Obamacare employer mandate delayed: An EP businessman reacts


EL PASO, Texas - There won't be any penalties for businesses that don't provide affordable insurance for their employees until after the 2014 midterm elections.

That's according to President Obama who announced Tuesday, he's delaying a part of the Affordable Care Act that affects businesses with 50 or more employees.

Now lawmakers, employers their employees, and taxpayers are scratching their head trying to sort out what this means.

According to the Treasury Department, Obama's decision comes after business owners complained about the complexity of the law. Now employers have an extra year to find ways to simply the process. This has Republican lawmakers gloating in smug satisfaction.

Democrats, analysts say, are relieved they won't have to deal with the health care issue before reelection. And employers, according to El Paso Chamber of Commerce President Richard Dayoub, are confused.

"No one's been able to really understand in detail what the implications are and the financial details," Dayoub said.

Out 1,800 members, Dayoub said he has about 300 with 50 or more employees.
These business owners, he says, have spent the last year sorting out the implications of the health care law.

Dayoub said they have to cover their employees at a higher cost due to the law's requirements, such as maternity leave and accepting patients with pre-existing conditions.

But due to the delay, employers can dump their employees into the taxpayer-funded exchange without penalty, and make the taxpayer pay more.

Not all states have set up their exchanges, which means employees are left hanging in the balance.

"Their changing policies as we speak," Dayoub. "So every time we think we have a grasp of what it's going to look like, they change the terms again."


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