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Obamacare Employer Mandate Delayed Until After Congressional Elections

Unknown Lamer posted about 10 months ago | from the chocolate-ration-increased dept.

Government 600

theodp writes "If you hoped your employer would finally provide health insurance in 2014, take two aspirin and call your doctor in the morning — the morning of January 1st, 2015. The Obama administration will delay a crucial provision of its signature health-care law until 2015, giving businesses an extra year to comply with a requirement that they provide their workers with insurance. The government will postpone enforcement of the so-called employer mandate until 2015, after the congressional elections, the administration said Tuesday. Under the provision, companies with 50 or more workers face a fine of as much as $3,000 per employee if they don't offer affordable insurance."

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Oh, look! Just what the economy needs! (5, Interesting)

FooAtWFU (699187) | about 10 months ago | (#44175177)

More regulatory uncertainty! Yay!

Re:Oh, look! Just what the economy needs! (5, Informative)

Enry (630) | about 10 months ago | (#44175205)

Not sure where the uncertainty is. Says right there - January 1, 2015.

Not that having the elections matter about implementation. Obama isn't going to let a veto go through, and even if the Senate flips, there's going to be no way that there's enough votes to override a veto. Obamacare is here, get used to it.

Re:Oh, look! Just what the economy needs! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175355)

Not sure where the uncertainty is. Says right there - January 1, 2015.

Right. Just like it said the deadline was this year, before...

Only Hillary can save Obamacare (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175359)

The silver lining of the Supreme Court ruling, is that Obamacare is legally a tax. Mitch McConnell realized that taxes can be altered, or eliminated, in the budget reconciliation process. If the Republicans can get total control, even by slim majorities, Obamacare will die. Hillary Clinton is the best hope of keeping Obamacare alive.

Re:Oh, look! Just what the economy needs! (5, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 10 months ago | (#44175549)

I dunno if it is that so much as, the sentiment is growing against obamacare in the US as more of it is coming to be implemented, and more people are seeing it for the steaming pile that it is....and how much this will cost the people is the bottom line.

I think the Dems/Admin want to keep obamacare implementation out of the news by doing this, so as to not risk their congress critters that may be coming up for election.

The law had some good parts to it...the sections pertaining to pre-existing conditions is good, and I suppose that letting kids stay on their parents insurance till in their 20's "may" be good, although I think most normal "kids" should be well out on their own and supporting themselves by the time they are 20-21.

But obamacare when it comes into full swing, is going to raise the $$$ of healthcare quite a bit on the young and healthy. It penalizes people that previously had really good benefits at work, making them too $$ for the employers to continue to offer.

This is what comes from "we have to pass the law first to see what's in it...".

Re:Oh, look! Just what the economy needs! (0)

Enry (630) | about 10 months ago | (#44175737)

Obamacare has been implemented in MA for many years as 'Romneycare'. He was a terrible governor of our great state, but this was one thing that was worth the effort.

Re:Oh, look! Just what the economy needs! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175905)

I'm glad for your state. Unfortunately, one size does not fit all.

Re:Oh, look! Just what the economy needs! (4, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | about 10 months ago | (#44175851)

The problem is that the people wanted socialized medicine and we got an insurance scam. Of course the correct name for this is Romneycare since it closely resembles what Romney implemented in Ma., but that wouldn't have made for a good fight betreen the R's and the D's.

The real problem is that healthcare costs too much in the first place. You can't just insurance that away. What we really need is for the federal government to tell the whole crooked industry, "Just one more $2 ahh stick or $8 tylenol and we nationalize the whole damned thing!".

Re:Oh, look! Just what the economy needs! (5, Insightful)

OakDragon (885217) | about 10 months ago | (#44175691)

Not sure where the uncertainty is. Says right there - January 1, 2015.

Well what was it a week ago?

Re:Oh, look! Just what the economy needs! (1, Insightful)

Enry (630) | about 10 months ago | (#44175801)

Take a look at almost every other major set of regulations that the government has put out (D or R) and see if any of it has rolled out on time. Take the cutover to HDTV: it took years to do and kept getting pushed back. The fact this is happening here is no surprise, and not an indication that it's going to cause prices to increase, jobs to be lost, or the dead rising from the grave.

Re:Oh, look! Just what the economy needs! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175421)

It's not what /. needs. I like ragging on the guberment any chance i get, but wtf does this story have to do with technology (other than using a computer to write it maybe).

Re:Oh, look! Just what the economy needs! (4, Insightful)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 10 months ago | (#44175539)

It's not what /. needs. I like ragging on the guberment any chance i get, but wtf does this story have to do with technology (other than using a computer to write it maybe).

The chief reason cited for the delay is that the information infrastructure is not ready to handle the new processes and products yet. It is basically an IT project running 12 months behind (at 18 months out) and probably a few billion over budget, and we can all relate to that amiright?

