Not So Sexy Anymore: Obamacare is Shrinking as a Political Issue
Last week, the NY Times compared the number of Obamacare related news releases last year versus this year, and declared that the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is shrinking as a political issue.
“Last summer, lawmakers churned out news releases using the term Obamacare, 530 of them in June, July and August,” wrote Derek Willis. “This summer, 138.”
It looks like being “Anti-Obamacare” just isn’t as sexy as it was last year. Maybe that is due to the fact that last year there was much more uncertainty about the law. The Individual Mandate had yet to go into effect, the Health Insurance Exchanges had yet to open, and politicians like Senator Ted Cruz of Texas were drawing giant crowds promising to repeal and/or defund Obamacare.
This summer, those issues seem to be in the past. The Individual Mandate is in effect, and despite a terrible start, the Exchanges are up and running. Millions of Americans have gotten coverage through an Exchange, with millions more expected to enroll during the next open enrollment period this fall.
The Employer Mandate is set to kick in on January 1, 2015, and the Department of Health and Human Services released guidelines on Friday to show business owners how to fill out their new tax forms. If that’s not a message that the law is going forward, I don’t know what is.
What Does This Mean For Employers?
The moving forward of Obamacare in the face of failed repeals, defunding debacles and blustery speeches that promised much and delivered almost nothing has put many employers in the unfortunate position of not being as prepared as they could have been.
I talk with employers, consultants and insurance brokers every day about this issue, and the simple fact is that many large employers under the definition of the law have no real awareness of the depth and range of the penalties a business faces under the law. Many of them are going to be in violation unless they act quickly to implement a solution that covers the primary penalties of not offering insurance and failing to offer an affordable plan.
I’ll be posting more about this in the days to come – and have resources available on my website at http://www.yourobamacareadvisors.com
LINK TO THE NY TIMES ARTICLE