On Tuesday, July 2, 2013, the White House announced that there would be a one-year delay in the roll-out of one of the key provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This provision required that larger employers, those employing 50 or more full-time employees, provide insurance coverage for their workers or pay penalties as of January 1, 2014. The delay is unfortunate for those citizens whom are employed but not provided insurance coverage by their employers. This provision would have significantly reduced the number of uninsured people.
However, with some breathing room now until after the mid-term elections in 2015, respective employer groups welcomed the news after months of complaints voiced against this provision. Some companies whose payrolls are just above the law’s threshold were also threatening to eliminate jobs or switch some full-time workers to part-time employment so they could avoid providing coverage. Republicans rejoiced and continued to voice they would not let up in their efforts to repeal ObamaCare.
This postponement, however, does not affect other central provisions of the law. An example of another provision not affected is the establishment of health insurance marketplaces, or exchanges, where uninsured citizens can shop and purchase health insurance policies. However, supporters of Obamacare are skeptical on the schedule of the establishment of the health insurance exchanges. The skepticism is due to that the progress of these exchanges varies by state. Some Republican-led states are resisting the health care law and withholding resources for putting the exchanges into effect.
Tuesday’s announcement also did not include any delay on the requirement under the law that most Americans will be required to have insurance in January 2014, or they will be subject to tax penalties.