Re: Oh, look! Just what the economy needs! (2)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 10 months ago | (#44175861)

A lot of people in Information Technology work for large employers that have terrible health benefits.

Re:Oh, look! Just what the economy needs! (4, Interesting)

cod3r_ (2031620) | about 10 months ago | (#44175425)

Maybe they did realize that during this tough economic time (that will probably go on forever since we only consume and don't actually produce anything) it might be a bad thing to force businesses to offer health insurance that is rapidly rising.. Our company only employees 22 people and we provide health insurance that costs us somewhere in the neighborhood of 75k/year.. Having gone up about 20% since obama care passed.

Re:Oh, look! Just what the economy needs! (4, Informative)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 10 months ago | (#44175561)

Maybe they did realize that during this tough economic time (that will probably go on forever since we only consume and don't actually produce anything) it might be a bad thing to force businesses to offer health insurance that is rapidly rising..

Our company only employees 22 people and we provide health insurance that costs us somewhere in the neighborhood of 75k/year.. Having gone up about 20% since obama care passed.

$3400 a person for health care is pretty f'ing cheap. Most employers spend 8,000 to 10,000 per employee (not including what the employee contributes out of their salary).

Re:Oh, look! Just what the economy needs! (2)

Mitreya (579078) | about 10 months ago | (#44175585)

Maybe they did realize that during this tough economic time ... it might be a bad thing to force businesses to offer health insurance that is rapidly rising

I am not necessarily arguing which one is better, but are you saying that keeping individual employees responsible for health insurance expenses during tough economic time is fine and dandy?

It's not like Obamacare is a new expense that did not exist before -- someone is paying the health insurance cost (or is living without health insurance) at all times. Some of the costs may not have a $ sign attached to them (people waiting for health to deteriorate to emergency room status), but these costs are still there.

Nigga'care (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175179)

It's like a nigga, who's in the hole,
It's like a nigga, he's on the dole!

It's like a nigga, he's fantastic,
It's like a nigga, he's niggatastic!

Re:Nigga'care (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175297)

It's like a nigga, who's in the hole,
It's like a nigga, he's on the dole!

It's like a nigga, he's fantastic,
It's like a nigga, he's niggatastic!

Now, I enjoy rhyming nigger jokes as much as the next guy who pretends he doesn't, but that didn't even have a punchline!

If you're going to post something that people are going to chuckle at and then mod down anyway, at least put some effort into it, so the chuckle part actually happens and not just the mod down part.

0/10, F-, apply yourself, see me after class

Re:Nigga'care (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175381)

nigger

Re:Nigga'care (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175551)

It looks like Paula Dean and sons have a lot of free time now.

well well well (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175225)

And political expediency wins again

The question to ask is why would they want to delay implementation until after mid terms?

pay the fine (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175261)

How many employers will just pay the fine. 3k per year per employee is less than a heathcare plan

Re:pay the fine (2)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | about 10 months ago | (#44175501)

Parent should be modded up. The way the story summary was written you would think that health care is without cost to the employee if it is provided by the employer. It is not. That is money lost from a paycheck. That is additional cost which can make a company less competitive (and result in layoffs).

There is no such thing as free healthcare. Somebody pays - either through lower wages, fewer jobs or higher taxes. Funny how the more government has tried to "fix" healthcare the more expensive it has become.

Re:pay the fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175609)

Parent should be modded up. The way the story summary was written you would think that health care is without cost to the employee if it is provided by the employer. It is not. That is money lost from a paycheck. That is additional cost which can make a company less competitive (and result in layoffs).

There is no such thing as free healthcare. Somebody pays - either through lower wages, fewer jobs or higher taxes. Funny how the more government has tried to "fix" healthcare the more expensive it has become.

Funny, a decade of republican-led legislation basically not touching health care (except giving free drugs to old people) saw the steepest increase in premiums and total cost... But don't let that get in the way of your story.

Re:pay the fine (4, Insightful)

Nickodeimus (1263214) | about 10 months ago | (#44175835)

That's because, as any intelligent person knows at this point, the republicans and democrats are two faces of the same coin.

No one has approached or even mentioned the real reason for healthcare cost increases over the last 30 years. There is a little law that goes by the acronym EMTALA. Go read about it and apply a little economics to the equation.

Simply stated, our masters have no desire to reduce the cost of healthcare because there is too much money to be made from a completely captive audience. Whether you take the capitalist point of view or the socialist point of view, the end result is the same - we the people get screwed out of our earnings and don't have a choice in the matter. The status quo is maintained.

Re:pay the fine (3, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 10 months ago | (#44175619)

I pay about $65/wk ($3380/yr) into my employer healthcare. They pay about 3 times that ($10140/yr). Multiply that by the roughly 450 employees on the plan and it's the single greatest expense they have after employee salaries and taxes.

