Senator John Thune
Recently, the Obama administration announced its plans to delay implementation of one of the key components of the president’s signature health care legislation, the employer mandate. This provision, which mandates financial penalties to businesses with more than 50 employees that fail to provide government-approved health insurance to its employees, will be delayed from 2014 until 2015.
For more than three years, President Obama has been assuring the American people that provisions in ObamaCare such as the employer mandate will help lower premium costs and allow Americans to keep the insurance they preferred. Yet, businesses across South Dakota and the rest of the country have lamented that the legislation is stifling hiring decisions and taking away financial resources that would normally be invested in their business. According to a Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey, nearly 4 in 10 small business owners are holding back hiring because of costs associated with implementing ObamaCare.
Not only does the health care law mandate coverage for employees, but the law also includes a provision that mandates employers include certain government-determined “essential benefits” for any employer-sponsored health plan, leaving almost no flexibility for an employer to determine what is best for his or her employees. Many of these required benefits increase the cost of plans for employers and employees alike.
According to a recent Gallup poll from June of 2013, 52 percent of respondents said they disapprove of ObamaCare, up from 48 percent last fall. The same poll revealed that for every one person who believes they will be better off under ObamaCare, two believe they will be worse off. Opposition to the president’s health law is growing, and will continue to grow, as Americans realize that the law is built upon broken promises that will result in higher health care costs and more taxes.
While I am pleased that businesses will be shielded for another year from the onerous and costly requirements associated with employer mandate, the delay provides further evidence that ObamaCare is not the solution to our health care problems and that this massive expansion of government is a step in the wrong direction. Rather than unilaterally breaking a law that the president and his allies in Congress proposed, the administration should have worked with Congress to devise a solution.It’s time to repeal this broken legislation and replace it with real health care reforms that will give Americans access to the health care they need, from the doctor they choose, at a lower cost.