Cue big sighs of relief for companies, but more confusion for those looking forward to health care reform.
The Obama administration is delaying one key aspect of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. The law requires companies with 50 or more full-time employees to offer health benefits, or pay a fine. This was supposed to go into effect next January; instead 2015 is the new deadline.
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This is one of the provisions which opponents of Obamacare insisted would keep corporate America from growing and hiring. Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) and author of The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive , tells The Daily Ticker this will be a great test.
"I frankly was making fun of the people who were saying it was a jobs-killer, cause it was very hard to see that evidence in the data, but this gives us a natural experiment; so if it was a-jobs killer... if they were right, we'll see a big boon in job creation second half of this year."
Baker is of course half-joking. Republicans are already jeering the Obama administration. Many are now watching closely to see if this leads to a delay in the individual mandate as well.
Yesterday's decision reflects ongoing pressure and confusion from various industries, including restaurants and retail. Mark Mazur, assistant secretary for tax policy at the Treasury Department, said in the blog post announcing the decision: "We have heard concerns about the complexity of the requirements and the need for more time to implement them effectively."
If you're also confused about health care reform, watch our interview with Dean Baker. It could help you make sense of the muddle.
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