Pelosi: The Employer Mandate ‘Was Not Delayed’

By Elizabeth Harrington | July 11, 2013 | 12:16pm EDT

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) (AP File Photo)

( – During a press conference on Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was asked if she thinks there is “any virtue” in delaying Obamacare’s individual mandate as well as the employer mandate:

“No.  Absolutely not.  I don’t think it’s virtuous at all,” Pelosi said. “In fact, the point is, is that the (business) mandate was not delayed,” Pelosi said.

“Certain reporting by businesses that could be perceived as onerous -- that reporting requirement was delayed, partially to review how it would work and how it could be better.

“It was not a delay of the mandate for the businesses, and there shouldn’t be a delay of the mandate for individuals,” Pelosi insisted.

The Obama administration announced last week that businesses with 50 or more full-time employees will be given an extra year to comply with the complex reporting requirements that could trigger penalties if those businesses don’t provide affordable insurance to their full-time employees.

Those reporting requirements include how many full-time employees a company has, how many hours they work, and how much they pay for company-sponsored health insurance. Companies will be penalized for failing to provide “affordable” coverage and for shunting full-time employers into subsidized health insurance on the new Obamacare exchanges.

Practically speaking, the delay in collecting certain data from businesses means they will not face penalties until 2015. So while employers are encouraged to provide affordable insurance for their workers in 2014, there is no penalty if they don’t. The employer mandate is therefore, in effect, delayed.

Just before the July 4 holiday, the Treasury Department announced in a blog post that the employer mandate’s reporting requirements under the law would be delayed until 2015, due to concerns from businesses about the “complexity of the requirements.”

“The Administration is announcing that it will provide an additional year before the ACA mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements begin,” Mark J. Mazur, Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy at Treasury, wrote.

Businesses may “voluntarily” report to the administration in 2014, “in preparation for the full application of the provisions in 2015,” the Treasury announcement said. “During this 2014 transition period, we strongly encourage employers to maintain or expand health coverage.”

House Republicans now plan to pass a bill delaying the individual mandate for one year. The individual mandate requires nearly all Americans to purchase government-approved health insurance.

“Is it fair for the president of the United States to give American businesses an exemption from his health-care law’s mandates, without giving the same exemption to the rest of America? Hell no, it’s not fair,” Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) told his members on Tuesday.

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