hillaryprofile

The mid terms isn’t the only reason for delaying the mandates.

Via National Journal

The embattled HealthCare.gov site features a time line for implementation of the Affordable Care Act. It ends in 2015.

They wish.

If there was any chance that health care reform would soon feel more like the law of the land and less like a piñata that gets refilled and rehung daily, the White House essentially put that notion to rest this week when it punted the deadline for medium-sized employers to comply with the law yet another year.

Now, businesses with 50 to 100 employees have until 2016 to offer their workers affordable insurance or pay a penalty—just about the time presidential primary season is getting underway and this president is rendered an afterthought.

The policy effect of the delay on the ACA is minimal, most experts say. But in the political battle over Obamacare, now in its fifth smash year, the news was one more indication that the front has moved to the next presidential election and beyond to the incoming administration.

The law “will be on the front burner in Washington and in every Republican campaign through 2016,” predicts Patrick Davis, a GOP consultant in Colorado.

That election likely will mark the fourth straight election cycle in which the ACA is a major issue, if not the central issue—an eternity in politics. Call it Obama’s Forever War. “It’s the gift that just keeps giving,” says Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the former chief of the Congressional Budget Office during the Bush administration, who launched a conservative health care think tank last month.

Holtz-Eakin is among many critics who viewed the delay of the employer mandate as a means for the White House to avoid ugly headlines. The requirement at least raises the possibility that, faced with the deadline, businesses will hire fewer full-time workers or, more dramatically, deep-six their health care coverage outright and dump workers into the ACA’s insurance exchanges.

Supporters of the law have long insisted that won’t happen, but kicking the mandate down the road is one way to help ensure that if that does occur in large degrees, it might be Hillary Clinton’s problem, not President Obama’s.

In the meantime, the drip-drip-drip of Obamacare’s ups and downs remains a preoccupation of both Republican message-makers and the Washington press corps. Along with the mandate delay, the last week has seen a furious battle over a CBO report about the effects of the law on the labor force and more close-quarter combat about the total number of enrollees on the exchanges.

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HT Red Alert Politics

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