President Obama “can’t wait” for Congress to act—but he can wait for Obamacare to kick in.

Yesterday, the Obama Administration pushed back Obamacare’s employer mandate by two years for mid-sized employers. But that’s not all—employers got an added incentive not to lay off workers or cut workers’ hours.


Hurting workers doesn’t play well in an election year.

Many businesses have already paused hiring or cut workers’ hours because of Obamacare’s mandates and regulations. The Administration already delayed the employer mandate by a year, but now businesses with 50 to 99 employees will get a two-year reprieve before they have to provide government-approved health coverage for their workers—or pay a penalty.

Heritage expert Alyene Senger explains:

those with at least 50 full-time employees but fewer than 100 full-time employees won’t be subject to the mandate until 2016 if they meet certain eligibility conditions, which include: No layoffs or cutting hours because of Obamacare… Translation: The employer can still adjust hours and employment as long as they don’t blame Obamacare for the changes.

John Malcolm, Heritage’s Gilbertson Senior Legal Fellow, says this is simply another of the President’s unilateral actions—a way to get around “settled” law, as Obama himself has referred to Obamacare. Malcolm says:

On July 2, 2013, the Obama Administration unlawfully delayed the employer mandate to begin in 2015. Now the Administration is at it again, delaying the mandate yet another year for those employers who agree to abide by politically motivated conditions—by agreeing not to lay off workers in order to come into compliance—that are not in the law itself. Ignoring statutory requirements and handing out goodies to favored employers engenders disrespect for the law and plays hide-the-ball with the voting public.

Just add this to the host of Obamacare delays, challenges, and failures. It comes soon after a report that Obamacare will drive 2 million people out of the workforce just because of its incentives and subsidies for individuals. Delaying the employer mandate doesn’t delay the rest of the law’s disastrous effects.

When the Administration delayed the employer mandate the first time, Heritage expert Robert Moffit said to go easy on the champagne:

[T]hey see disaster in imposing the employer mandate in an election year. The White House is not politically stupid. While government actuaries predicted a modest dumping of workers out of job-based coverage, independent analysts predicted major disruptions in employer-based coverage.

The latest Obamacare delay is a perfect example of what Heritage President Jim DeMint said at yesterday’s Conservative Policy Summit, hosted by Heritage Action for America.

“People are starting to see that the federal government, despite good intentions, cannot do the things it’s promising to do.”

>>> See patient-centered health reform ideas from yesterday’s policy summit

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