Personally, I'd much rather take that $13500 (my cost plus theirs) in my paycheck so I could shop around for my own insurance. The employer offered plan includes tons of crap for women and children that don't apply to me, while omitting many things that would be a huge help to me such as hearing aids.

Re:pay the fine (0)

Nickodeimus (1263214) | about 10 months ago | (#44175849)

The problem you are going to run into there is that the employer isn't going to just give you that money. They'll take the hit on the tax penalty and keep the rest for the CEO.

Re:pay the fine (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 10 months ago | (#44175543)

No, it isn't. First of all, the fine for offering no health care whatsoever is $2000. If the employer offers crappy healthcare and employees instead elect for their own plan from the new exchanges, then the employer is fined $3000 per employee who opts for the exchange plan. You can get weak coverage for around $600/worker that would satisfy the $2000 fine. If a bunch of your workers start to opt for exchange plans, then you might need to consider upping your plan to avoid the $3000 penalty.

Re:pay the fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175715)

(Anon to keep mods intact)

That brings up a good question: If some employees in a business do run for the exchanges instead of the crap employer-sponsored plan, could the employer then discreetly fire them on a case-by-case basis?

Re:pay the fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175645)

The last company I worked for had 53 employees. They said that 3k would be cheaper then what they pay for healthcare plan for the 20 that took it. So they would pay the "TAX." After I left they sold part of the company and only have about 14 employee.

Employers already know the loophole (5, Insightful)

punker (320575) | about 10 months ago | (#44175875)

They don't have to pay the fine, or provide insurance. They just make their employees part timers.

I've seen some anecdotal evidence of this (from waitstaff at a couple different restaurants, security guards at my parking deck, blog posts). Unskilled labor positions (i.e. the people that were targeted to receive this benefit) are just having their hours cut to 30 hours/week because part time employees are not subject to the insurance requirement. With current employment trends, it's easy to hire some extra part timers to fill the gap. It's a non-issue for skilled laborers, because most already receive employer provided insurance.

The real problem here is this law was intended to require a benefit (i.e. minimum compensation) for people who do not generally receive it already. So now, not only will they not get insurance, but they're also facing a 25% cut in income.

Chicago style politics at it's worst... (5, Insightful)

Temkin (112574) | about 10 months ago | (#44175263)

Conveniently after the mid-term elections, where frustration with this trainwreck might reflect badly on those in power... One Turkish professor said "He talks like the president of the ACLU, and governs like Dick Cheney."

Re:Chicago style politics at it's worst... (3, Insightful)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about 10 months ago | (#44175299)

Dare to Hope, Prepare to be Disappointed

Re:Chicago style politics at it's worst... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175413)

Dare to Hope, Prepare to be Disappointed

Act with Audacity

Re:Chicago style politics at it's worst... (4, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 10 months ago | (#44175465)

"5 Year Plans" are nothing new, where the hard choices are put off until after the next election, where they probably won't happen anyway. Or pushed into the next guy's term, same thing.

That's why I laughed at all these deficit reduction "negotiations". Let's increase taxes now. In exchange, we agree to cut spending in 3 years.

Which. Won't. Happen.

It's a lie for domestic consumption. It's been going on for a hundred years.

Re:Chicago style politics at it's worst... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175489)

Conveniently after the mid-term elections, where frustration with this trainwreck might reflect badly on those in power... One Turkish professor said "He talks like the president of the ACLU, and governs like Dick Cheney."

I agree that they're doing it to avoid the question being part of the voter's decision, however, I think this is a mistake on the Obama administration's (and the Democrat's) part. Since regulation will take place after the election and businesses generally favor a Republican candidate, what's to stop businesses from cutting health benefits and then blame Obama care thus making it an issue that Democrats cannot defend.

For example, if a large enough company comes out and says, "we're not covering leukemia treatments for anyone under 15 without an extra payment," It makes the news and is spread widely. But this isn't allowed under Obama care so the company fixes their woopsie and announces that it was a misunderstanding. We all know that the story about how this isn't allowed under Obamacare will not make the same splash and the original story.

Stupid Democrats. Haven't learned that FOX News picks and chooses their stories.

So, is this delay legal? (4, Interesting)

msauve (701917) | about 10 months ago | (#44175265)

Is this delay specifically authorized by the law, or is the Obama administration simply going to fail to uphold a law they pushed to get passed?

Re:So, is this delay legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175317)

The second...

Re:So, is this delay legal? (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 10 months ago | (#44175555)

George Will's been bitching about the Imperial Presidency for 30 years now, as Congress rolls over, ever more supine to presidents declaring this or that.

Remember all the feigned outrage over Bush's innumerable "signing statements"? Same symptom. Hell, even the losening of constraints on warrntless spying is handing over still more power to the executive branch.

