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Broken Promises: Obamacare proving to be a disaster


The Obama administration delaying the start of the employer mandate part of  Obamacare this week is not the first snag in implementing the president’s  signature health care law.

Other parts of the 2010 law have already been delayed or discarded, including  a requirement that businesses fill out an IRS form for any purchases over a year  exceeding $600. Congress repealed that in June 2011.

“It was extremely onerous (and) raised very little revenue,” says Douglas  Holtz-Eakin, a former Congressional Budget Office director and chief economic  policy adviser to Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain during his 2008  presidential campaign.

Amanda Austin, a public policy director for the National Federation of  Independent Businesses, compared the IRS 1099 requirement to the employer  mandate, which required many small and medium-sized businesses to provide  employee health insurance or face paying penalties.

She argued both came with “tons” of “extremely complicated” paperwork and  that the changes were in large part the result of business uproar.

“I think you heard a lot from businesses, really an outcry of why are we  doing this,” she said about the IRS requirement. “And down the road obviously we  got the provision repealed.”

The administration acknowledged as much in the surprise announcement Tuesday  that the start of the employee mandate would be delayed from 2014, when much of  the law is scheduled to take effect, to 2015.

“We have heard concerns about the complexity of the requirements and the need  for more time to implement them effectively,” said Mark J. Mazur, a Treasury  Department assistant secretary.

Holtz-Eakin and others also point out the administration also had to scrap  the so-called CLASS Act section of ObamaCare that offered federally-subsidized  insurance for long-term health care because the legislation stated the premiums  had to cover the cost.

Holtz-Eakin called the plan “unworkable.”

Two other parts of the law, officially known as the Affordable Care Act, also  have either been delayed or scuttled.

Earlier this year, the administration delayed until 2015 the start of a  managed-care option inserted into ObamaCare by Washington Democratic Sen. Maria  Cantwell, who then accused officials of dragging their feet to avoid lower cost  competition.

“Our read of the statute is that you’re supposed to do it in 2014 and not  spend your time luring people into the exchange,” Cantwell said in April on  Capitol Hill. “Is there a bias somewhere in the administration against  lower-cost, managed-care delivery systems?”

The administration has also delayed the start of an ObamaCare provision known  as SHOP – an insurance exchange that gives small business a range of  choices.

Now those businesses have only one plan, contrary to Obama’s vow that the law  would provide a range of options.

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