KENTUCKY (2/11/14) – The Affordable Care Act changed once again.
The change affects every business in the United States with more than 50 employees.
No changes with businesses with fewer than 50 employees.
The change is being challenged by opponents of the ACA as illegal and beyond the power of the President.
President Obama has unilaterally made changes to the law on numerous occasions without consultation with or legislative action by Congress.
The change actually creates an additional class of businesses not covered in the law. The Affordable Care Act only addresses only “under 50” and “50 or over” employees.
The change made by the President has three classes “under 50, 50 to 99, and 100 or more employees”.
The new rules still do not mandate employee coverage for employers with fewer than 50 employees; however, the new rules issued by the President and Internal Revenue Service require the employer to sign a "self-attestation" on their tax forms affirming that the employer did not manipulate the number of employees to get or remain below 50 employees to avoid the mandate.
The attestation would be made under penalty of perjury; and, the employer could be criminally charged if the employer adjusted employee count to avoid the law. (This was a strategy that was being pursued by numerous employers in a previous story by SurfKY News.)
Employers with 50 to 99 employees will avoid the mandate to provide health insurance to full-time employees until 2016; but, they will have to provide the government with their employee counts for 2014 and 2015.
Employers with more than 100 employees will still have to provide coverage for full-time employees starting next year.
These employers will get a break as well - only having to cover 70 percent of their full-time workers the first year (2015) and 95 percent in 2016 and thereafter.
It is clear that the President caved in to business pressure to grant some relief.
Businesses are afforded some additional time to comply; but, the law becomes even more complicated and intrusive for businesses.
Ultimately, employers will have to fully comply with the law or face stiff penalties (unless there are other legislative changes).
The changes give Republicans and opponents to the ACA new ammunition as they seek to repeal the law.
"Once again, the president is giving a break to corporations while individuals and families are still stuck under the mandates of his health care law. And, once again, the president is rewriting law on a whim," House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement. "If the administration doesn't believe employers can manage the burden of the law, how can families be expected to?"
Both sides are clearly playing the politics on the issue.
The President and congressional Democrats see a real possibility that Republicans can take control of the U.S. Senate using the ACA (ObamaCare) as their leading issue.
With mounting evidence that perhaps millions of full-time jobs will be lost as a result of ACA prior to the November mid-term elections, the President blinked.Sen. John Barrasso, (R-Wyo.), said the announcement Monday is only "further evidence that the health care law is hurting the economy."
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