Re:So, is this delay legal? (2, Insightful)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 10 months ago | (#44175529)

It not a matter of Obama holding up his end... It is more about the republican governors who would rather derail the affordable health care act by stonewalling the creation of insurance exchanges in their state despite the federal government's willingness to pay for it. The irony being that the exchange idea was the republicans' idea to introduce a free market element to universal health care. Like most things involving republicans it is either filibustered, procedural traps, sabotaging legislation with bad provisions, or in this case all of the above.

Sadly I think the US missed an opportunity to have an excellent universal healthcare system, but the two political parties acted like spoiled brats. The left think their way is the only way, and the right for being in bed with the corporations and doing everything they can to protect their friends at the expense of the country. If they were really looking out for our interests they would have worked together. Instead we had both parties having closed door meetings figuring out how to out maneuver the other party.

I love it when people conveniently ignore the details...

Re:So, is this delay legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175713)

So Mr. Obama has doubled down on every major failed republican policy from the last 30 years (patriot act, war on drugs, amnesty, Romneycare, etc...) and you're mad at the republicans for trying to block it?

Re:So, is this delay legal? (3, Informative)

mrego (912393) | about 10 months ago | (#44175813)

Wrong! States had a choice, take money/accept federal controls/create exchanges OR let the feds create exchanges. Both are valid, allowable choices. Hence no derailing, no stonewalling. The real irony is that many states had great health care plans for low income people, but had to close them down thanks to Obamacare. Too bad the Democrats wanted to create a bloated, byzantine, idiotic plan and pass it through chicanery and corrupt bribes on their own ("deeming" it passed, "corn husker kickback", etc.) instead of using Republican ideas. I love it when people conveniently ignore the facts...

Re:So, is this delay legal? (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | about 10 months ago | (#44175589)

That was my first impression. That they were shirking the law. How can the president just refuse to enact or perform on a law? It is the freaking executive branch--besides military that is like their only job!

Re:So, is this delay legal? (3, Informative)

mrego (912393) | about 10 months ago | (#44175709)

They didn't want to enforce DOMA (formerly the law of the land), and Immigration laws either. It is called selective enforcement.

Re:So, is this delay legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175633)

The law does contain an unusually broad delegation of authority to the executive to manage and modify the phase-in process. The precise scope of that delegation (and whether Congress can even legally delegate its power in that manner) is more murky.

This'll take awhile for people to accept (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175283)

The (near)-universal health care mandate for Americans strikes me as the kind of thing that takes a generation (about 20 years) for people to get used to and accept, just like the movement for equal rights for gays which was launched into the national consciousness by the "don't ask, don't tell" policy for military personnel adopted by Clinton (it was part of the reason why the Democrats lost control of Congress a year later).

On more than one occasion I'd have people spontaneously bring up "gays in the military" as a conversation topic and rant about how outrageous it was, destroying America's values, etc.

But time passes.

Re:This'll take awhile for people to accept (5, Interesting)

Temkin (112574) | about 10 months ago | (#44175319)

Yea, we'll get used to having beurecrats make decisions regarding our famililies heathcare. I mean, having the IRS target the businesses of political opponents is nothing compared to denying Grandma her hip replacement because you voted for the wrong candidate.

Re:This'll take awhile for people to accept (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175369)

Kind of funny but sadly it will be true.

Re:This'll take awhile for people to accept (2)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 10 months ago | (#44175519)

There's no area where "bureaucrats make decisions regarding our family's healthcare" is true tomorrow that wasn't true in 2007. The difference is that in some areas decisions that were made by insurance companies are now made by publicly accountable government employees. Moreover, if this is a "Death Panels" reference, the so-called panels determine policy issues, not individual cases. Whether an insurance company pays for grandma's hip operation is still a decision made by an Insurance Company bureaucrat, albeit one that you can now sue over if it contradicts the general policies set by the government.

Obamacare is a stupid, barely effective, way of providing universal healthcare that's, in practice, an unnecessary bailout for the health insurance industry, but let's keep the criticisms factual, OK?

Re:This'll take awhile for people to accept (2)

ganjadude (952775) | about 10 months ago | (#44175613)

they already did decide on an individual case. did you see that a little girl got a lung transplant who, by law, shouldnt have? I mean im happy for her but dont fool yourself.

Re:This'll take awhile for people to accept (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175841)

That sure was a good publicity stunt for the ACA

Re:This'll take awhile for people to accept (4, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | about 10 months ago | (#44175863)

The difference is that in some areas decisions that were made by insurance companies are now made by publicly accountable government employees.

