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November 22, 2013

Shock of Shocks: Obama Delaying Employer Mandate, Again For, Get This, Nakedly Political Reasons

Corrected: Thanks to commenters and Andy, I've been informed that I've misread this article badly.

I've been so strongly expecting him to delay the employer mandate (as I mention below) that when I saw an article with the words "mandate" and "delay," I just made up the rest of the sentence in my head.

But re-reading the article more carefully, I see that this move applies to enrollment in the Obamcare exchanges. So it applies to the individual market.

Now, this is still being done for political reasons. Remember, Obama seeks to keep the old policies in effect for one year, after which people will have to seek an Obamacare policy. They will of course start seeking these policies, then, on October 15th.

He's keeping them from seeing the Sticker Shock prices until after the election.

I'm sorry I blew the story so badly. I've anticipated the delay of the employer mandate so hard that I just completely misread this article as vindicating that prediction.

Below a rewrite of the post-- without the major error I made.


Democrats complained that enrollment for the employer mandate -- with the Sticker Shock that will accompany it -- was slated to start less than three weeks before the 2014 midterms, on October 15, 2014.

In addition, Obama's one-year grace period for old policies means that people will start seeking new policies October 15, 2014, as well.

Well, not any more.

King Obama is now trial-ballooning -- that he'll delay the enrollment period on the Obama exchanges by exactly one month, from October 15th (before the elections) to November 15th (after them).

On the podcast now posted below, and also in conversation, every time someone said "Well the Democrats are going to face the employer mandate before the election," I just laughed and scoffed. Sure they will.


That will be the next shoe to fall, I still think. But for now, here's this dropping shoe-- the individual market enrollment will not start until after the elections. Conveniently enough.

John Eekdahl had a point in the podcast, though: How much does this actually help Obama and the Democrats? The public understands what Obamacare means-- it means skyrocketing prices for their healthcare. Does delaying this -- attempting to keep a secret that's already out -- actually help them?

Maybe it could hurt them-- perhaps the public will imagine the damage to themselves will be even greater than it actually will be.

I don't know.

I do know the media is up to its old Obama-protecting tricks. Watch how Bloomberg claims the move is for policy purposes, which may also have a political benefit:

The Obama administration plans to push back by a month the second-year start of enrollment in its health program to give insurers more time to adjust to growing pains in the U.S. law, a move that may stave off higher premiums before the 2014 congressional elections.

Before I read that, I had been thinking "The media can't possibly spin this as anything other than what it is, a stinking filthy attempt to delay the pain of Obamacare so that Democrats have a chance to cling to power."

But there you go. Bloomberg's opening sentence reports, as a factual matter (not "the Administration claims," but that this is factually so), that the move is made for prudential reasons to permit insurers to "adjust" to "growing pains."

And not for the transparently political and, get this, dishonest reason that obviously is motivating the New Unilateral Executive Law-Making.

A one month delay of a mandate he already delayed by one year. Thirteen months instead of twelve months.

I guess it's just a coincidence that this one-month adjustment moves the pain from before the elections to after them.

digg this
posted by Ace at 11:14 AM

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