Fiscal Times, are medium-size businesses, Republicans and the U.S. economy.

Editor's Note: ObamaCare Secrets Revealed

Businesses and trade associations complained Obamacare presented too many burdensome reporting requirements and confusion about rules that still have not been finalized.

“The government’s not ready, employers aren’t ready, the exchanges aren’t ready, and businesses aren’t ready,” William Dunkelberg, chief economist at the National Federation of Independent Businesses, told The Fiscal Times.

The delay fits a GOP contention that the health law, which passed Congress in the first place without a single Republican vote, is too unwieldy and will harm the economic recovery.

According to the Times, the delay also means Obamacare is less likely to get in the way this fall just as the White House and Congress are trying to sort out an agreement, viewed as crucial for the economy, on the budget and debt ceiling.

The losers in the Obamacare delay are Congress, the health law’s individual mandate and President Obama, the Times reported.

Michael F. Cannon, a health-care expert at the Cato Institute, noted the administration acted unilaterally to delay the employer mandate, even though the health act is statutory since it was passed by Congress.

Meanwhile, the individual mandate that Americans have health insurance remains in effect, even while businesses have been let off the hook, and both enforcement and many state exchanges are still not ready, the Times said.

“Health care reform is the president’s signature accomplishment. Without it, his list of accomplishments is alarmingly short,” the Times concluded.

Bloomberg reported the delay was welcomed by economists, who viewed uncertainty over the law as harming employment.

“I see this as a reason to take a pretty big sigh of relief for the near-term economic outlook,” said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Stamford, Connecticut-based Pierpont Securities LLC. “There were a lot of firms that probably were just not doing anything because they had no clarity on what labor costs were going to be next year.”

Editor's Note: ObamaCare Secrets Revealed

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