Which would be interesting if the "publicly accountable" part were even remotely true. Look at the political actions of managers and supervisors in the IRS, and the utter stonewalling by that agency and un-shocking lack of curiosity by their boss who heads the executive branch, the president, as to who to hold accountable for exactly the sort of capricious behavior that you're suggesting won't happen. The IRS is hiring tens of thousands of brand new, un-accountable, essentially un-fireable new employees explicitly to have them make judgement calls about whether individual people have been sufficiently in compliance with a gigantic, byzantine new law that nobody understands. They will decide whether those individuals ultimately may end up having wages garnished, businesses ruined, homes seized, or spend time in prison if they aren't doing it exactly right. That you see such new power and enforcement in the hands of the IRS as an improvement is unfortunate.

Blame FDR. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175595)

...denying Grandma her hip replacement ....

That's not true.

Listen to this segment on NPR in the mornings [wrkf.org] and they've been clearing up misconceptions about the act.

But if you REALLY want ot blame someone, blame FDR and Henry Kaiser (Kaiser Permanente Kaiser). FDR froze wages in WWII to keep inflation down and for other reasons (wars are NEVER good for economies!) and Kaiser wanting to lure good people to his firm thought, "If I can't pay them more, I'll give them health insurance!" and of course, his competition followed suite and that's how we got employer health insurance in the US.

Re:This'll take awhile for people to accept (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 10 months ago | (#44175631)

nothing compared to denying Grandma her hip replacement because you voted for the wrong candidate

Suddenly you're worried about that? Whether grandma gets her hip replacement has been a political matter since grandma was a hot young thing. Medicare was enacted in 1965.

Re:This'll take awhile for people to accept (2)

Trepidity (597) | about 10 months ago | (#44175659)

As opposed to today, when... bureaucrats make decisions regarding my family's health care.

Here are the people who today control whether my treatment is covered: 1) the bureaucrats at the insurance company my employer chose; and 2) the bureaucrats at my employer who chose the insurance company.

Of course, if I'm rich, I can pay for anything I want out of pocket. That will be the same under PPACA, too. But if I'm not rich (and I'm not), it's bureaucrats deciding if I'm covered, yesterday and tomorrow.

Re:This'll take awhile for people to accept (1)

Holi (250190) | about 10 months ago | (#44175909)

What you mean the bureaucrats in the insurance companies that have been doing that exact thing for decades? Those bureaucrats? the same bureaucrats that will be doing it now as this is just mandating insurance not supplying it.

Obamacare for people who do not want insurance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175323)

I've heard that this law forces people to carry health insurance, my religious belief prohibit purchasing things like insurance, and I've already been breaking the law for 14 years not carrying car insurance, but I'm going to have a hard time lying to my employer and saying "I have other health insurance" so they don't give me this.

What are people who can not, or do not want to have health insurance supposed to do when Obamacare goes into effect, apart from leave the United States?

Re:Obamacare for people who do not want insurance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175347)

my religious belief prohibit purchasing things like insurance

That's stupid. Try believing things that aren't so stupid.

Re:Obamacare for people who do not want insurance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175361)

Pay the fine and get over it.

Re:Obamacare for people who do not want insurance? (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 10 months ago | (#44175397)

You can pay slightly higher taxes, as an alternative to getting health insurance. This will offset the burden you (as a group) place on the rest of us when you need urgent, critical, healthcare, and are unable to pay for it, declaring bankrupcy or something similar instead to avoid paying.

You certainly don't need to leave the US, and while the tax penalty can get quite high (there's a middle range indeed where it's more than the cost of subsidized insurance) it's certainly not so extreme as to not be an option.

just guessing (2)

nten (709128) | about 10 months ago | (#44175505)

I'm just guessing, but the op probably doesn't go to doctors either. I had neighboring family like that when I grew up. I don't remember what the religion was, but if they got sick, they slept a lot and drank water. I never thought to ask about broken bones. If they refuse to get medical help and just die, it probably lowers the overall cost of healthcare. Kind of like how smokers reduce costs.

Re:just guessing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175761)

I'm just guessing, but the op probably doesn't go to doctors either. I had neighboring family like that when I grew up. I don't remember what the religion was, but if they got sick, they slept a lot and drank water. I never thought to ask about broken bones. If they refuse to get medical help and just die, it probably lowers the overall cost of healthcare. Kind of like how smokers reduce costs.

It's sort of like this. Basically we're not supposed to act in a way that would prevent or change the outcomes of things, without actually knowing what we're paying for, it's a "fork" of Islam.

Going to the doctor is fine. Going to the doctor if YOU cannot pay for it is not fine. Taking care of yourself is preferable IF it is a doable option.

As for broken bones, I've only had one (just above the ankle), which I set myself 22 years ago, braced and splinted it, and just waited for it to heal/walked it off.

It cost me, my family, and the taxpayers nothing, and I can walk fine on it as if it had never happened.

