Economics 101: The more that government tries to run businesses, the more it fouls up.

From The Wall Street Journal:

Health-Law Mandate Put Off Again
No Fines for Most Employers Until 2016 as Firms Pressure White House in Wake of Troubled Rollout
By Louise Radnofsky and Theo Francis | Updated Feb. 10, 2014 8:53 p.m. ET

The Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Most employers won’t face a fine next year if they fail to offer workers health insurance, the Obama administration said Monday, in the latest big delay of the health-law rollout.The Treasury Department, in regulations outlining the Affordable Care Act, said employers with 50 to 99 full-time workers won’t have to comply with the law’s requirement to provide insurance or pay a fee until 2016. Companies with more workers could avoid some penalties in 2015 if they showed they were offering coverage to at least 70% of full-time workers.

The move came after employers pressured the Obama administration to peel back the law’s insurance requirements. Some firms had trimmed workers’ hours to below 30 hours a week to avoid paying a penalty if they didn’t offer insurance.

A senior administration official said the shift was a response to businesses’ concerns, though the official said no one reason was behind the change.

More at the link.

This isn’t the first delay; the provision being delayed was originally supposed to take effect this year, and had already been pushed back until 2015.

Your Editor is certain, certain! that the Administration isn’t doing this to try to protect Senate Democrats like Kay Hagan in North Carolina who are facing tough re-election fights. dripping with sarcasm Others, like William Teach and Sister Toldjah, don’t seem quite as sure about that. :)

But, remember, as the White House has told us, it’s the law!

And it’s a law which was signed on March 23, 2010, just forty days short of four years ago. It has to be asked: if four years isn’t enough time to get ready to follow this law, just how much more time will be needed?

Robert Stacey Stacy McCain concluded:

Everybody made fun of Nancy Pelosi for saying that Congress had to pass the bill (which neither she nor any other Democrat member of Congress had read in its entirety) so we would know what was in it.

Now we see her point, however: It didn’t really matter what was in the law, because Democrats don’t believe in the Rule of Law, and ObamaCare was essentially carte blanche: “That’s the good thing about being president, I can do whatever I want.

Yorkshire asked why Barack Hussein Obama is still in the White House, noting Charles Krauthammer’s statement that if a Republican President had simply ignored and “rewritten” laws as he chose, the Democrats would have been screaming “Impeachment!” But, he’s a Democrat, so while the House of Representatives could impeach him, the Senate Democrats would roll over for a big ol’ tummy rub.

But . . . there’s more, which Nice Deb wrote about (hat tip to Karen):

Shock: Hidden In WH Employer Mandate Delay – Employers Not Allowed To Fire Anyone 
February, 11, 2014 — nicedeb

On Monday night’s Kelly File, Megyn Kelly covered the  ObamaCare Employer Mandate delay, focusing “on one little nugget” that was “found under a mountain of new regulations” which stipulates that in order to be eligible for this gift from the White House, “the employer may not reduce the size of its workforce or its overall hours of service of its employees.”

“Basically”, she continued, “what the government is telling employers is that you will not fire a single person. You will not lay off a single person – if you want to take advantage of our gift. And you have to certify it under penalty of perjury to the IRS that you didn’t do that!”

A lot more at the link. But that’s the part that the Democrats are hoping to use: they won’t enforce the wholly misnamed Patient Protection & Affordable care Act on employers with workforces between 50 and 99 employees, as long as those employers do not lay off anybody!

If your business takes a downturn, well, tough, you still can’t lay off anybody, or we will apply the PP&ACA to you in a discriminatory manner.

Of course, in the real world, businessmen are ahead of the government anyway. Once this provision gets known, businessmen who might be impacted by this will take decisions like:

  • Not expanding their workforces, just in care the expansion proves too optimistic, because they can’t lay off the new employees.
  • If layoffs have to be made, the layoffs have to take the business down to 49 or fewer employees, to escape the regulations entirely.
  • Since the change applies to 2015, if layoffs seem possible, layoffs must be made this year, not next.

Great regulations, huh? They provide an incentive for small businesses not to add jobs, to lay off more rather than fewer employees if lay offs are necessary, and to lay off people sooner rather than later.

But, the ever-optimistic sort that your Editor is, he can see a silver lining in all of this. If President Obama can just reregulate to suspend provisions of the PP&ACA when parts of it don’t work well — or hurt Democrats — then the next President, if he is a Republican, doesn’t need to worry too much about repealing it; he can just suspend the whole damned thing for his entire term!
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