As you may have heard, the Obama administration has delayed the employer mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act to January 2015. Avik Roy has a great rundown of the implications of this decision:
The Obama administration has decided to delay the implementation of Obamacare’s employer mandate—the requirement that all firms with 50 or more employees offer health coverage, or pay steep fines—until 2015. The mandate was supposed to go into effect on January 1, 2014. This development will have a significant impact on the rollout of Obamacare, the private health insurance market, and the nation’s economy, as I detail below.
The real question is, “How much of this is political?” Obamacare has been a disaster from the start and politically, it’s something Congressional Democrats in swing districts/states are avoiding like the plague. What better way to deflect from the very unpopular mandate in an election year than by eliminating it as an issue?
This doesn’t sit well with those who have a vested in interest in playing defense for the Obama administration so naturally, they had to find a way to blame this on conservatives.
Enter Media Matters For America. Billed as “conservative media watchdog” group, the organization, launched by long time professional liar, David Brock, is actually nothing more than a publicity arm for the Obama administration and the Democratic National Committee. They wasted no time on this one:
The Treasury Department announced on June 2 that the Obama administration elected to delay the deadline for large businesses, which employ 50 people or more, to offer health insurance to their employees from January 2014 to January 2015. Treasury explained that its decision was made in part following consultations with businesses, who had expressed concerns about the deadline and requested more time to implement the new requirements under the Affordable Care Act.
Fox News and the Drudge Report reacted to the announcement by baselessly claiming that the administration’s decision was politically motivated and was linked to the approaching 2014 midterm elections.
The real reason for the delay? Conservative obstructionism of course!
In fact, as the Washington Post reported, the delay is due to years of legal and political challenges to the law from conservatives
The Wall Street Journal similarly reported that “legal and political challenges” from the right meant businesses did not have enough time to implement the new requirements:
The Obama administration had no problem telling organizations and businesses opposed to the contraception mandate to get lost when they objected with legal and political challenges. It took a court order to keep them from levying stiff fines on Hobby Lobby for not acquiescing to the administration’s demands.
That they would be cowed from implementing the legislation the President himself said was more important than his 2008 election is because of conservative objections and legal challenges, is an argument only a sucker would believe.
Also known as, the Media Matters target audience.