Re:Obamacare for people who do not want insurance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175533)

You can pay slightly higher taxes, as an alternative to getting health insurance. This will offset the burden you (as a group) place on the rest of us when you need urgent, critical, healthcare, and are unable to pay for it, declaring bankrupcy or something similar instead to avoid paying.

You certainly don't need to leave the US, and while the tax penalty can get quite high (there's a middle range indeed where it's more than the cost of subsidized insurance) it's certainly not so extreme as to not be an option.

When I've needed healthcare, I have always paid it in full, in cash at time of treatment.

Admittedly, I haven't had any procedures done over $4000, but religious != poor.

Re:Obamacare for people who do not want insurance? (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 10 months ago | (#44175647)

Good for you, but what do you plan to do if, say, you contract an expensive form of cancer? The probability is pretty low that you're part of that group that can casually drop a half million or more on a treatment regime.

As a group, you're in with a bunch of people who will contract cancer and never be able to pay for it (not because you're religious but because you're human and you're choosing not to be able to pay for it), as well as other less expensive things that the victim will be unable to pay for. Hence you pay a tax to offset the problems caused by membership of your group.

Re:Obamacare for people who do not want insurance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175911)

Good for you, but what do you plan to do if, say, you contract an expensive form of cancer? The probability is pretty low that you're part of that group that can casually drop a half million or more on a treatment regime.

As a group, you're in with a bunch of people who will contract cancer and never be able to pay for it (not because you're religious but because you're human and you're choosing not to be able to pay for it), as well as other less expensive things that the victim will be unable to pay for. Hence you pay a tax to offset the problems caused by membership of your group.

Die. As a *group*, if we are not able to take care of the payment for treatment of something ourselves, we do *not* take treatment for it, we die from it. It happens to everyone eventually.

Re:Obamacare for people who do not want insurance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175639)

You certainly don't need to leave the US, and while the tax penalty can get quite high (there's a middle range indeed where it's more than the cost of subsidized insurance) it's certainly not so extreme as to not be an option.

Shush, let him go with that option. We could use fewer ridiculously ignorant people here...

Re:Obamacare for people who do not want insurance? (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 10 months ago | (#44175669)

I've heard that this law forces people to carry health insurance, my religious belief prohibit purchasing things like insurance, and I've already been breaking the law for 14 years not carrying car insurance, but I'm going to have a hard time lying to my employer and saying "I have other health insurance" so they don't give me this.

What are people who can not, or do not want to have health insurance supposed to do when Obamacare goes into effect, apart from leave the United States?

Accept that this is being implemented as a tax. Give up several thousands of dollars either to an employer-arranged plan that you never use, or to the government for not having that plan.

Your employer doesn't violate your beliefs by putting you on a company-wide plan. But your paycheck will be lower.

Re:Obamacare for people who do not want insurance? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 10 months ago | (#44175677)

I've heard that this law forces people to carry health insurance, my religious belief prohibit purchasing things like insurance

If there isn't already, there'll be a court decision that gives an exemption based on religious beliefs, The 1st Amendment almost always trumps other considerations in the courts. Belong to the right church and you can legally use peyote.

Re:Obamacare for people who do not want insurance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175679)

but I'm going to have a hard time lying to my employer and saying "I have other health insurance" so they don't give me this

Then don't. They have to offer it, you don't have to take it. Fuck, the amount of bullshit people believe about this law is ridiculous. I like how all the haters were all "we have to pass it to see what is in it!!1!" and then after it passed years later nobody bothered to get a fucking clue about what's in it and spout off whatever bullshit fox talking points from years ago. Don't they update those scrolly bars once every couple of months?

The company (is supposed to) negotiate affordable health insurance plans for you. It doesn't have to force you to get it, it doesn't even have to PAY for it.

You can talk about how much bullshit it is for healthcare to continue to be tied to your employer (lots) you can talk about how much bullshit it is to be forced to pay up if you choose not to give insurance (some) you can talk about how much bullshit it is that we pretend that health is something insurable like cars and houses (off the charts).

biznatch (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175325)

all; bin order to 2go

But the rest of us are still screwed (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 10 months ago | (#44175345)

Sure, business gets a reprieve but the rest of us still get the shaft by having to pay for our neighbor's healthcare despite them smoking a pack a week.

Nothing like having to spend money on something useless because the government tells us we have to do so.

Re:But the rest of us are still screwed (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175449)

It has been pretty well established that your smoking neighbor has lower lifetime healthcare costs than someone who is healthy. They tend not to live long enough to get the really expensive things to treat.

Re:But the rest of us are still screwed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175521)

That's rather interesting, and I can see why that might be. But do you have a citation with actual numbers?

Re:But the rest of us are still screwed (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 10 months ago | (#44175683)

They save social-security and Medicare money too, by not living long enough to draw down benefits!

