In what even the New York Times is describing as a “significant setback for President Obama’s signature domestic initiative,” the Treasury Department announced Tuesday that it would be delaying implementation of Obamacare’s employer mandate for an entire year.
The sounds of a weak recovery
“As we implement this law, we have and will continue to make changes as needed,” Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett explained in a separate White House blog post. “In our ongoing discussions with businesses, we have heard that you need the time to get this right. We are listening.”
What businesses are telling the White House is that Obamacare’s employer mandate is a job killer. No, it might not force companies to fire existing employees, but the $3,000 fine for every employee not offered health insurance by companies with over 50 employees hampered job creation in two ways: 1) it creates a strong incentive for companies with more than 50 employees to use more part-time employees instead of full-time employees; and 2) it creates a strong incentive for companies with less than 50 employees not to grow above that level.
The Obamacare bait and switch
The reality is that liberals always knew the employer mandate was terrible job-killing public policy, but they included it in the bill because it was essential to getting a good Congressional Budget Office score. Here is how Ezra Klein explained the role of the employer mandate back in 2009, “The overarching lesson of these CBO reports is simple: You can’t do health-care reform — at least not this kind of health-care reform — without an employer mandate.”
But now that Obamacare is law, liberals no longer need to fool Americans into thinking we can expand health insurance to almost 40 million Americans without adding to the deficit. The employer mandate has outlived its usefulness, which is why that very same Ezra Klein is now calling for a repeal of the very same employer mandate that he once said was “the key” to Obamacare.
The amnesty bait and switch
The exact same playbook is being deployed by liberals, and pro-amnesty Republicans, to pass amnesty. Just like the employer mandate was essential to getting a CBO score that said Obamacare would not add to the debt, E-Verify is now essential for convincing Americans that the Schumer-Rubio bill will, in Sen. Chuck Schumer’s words, make illegal immigration “a thing of the past.”
But, like Obamacare and the employer mandate, once the 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the country get amnesty, E-Verify will have outlived its usefulness. Businesses already complain at the existing voluntary E-Verify system, and those complaints will only get louder as a new E-Verify system becomes mandatory.
Does anyone, anywhere, believe Obama would not delay implementation of E-Verify too?
Conservatives who do not trust Obama to enforce perfectly good law – whether it is No Child Left Behind, the War Powers Act, our current immigration laws, etc. – should not trust him to enforce whatever security measures are part of any immigration deal. There is no reason to believe that amnesty would not be every bit the train wreck that Obamacare already is.
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On Obama’s mandate delay, Valerie Jarrett says, “We’re Listening to Businesses about the Health Care Law.”
Ezra Klein says the employer mandate should be repealed.
Jonathan Cohn calls Obama’s employer mandate delay “Bad News About Obamacare That Isn’t Bogus.”
Think Progress assures progressives that Obama’s mandate delay will have “little effect on coverage in 2014.”
The Huffington Post reports that Organization for America Rallies For Immigration Reform With Mixed Success.
Jeffrey Anderson calls Obamacare’s employer mandate delay “A Blow to Both Obamacare and the Rule of Law.”
The Heritage Foundation says Obama’s mandate delay proves Obamacare is a job killer.
Andrew Biggs says amnesty will not strengthen Social Security.