Why not delay individual mandate, too?
Indeed, why not? With employers given a reprieve in being forced to offer insurance to their employees, why not do the same for the average American?
Congressional Republicans pressed President Barack Obama on Tuesday to delay a requirement under his healthcare law that Americans obtain insurance next year after the administration gave employers a one-year reprieve from having to provide it to staff.
"Next year, millions of Americans will get the help they need to purchase quality health insurance they currently cannot afford," he said.
But White House spokesman Jay Carney said the individual mandate would go forward because Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provides financial assistance to help lower-income people pay for insurance while exempting those who cannot afford coverage.
"Please ... provide to Congress your justification for only delaying the employer mandate at this time and not the new mandate on individuals and families," they wrote. "We agree with you that the burden was overwhelming for employers, but we also believe American families need the same relief."
In a letter on Tuesday signed by House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner and 10 other leading House Republicans, they asked Obama for a detailed explanation of the delay of the "employer mandate," asking for a reply from the president by August 1.
The move sparked a new wave of Republican efforts to discredit Obama's healthcare reform law and raised questions over whether the effort will be launched as planned.
The U.S. Treasury and White House announced last week that businesses would not be required to offer health coverage, or pay a fine, in 2014 because the administration had yet to issue final regulations in time for employers to comply.
It's not going to happen. Without the mandate, there would be a lot fewer people buying insurance to subsidize those with chronic or pre-existing conditions. The sick folks are going to be paying exactly the same as healthy people (which calls into question why we are calling it "insurance" in the first place). The cost of health care would go through the roof unless the "young invincibles" are forced to buy into the insurance market.
Besides, the individual mandate is the cornerstone of Obamacare. The administration will fight tooth and nail to keep it as it is a symbol of the law as much as it is a working part of it.