Re:But the rest of us are still screwed (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 10 months ago | (#44175757)

Which is irrelevant to the discussion. The fact remains these people, like drug users, have made a choice to do something which is known to cause health issues. Why should the rest of us be forced to pay to protect them from their own choice?

Also, there are contradictory studies on how much smokers cost, to wit:

Abstract [nih.gov]

However, more recent studies show smokers DO cost more in healthcare than non-smokers:

NBCnews [nbcnews.com]

Further, the following article talks about not only smokers, but the obese. In both cases the response from people is, "It's my life, I can do with it as I want." Which is correct. With few exceptions, one is free to live as they choose.

However, that does not mean your actions don't have consequences to the rest of us. In this case, their actions cost me money.

The Ledger [theledger.com]

Re:But the rest of us are still screwed (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | about 10 months ago | (#44175759)

Yeah, they often get hit with a catastrophic disease and barely make it out alive after an expensive hospital stay which would not have happened had they not smoked for thirty years. After that they wise up and live healthier lives as the chickens come home to roost in the form of long drawn out health problems showing up years later as chronic diseases from their past love of cigarettes. Who hasn't seen this play out?

Re:But the rest of us are still screwed (1)

ScentCone (795499) | about 10 months ago | (#44175887)

It has been pretty well established

Other than the whole part where that's not true in terms of who's doing the spending. Your lack of any citation shows you're pulling it out of thin air.

Re:But the rest of us are still screwed (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 10 months ago | (#44175821)

business gets a reprieve but the rest of us still get the shaft by having to pay for our neighbor's healthcare despite them smoking a pack a week

A pack a week? That's so little that the effect will be negligible. You're better off if your neighbor smokes a pack or two per day, as the lifetime medical costs of smokers is lower. In fact a good way to reduce overall healthcare costs would be to hand out free cigarettes. If you want to burden the system, live to be a 100.

Nothing like having to spend money on something useless because the government tells us we have to do so.

So you're never going to get seriously ill or have an accident? And if you do, and don't have insurance, do you pinky swear not to accept any medical care that you can't pay for out-of-pocket? Oddly, people who swear that ahead of time tend to change their minds at the moment of truth, and dump the costs on everyone else. It's people who don't have insurance that wind up being the freeloaders.

Great (1)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | about 10 months ago | (#44175371)

Are people's illnesses also going to be delayed until January 1, 2015 if their employer has fewer than 50 employees? The mandate that people have to buy insurance is the bad part of the law. Having employers provide insurance was the upside.

The Democrats are shooting themselves in the foot with this illegal delay in implementation of this part of the law.

Re:Great (2)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 10 months ago | (#44175497)

Wait, you thought that they care about people? They care about what keeps them in Washington, evidenced by delaying the massive political meltdown that was 6 months away, 9 months before the next midterm election.

This is the worst kind of politics - shoving through a bad law that people increasingly don't like; and then delaying the enforcement of the law until the political backlash won't matter, leaving the people that the law would have helped twisting in the wind.

So go ahead and re-elect those Senators to 6-year terms. By the time they are up for a potential firing again, everyone will have forgotten about this ridiculous mess.

Re:Great (2)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 10 months ago | (#44175733)

The Democrats are shooting themselves in the foot with this illegal delay in implementation of this part of the law.

Only if you believe the implementation of the law isn't going to tank the economy.

Which is what the Democrats are afraid will happen.

Re:Great (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 10 months ago | (#44175903)

The mandate that people have to buy insurance is the bad part of the law. Having employers provide insurance was the upside.

I don't agree. We should follow the example of the Evil Frozen Socialists of the North, and have everyone covered by a universal insurance policy paid for by taxes. The individual mandate is a burden on people who don't have much money, and they still wind up getting screwed on the price compared to employers who have more bargaining power. The subsidies are also insufficient. OTOH insisting that employers pay for insurance is an unnecessary burden on them What the hell should health insurance have to do with employment? Does you employer also buy your groceries? They give you a paycheck and it's your concern how to spend it.

Cue the Obama and Obamacare bashing... (1)

fldsofglry (2754803) | about 10 months ago | (#44175385)

3...2....1....

Re:Cue the Obama and Obamacare bashing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175597)

Ok. It is a bad bill that favors big business and the 1% that own them at the expense of the rest of us. That may sound like bashing to a true believer but it is the truth and this 'delay' for those same big businesses proves it.

arbitrary dates? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175387)

How is it possible that Obama can just deceive to move the compliance date?
Doesn't this require approval and vote and discussion to change the law ?

How about we just arbitrarily move the date out 100 years?

Re:arbitrary dates? (2)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 10 months ago | (#44175799)

No, Obama has assumed dictator powers on many issues.

He no longer needs Congress to pass legislation, and submit it for his approval. He can do whatever he pleases.

I'm surprised it took so many people so long to realize this is what would happen.

