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AP Calls O-Care Delay ‘Tweak’ And ‘Wiggle Room’

From the always dependable Associated Press:

Health care tweak: Big companies get wiggle room

By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar | February 12, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) – Big retail stores, hotels, restaurants and other companies with lots of low-wage and part-time workers are among the main beneficiaries of the Obama administration’s latest tweak to health care rules.

This AP article, like most AP articles, parrots word for word what is coming out of the White House: Obama’s latest delay of the employee mandate is just a ‘tweak’. It just gives medium sized businesses a little ‘wiggle room.”

There is nothing illegal about it. There is no overreach of power.

Companies with 100 or more workers will be able to avoid the biggest of two potential employer penalties in the Affordable Care Act by offering coverage to 70 percent of their full-timers. That target is considerably easier to hit than the administration’s previous requirement of 95 percent, but the wiggle room is only good for next year.

"It will be very helpful to employers," said Bill O’Malley, a tax expert with McGladrey, a consulting firm focused on medium-size businesses. "This gives them a bit of a transition period to begin expanding coverage on a gradual basis. There would be some cost savings to employers who otherwise were nowhere near meeting the standard for 2015." …

Which, again, is practically word for word what Obama said yesterday. What a coincidence, huh?

But even if it directly impacts a relatively small share of companies, the mandate still represents a major new government requirement on businesses. At a time when the economy remains weak, implementation has been fraught with political overtones…

Say a franchise owner with two dozen fast-food restaurants in a state is already providing coverage to 50 percent of its workers averaging 30 hours. A 70 percent threshold would be less onerous than expanding the offer to 95 percent of employees. The Treasury Department says it works out to an easier path for companies…

Mark Holloway, a benefits expert with the Lockton consulting company, says that will help some companies avoid what he calls the law’s "nuclear penalty," a $2,000-per-employee fine levied across a company’s entire workforce, after adjustments…

And never mind that we have been constantly told by the AP and the White House and the rest of the Democrat Party that all the stories about businesses cutting back on full time workers and moving people into part time jobs — were "anecdotal." Rightwing fearmongering.

We have been constantly assured that businesses would never cut back on their fulltime employees to escape the Obama-Care $2,000 per fulltime employee penalty. So, apparently, Obama is lowering this employee coverage requirement for a year to prevent something that will never happen from happening before the elections.

It’s his antidote to ‘anecdotes.’

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Wednesday, February 12th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “AP Calls O-Care Delay ‘Tweak’ And ‘Wiggle Room’”

  1. Astravogel

    Spelling Alert! That ‘a’ in Tweak should have been an ‘r’.


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