By Thomas Fletcher and Eric Peterson
This past week, the Obama administration delayed yet another provision of the President’s healthcare law: the provision that prevents companies from providing top executives with better health care plans than regular employees. The White House says that it will not enforce this provision until next year. As implementation continues, we see the Obama Administration quietly walk back many important provisions. This recent announcement is simply the latest.
Below is a list compiled by the New York Times of the biggest delays in Obamacare changes so far:
- Dec 23, Millions of people facing the cancellation of health insurance policies will be allowed to buy catastrophic coverage and will be exempt from penalties if they go without insurance next year,
- On July 2, the White House abruptly announced a one-year delay, until 2015, in a provision that requires larger employers to offer coverage to their workers or pay penalties.
- On Nov. 27, it deferred a major element of the law that would allow small businesses to buy insurance online for their employees through the federal exchange.
- Earlier, in April, the administration said that the federal exchange would not offer employees of a small business the opportunity to choose from multiple health plans in 2014.
- And in October 2011, the administration scrapped a long-term care insurance program created by the new law, saying it was too costly and would not work.
In what Politico’s Jim Vandehei has called “the most flawed rollouts in the history of mankind,” the White House continues to pretend that implementation of healthcare law is proceeding according to plan. These repeated delays and changes to the President’s signature legislative accomplishment make clear that this law remains fundamentally flawed and is not ready for the American people.
The Administration’s latest actions are a paradox. One the one hand, they’re trying to resuscitate the health care law; on the other hand, they have to rolling back key parts of it. This selective enforcement of provisions also calls into question whether the law can succeed in its current form.
Americans are becoming increasingly worried about the ramifications for when the law is fully implemented. While they are seeing their health care plans cancelled and their work hours cut, the strain on small business, or exemptions for big business, it seems that the more people find out about this law, the less they like it. Once again the President is completely abdicating leadership on this issue. He seems to believe that the law only needs to be delayed in its implementation, rather than facing the fact that since the law’s inception it remains deeply flawed and that these delays only postpone the laws collapse.