And yet the individual mandate still stands! (4, Insightful)

BillCable (1464383) | about 10 months ago | (#44175441)

So at this point companies DON'T have to provide you insurance, but you MUST carry insurance. So all those people who would have been covered if the business deadline wasn't pushed back will be forced to buy their own insurance on the individual market. Either that or pay the "tax." This is a recipe for real disaster.

Poor white males get screwed as usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175453)

The health insurance exchanges are nothing more, less and other than extensions of the Democratic Party. We have been well informed that the Democratic party has written off the white male. One thing for certain is that I WON'T be selected for the jury that tries the next Timothy McVeigh. In fact, the next Timothy McVeigh will not even be afforded due process like Dzhokhar Tsarnayev.

This experiment that is called America was fine while it lasted. Now is the time for the natural state of human affairs to resume: tyranny of the dominant traits over the recessive.

More complicated (3, Insightful)

necro81 (917438) | about 10 months ago | (#44175461)

While there is probably a political angle to the decision, the reason for the delay is more prosaic:

Under the new law, companies with more than 50 employees must provide their workers with health insurance.* Those companies that do not comply are levied a per-employee tax penalty. Employees that do not receive coverage through their employer can purchase insurance on the open market, and low- and middle-income workers can avail themselves to government subsidies to purchase coverage. In other words, the government is attempting, through the tax code, to recoup the employee's health care subsidy from the employer.

In order to carry out the employer mandate, the Treasury Department needs to know which companies are opting out and also which employees are subsequently utilizing government subsidies for healthcare. This is a technical challenge that the IRS (the Tax Man) has determined they won't have ready in time for the Jan 1, 2014 deadline. Businesses, too, have complained that their duty and mechanism for reporting who they are covering with insurance is difficult and onerous. So the decision has been made to push back the deadline.

Because the whole mechanism is linked to taxes, it is difficult to push the deadline back by, say, six months, because it would be tough to figure out how to pro-rate both the subsidy and the penalty. Most health insurance contracts (employer-provided or otherwise) run from Jan 1 to Dec 31, anyway. So, they pushed the effective date back to the next tax / health insurance / calendar year.

Yes, the new deadline occurs after the 2014 elections. But considering there are national elections every two years in the United States, pushing any deadline back by one year yields a 50/50 chance of passing over an election year. Would pushing it back just six months be any better, how about two years?

* For those, both outside and inside the U.S., who are wondering why health insurance is a benefit attached to a person's job, rather than a social benefit from the government (like in most other countries) or something each person seeks on the open market (like automobile insurance), the answer is: "it's complicated." It isn't the result of any particular plan, that's for damn sure; but rather the long meandering course of history. Those who are curious should read Paul Starr's [wikipedia.org] book The Social Transformation of American Medicine [google.com]. The Affordable Care Act follows the path of having health insurance as a workplace benefit mostly because that is how most people in the U.S. already get it.

Re:More complicated (1)

TechNeilogy (2948399) | about 10 months ago | (#44175837)

As someone who has done considerable work in the medical insurance software industry, I see two sides to this issue. First, some businesses are woefully unprepared for the changes, which really can be complex. On the flip side, part of this is because -- like school homework on a weekend -- they tend to put off until later anything that can be put off. So to the extent the extra time is used wisely, I think it's a good idea. I'm willing to bet, unfortunately, that a lot of businesses will just use the extra time to procrastinate, and will be in the same position a year from now.

Silliness (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175495)

Ha! This is just silliness on the way to a single payer system. Right now I pay about $7k per employee per year for insurance. And my penalty is only $3k? What do you think I'm going to do when the employer mandate takes effect?

I will NOT convict (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175627)

anyone accused of terrorism in connection with opposing the individual mandate of PPACA. If any judge jails me citing contempt, (s)he will have made me a POLITICAL PRISONER. Monitoring of the federal courts is a must to see to it that these political prisoners get the publicity necessary to oppose tyranny.

--
The Second Amendment is the enshrinement of a HENOPOLY, NOT MONOPOLY on the legitimate use of violence as stated in the Federalist Papers.

When government engages in suspicious activity, the burden of proving a negative must rest on the government.

I'll call the cops on Jr McVeighs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175779)

Yikes... I hope I have the opportunity to call the cops myself on your terrorist ass.

Fuck off and die, traitor.

Have they changed the LAW?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44175723)

I was unaware that Congress had passed a revision to ObamaCare?

The law states the mandate goes into effect in 2014.
But I guess the King has spoken and he can change things whenever it suits his agenda, regardless of what the law or the Constitution says.

I just told my wife last week that this was going (1)

neo-mkrey (948389) | about 10 months ago | (#44175867)

I just told my wife last week that this was going to happen. She said I was being pessimistic. Turns out I was just being realistic.
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