President Barack Obama's decision to delay implementation of part of his healthcare reform law will cost $12 billion and leave a million fewer Americans with employer-sponsored health insurance in 2014, congressional researchers said Tuesday.
The report by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office is the first authoritative estimate of the human and fiscal cost from the administration's unexpected one-year delay announced July 2 of the employer mandate - a requirement for larger businesses to provide health coverage for their workers or pay a penalty.
The analysts said the delay will add to the cost of "Obamacare's" insurance-coverage provisions over the next 10 years. Penalties paid by employers would be lower and more individuals who otherwise might have had employer coverage will need federal insurance subsidies.
"Of those who would otherwise have obtained employment-based coverage, roughly half will be uninsured (in 2014)," CBO said in a July 30 letter to Representative Paul Ryan, Republican chairman of the House of Representatives Budget Committee.
Under Obama's healthcare reform law, employers with 50 or more full-time workers were supposed to provide healthcare coverage or incur penalties beginning January 1. But the requirement will now begin in 2015.
The delay intensified doubts about the administration's ability to implement Obama's signature domestic policy achievement and stirred Republican calls for a similar delay in another Obamacare mandate that requires most individuals to have health insurance in 2014.
Note that the decision to delay the implementation of Obamacare was made by an imperial presidency that isn't being called an imperial presidency by all of the people who were worried about the supposed imperial presidency of George W. Bush, because now that their guy is the imperial president in question, having an imperial presidency is presumably not a big deal anymore.
Oh, and there is also this:
Be careful you don't fall off the Obamacare "cliff" when the boss asks you to put in some overtime.
Working more could ultimately mean thousands of dollars less for you under a quirk in the new health-care law going into effect this fall. This could prompt some people to cut back on their hours to avoid losing money.
"It's sort of an absurd scenario," said Jonathan Wu, ValuePenguin.com's co-founder. "It's something for people to be aware of."
In that scenario, an individual or family whose annual income surpasses maximums set by the federal government—if only by $1—will totally lose subsidies available to buy health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
The loss of those subsidies in some cases will mean that people potentially would have been better off financially if they had worked less during the year, Wu said. And they then would have to work significantly more to make up for the lost subsidy.
"I think they'd be surprised to see how drastic it is," said Wu. "I'd be kind of shocked to see if I make $100 less (in total income each year), I get all these benefits, but if I make $100 more, I get nothing."
"You basically don't want to fall in that hole," said Wu, adding that he believed contractors and others with more control over their incomes would be apt to adjust their hours worked to avoid the subsidy cliff.
Don't you love how much we are finding out about the health care "reform" bill, now that we have passed it?