KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Political Responses Swirl Around Administration’s Announcement

As GOP lawmakers and health law critics gloat, administration officials say they are listening to concerns from business and being flexible.

The Washington Post’s Wonk Blog: The Politics Of Delaying Obamacare
By delaying a requirement that all large employers provide health insurance, the Obama administration heads off the unseemly spectacle of companies vowing to cut jobs or workers' hours to avoid the costly mandate. But the late Tuesday action is not a free pass: It contributes to critics' claims that the White House does not have the ability to launch its biggest legislative accomplishment on schedule (Kliff, 7/2).

Politico: GOP Gloats Over Obamacare Delay
Obamacare opponents on Tuesday had a "We told you so" moment. … The administration defended the delay as an effort to provide flexibility to the business community, but it's bringing negative attention to the law just as the White House and its health care allies launch a major campaign to sell Obamacare to the public. Enrollment in the exchanges starts in October (Millman, 7/2).

The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: GOP, Democrats Clash On Meaning Of Health-Law Delay
Republicans pounced on the Obama administration's announcement late Tuesday that it would delay enforcement of the federal health law's mandate on employers to offer workers coverage or pay a penalty, prompting some Democratic supporters of the law to praise the administration and others to pause for thought. GOP lawmakers were quick to say the shift was a sign the law wasn't ready for prime-time — and that its most unpopular provision, the requirement that individuals carry coverage or pay a fee, should go too (Peterson and Radnofsky, 7/3).

Politico: Valerie Jarrett On Employer Mandate Delay: We're Just Listening To Business
According to Jarrett, the law's original reporting standards may have been unnecessary for businesses "that more than meet the minimum standards in the law." She also compared the delay to a move to consolidate the law's insurance application from 21 pages to three: "[W]e are working hard to adapt and to be flexible in employer and insurer reporting as we implement the law" (Cheney, 7/2).

The Hill: Jarrett: 'Full Steam Ahead' For ObamaCare Marketplaces, Despite Business Delay
White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett said the administration remained "full steam ahead" for the implementation of health insurance marketplaces, despite the announcement of a delay in a mandate requiring businesses to provide workers with health insurance. "We are full steam ahead for the Marketplaces opening on October 1," Jarrett said in a blog post explaining the move on the White House website (Sink, 7/2).

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