There’s no use in denying it; the implementation of the Affordable Care Act has been a complete and utter disaster. There will be great debates by pundits and the like about how implementation could have been done better or how this or that person is ultimately responsible. While responsibility is nice to have, what the American people need now more than ever is a clear-cut improvement so that the Affordable Care Act can be implemented properly.
This is exactly what the Obama administration announced on February 10. By delaying the employer mandate for medium-sized businesses until 2016, the Obama administration is doing its best to ensure the public that the future of healthcare reform is done properly. This delay will help make sure that employers have an easier time transitioning into the new system, and it will give time for prices to stabilize in the healthcare markets so that employers are not taking on any unnecessary costs.
Naturally, the conservatives in Congress have harped on this change as a wry political tactic designed to mitigate the negative effects of Obamacare on the Democrats’ chances in the upcoming 2014 elections. There have even been cries from legislators that the delay in implementing the bill is directly contrary to President Obama’s constitutional duties, and because of this the President cannot be trusted on other important pieces of legislation, like immigration reform. After four years of Republican control in the House of Representatives, this kind of malarkey should be expected. It looks as though during their February retreat, the House Republicans decided to watch “House of Cards.” After all, President Obama’s actions are directly comparable to those of the scheming Frank
All joking aside, the Republican complaints regarding the delay of the employer mandate are entirely unfounded. First, the Democrats are already getting a “shellacking” over the Affordable Care Act; with every passing opinion poll, the view of the law lowers significantly. Furthermore, the President’s own approval ratings are down in the low forties. Thus, this action will have little to no impact on the already dismal electoral chances for the Democrats in November. Second, the Constitution clearly states (in Article 3, Section 3, Clause 5) that the President must “take care that laws be faithfully executed.” This statement allows the President the ability to decide both how and when the law shall be executed. Therefore, President Obama is well within his constitutional duty when he ordered the delay of the employer mandate to 2016.
Overall, the Affordable Care Act is a law with good intentions; it exists for the noble purpose of ensuring that every American citizen has access to affordable healthcare, which is well within their rights. The delay of the employer mandate is just a way to ensure that the Affordable Care Act works in the way it is supposed to, by helping expand coverage for thousands of working citizens, albeit at a later date. This law serves as a reminder that the President and his party are trying to get health care reform right.