Key US healthcare reform provision delayed to 2015
A key provision of President Barack Obama’s US healthcare reform law has been delayed by a year. The Obama administration has said it would not require employers to provide health insurance for their workers until 2015.
The move has been seen as a major compromise to retailers and other businesses. It follows widespread complaints from these businesses against the reporting requirements for employers with 50 or more full-time workers.
However, it means that the law’s aim of giving coverage to nearly 50 million Americans who don’t have health insurance will be pushed back further than planned. The law, otherwise known as “Obamacare”, was passed in 2010 and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court a year ago.
According to Reuters, Republicans called the announcement evidence that Obama’s plan was a failure, while Democrats termed it a demonstration of flexibility.
“This is designed to meet two goals. It will allow us to consider ways to simplify the new reporting requirements consistent with the 2010 law. Second, it will provide time to adapt health coverage and reporting systems while employers are moving toward making health coverage affordable and accessible.
“We have heard concerns about the complexity of the requirements and the need for more time to implement them effectively. We have listened to your feedback and we are taking action.”
Mark Mazur, the Treasury Department’s assistant secretary for tax policy, said in a government blog.
The administration is going to publish formal guidance describing these changes within the next week.
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