Obamacare Penalties Further Delayed

On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act into law, marking the most significant overhaul of health care regulation since Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. Obamacare does not intend to replace Medicare or Medicaid, does not eliminate private insurance, and will implement 21 new taxes to offset its costs. Luckily for business owners, the implementation of the mandate has been put off yet again. Most employers won't face a fine next year if they fail to offer workers health insurance, but in light of the pressure on the Obama administration to peel back the law's insurance requirements from employers, the Treasury Department said employers with 50 to 99 full-time workers won't have to comply with the law's requirement to provide insurance or pay a fee until 2016.

Thus far, the health-law mandate rollout has been a joke. The publishing of the website itself has been a dysfunctional disaster, let alone the ongoing struggle for any progressive policy in a polarized Congress. Employers ultimately drive the success of our nation's economy due to their labor demands and production of goods and services, and many have been "pretty pleasantly astounded" with the administration for giving them the flexibility they sought by delaying implementation. Many of the companies that don't cover workers are lower-wage, smaller employers concentrated in the hospitality, retail and agricultural sectors. Some have begun trimming workers' hours to reduce firms' exposure to penalties. The Obamacare penalties on these employers would further increase their expenditure and could decrease hiring into the future. With unemployment where it is and the Fed tapering slowing US equity growth, perhaps it is for the best that the health care penalties have been delayed.

-Nicholas Kodati