Our recent blogs and Small Business Authority Market Sentiment Survey have depicted a sense of uncertainty and lack of clarity amongst business owners as to what to do to prepare for the PPAHCA. This uncertainty has continued to exist with a persistent stubbornness. The administration, in its wisdom, has delayed a key provision in ObamaCare, the “Employer Mandate.” All businesses with over 50 employees must provide health insurance to their staff or face fines up to $3,000 per employee.
The consumer mandate, which Chief Justice Roberts refers to as a tax, is not delaying its start date of 2015, so individuals not covered under an employer plan must obtain health coverage or face fines beginning in 2014. This announcement came yesterday from the Treasury Department, right before the July 4th holiday is to begin for many businesses and Americans.
Our clients, small independent business owners, could argue the merits of the PPACA ad nauseum, but could not really argue the concern over the rush to implement it quickly. As Nancy Pelosi once said, you have to “pass the act to know what’s in it.” This message and confusion has created great pushback by taxpayers, citizens and even government administrators, who know that this 2000+ page act requires a huge cost and administrative burden to implement and manage. Rules are being perpetually rewritten and updated and a January 2014 start date for employers was just unrealistic.
Now, with the consumer mandate still out there, does this shift an economic burden to uninsured workers or consumers for a year? Or just expand our deficit further? Both? Probably both.
The benefits of Obamacare, such as insuring all, even those with pre-existing conditions, still are on track for January of 2014. Exchanges are planning on being launched on or before January 2015. Most of the act, so far, is in motion. Our clientele still fears government becoming larger in many areas, including healthcare. Our clientele still fears an ever-expanding deficit. Our clientele is also happy that this provision is getting delayed so that they will have more time to plan and make wiser choices given the new uncertainty and changes being brought in by the act.