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July 09. 2013 4:50PM

Delaying Obamacare: An admission of deep flaws

Obamacare is a 906-page law that has generated — so far — at least 10,000 pages of federal regulations to direct the activity in one-seventh of the U.S. economy. And some people are surprised that it is too complex to be implemented on schedule?

Last Friday the Obama administration released final regulations for a big chunk of the law. Those regulations are 606 pages long. Owners of businesses and other organizations with 50 employees or more are supposed to understand — and comply with — all of the regulations that apply to them. States are supposed to have exchanges that seamlessly guide citizens through the insurance-buying process dictated by thousands of pages of regulations — in a matter of minutes. And that is why those 606 pages of regulations issued Friday used the word “delay” 45 times, according to a tally by The Washington Post.

The law simply cannot be implemented by next year. The Friday delays came days after the administration announced that it would delay for one year the requirement that companies with 50 or more employees offer health insurance.

Among the delays ordered last week:

• The federal government will verify the incomes of only a fraction of applicants for insurance subsidies. To qualify for a health insurance subsidy, one has to report one’s income to the government. The administration now acknowledges that the government cannot do all of the expected verifications.

• Employers can wait until 2015 to offer health insurance to their full-time employees.

• State-run insurance exchanges will not have to verify that applicants for subsidized insurance have no employer-provided option.

These are some of the delays being hastily ordered so the law will not create an economy-crashing regulatory catastrophe in a few months. Remember that these delays come years after the administration waived some of the law’s burdensome insurance coverage requirements for more than 1,000 employers and even for some entire states (including Maine).

Without the delays and waivers, Obamcare would prove an immediate disaster. As of now, it is merely a delayed disaster. Under this president, that is what counts as progress.


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