POLITICS: PennAve

President defends another Obamacare delay, economic implications of health law

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Politics,White House,Brian Hughes,Barack Obama,Obamacare,Health Care,PennAve

President Obama on Tuesday hit back at critics who said the latest Obamacare delay showcased shortcomings with the president's signature domestic achievement.

"The goal is to make sure folks are healthy and have decent health care, so this was an example of administratively making sure we are smoothing out this transition,” Obama said during a press conference with French President Francois Hollande.

“There are going to be circumstances; people try to do the right thing and it may take time," he added.

On Monday, the Obama administration announced that it would delay until 2016 the employer mandate for companies with between 50 and 99 workers. It marked the second time the administration has pushed back the mandate for employers to obtain insurance for their workers or pay a fine.

Republicans say the White House's unilateral push to delay certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act is just the latest example of executive overreach by Obama.

The GOP also seized upon a recent Congressional Budget Office report that said Obamacare would eliminate the equivalent of 2.5 million full-time jobs over the next decade.

The president said such rhetoric distorted the economic implications of the health law.

“It’s giving people more flexibility and more opportunity,” Obama said, arguing that Americans are now free to leave undesirable jobs since they have greater access to health care.

Obama also denied suggestions that his administration was trying to push people to the individual markets by delaying the employer provision of the Affordable Care Act.

"I don't think an employer-based system,” Obama said, “will be or should be replaced any time soon.”

This story was published at 1:48 p.m. and has been updated.

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