Saturday, July 6, 2013

A few thoughts on the ObamaCare mandate delay

We touched on the subject delay a few days ago but wanted to address it more fully here.

In the ultimate pre-holiday news dump, the Obama administration announced on Wednesday, July 3rd, they would delay implementing the ObamaCare employer mandate by one year. This was the provision of the law whereby businesses of over 50 full-time employees would be required to offer health care plans of the feds liking or be forced to cough up a $2,000/employee fine tax if they declined to do so.

The stated reason for the delay is that the administration couldn't figure out a way to implement the reporting requirements for the effected businesses. Going on 3-1/2 years after the law was passed and they still need another year to figure out how to work one of the key provisions of the law. In Washington D.C. this is known as the “Continuing to Implement the ACA in a Careful, Thoughtful Manner.” In Placentia, California, this is known as "incompetence".

It is duly noted that the individual mandate is still in effect. The individual mandate that will effect young healthy voters that supported the President by overwhelming numbers in both of the last two presidential elections. So, yes, Millennials, the President caved to Big Business interests but you, however, are still on the hook for this miserable law.

It is also duly noted that this delay "helps" move this issue past the midterms so you would be correct in assuming there was a large political consideration at play in this decision. More on this in a moment.

At this point you may be asking, "Hey, Wait a minute. Wasn't Team O counting on that revenue from big businesses to help subsidize low-income workers and the previously un-insured. They sure were. In fact, the CBO estimates the one-year delay will cost ObamaCare $10 billion that would otherwise go to those subsidies.

It has not yet been explained from where or what is going to make up that revenue shortfall but since the middle class is going to bear the brunt of the cost of this horrible piece of legislation in the first place, why not ask tell these folks, they're going to have to dig a little deeper.

But here's what doesn't make sense about this delay from a political standpoint. We used air quotes with helps in a previous paragraph because we don't think this helps either the administration or Democratic party mid-term aspirations in 2014 as the conventional wisdom is telling us.

In a situation like this, we much prefer the "rip the Band-Aid off" approach to this latest debacle afforded by ObamaCare. The biggest driver in the negative perception of ObamaCare has been its inherent uncertainty. We can all exercise some healthy speculation about how ObamaCare can and will suck, it's just that we don't know how bad it's going to suck until it's fully in effect.

This decision simply keeps alive the uncertainty issue and that will be a huge theme used against the Democrats going into next fall.

With that in mind, why not just get it over with and move on? In fact, polling data through the years has shown we Americans actually love our completely unsustainable entitlement programs. They may be costly and overly-bureaucratized but dammit they're our costly and over-bureaucratized entitlement programs.

It would seem that we, as a country, are more and more resigned and accepting of our government's incompetence, arbitrariness and corruption where it exists, so why should rolling out the employer mandate before it's anywhere near ready be such a bad thing?

Unfortunately, we've become the frog in the kettle and the burner nob ticked up a notch and we're kind of OK with that.


K T Cat said...

If the thing becomes a sufficiently large clusterfark, can't you just see them blaming the insurance companies and moving everything to single payer?

Ohioan@Heart said...