PDT Staff Writer
Republicans and conservatives are saying the Obama administration’s move to delay until 2015 a requirement that employers offer health insurance or else face stiff penalties is yet another indication the embattled law is a failure.
“President Obama is defying his own law by postponing the implementation of the employer mandate. It’s clear evidence of Obamacare’s looming failure. His decision, while good news for the moment, is merely a ‘stay of execution’ for our economy and prolongs the uncertainty faced by employers,” U.S. Rep. Brad Wenstrup (OH-2) said.
On Tuesday the Obama Administration announced that the employer mandate to offer health insurance coverage to their full-time employees within the Affordable Care Act will not take effect until January 2015. The announcement cited the complexity of reporting requirements as the reason for delaying their implementation.
Some Republicans are saying it is an attempt to win off-year races for Democrats, whom they say don’t want to go through a campaign with that mandate tied around their necks.
“It’s not a coincidence that the President wants to delay these terrible policies until after the 2014 elections to avoid the judgment of the American people,” Wenstrup said. “We need to completely repeal Obamacare now, and replace it with patient-centered reforms that actually improve healthcare in America.”
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio took the issue another step.
“The president’s health care law is already raising costs and costing jobs,” Boehner said. “This announcement means even the Obama administration knows the ‘train wreck’ will only get worse. I hope the administration recognizes the need to release American families from the mandates of this law as well. This is a clear acknowledgment that the law is unworkable, and it underscores the need to repeal the law and replace it with effective, patient-centered reform.”
The same response came from across the Ohio River.
“Obamacare costs too much and it isn’t working the way the administration promised,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said. “The White House seems to slowly be admitting what Americans already know: Obamacare needs to be repealed and replaced with common-sense reforms that actually lowers costs for Americans.”
Meanwhile, tea party groups these days aren’t exactly enamored with the IRS, but a group in Ohio is turning to the agency in its fight against Gov. John Kasich’s support for the Medicaid expansion, the Associated Press reports. The activists, according to a strategy memo obtained by the AP, are plotting to invoke an IRS provision allowing people to challenge executive salaries and nonprofit statuses of charitable hospitals, which are lobbying hard for the expansion. The idea is to push this narrative: “Rather than have people wondering why tea party groups don’t want to help the poor, they should wonder why hospitals need more federal tax dollars to care for the poor when they’ve got plenty of cash on hand.”
In February Ed Hughes, Execcutive Director of The Counseling Center said Kasich’s proposal to increase Medicaid coverage in Ohio brings with it three positive features.
“We want to help the sick people in our community,” Hughes said. “But we also want to help them before they get real sick, so being able to reach them earlier will lower costs of health care. Then, I think the job creation that will come with this, because of the people that we will be able to treat, where we struggle to do that now, is going to be really significant in terms of our poor community as far as jobs.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.