Obamacare Delay’s Winners and Losers

Traffic sign for Winners or Losers - business conceptLast week’s big news — that Obamacare’s employer mandate was sidelined for another year — was framed as a win for business.

As originally written, Obamacare mandated that businesses with 50 or more full-time employees must provide their workers with coverage or face penalties of as much as $3,000 per employee beginning in 2014. But that date has been pushed back until 2015.

Businesses have long complained about the burdens of the law’s reporting requirements because employers must detail which months each worker and any of their dependents were covered by health insurance, according to government officials. As early as June 2012, the Business Roundtable noted in a comment letter that the reporting requirements would demand “substantial changes in administrative procedures and reprogramming of recordkeeping systems.” Randy Johnson, a senior vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce told Bloomberg after the announcement that “the administration has finally recognized the obvious — employers need more time and clarification of the rules of the road before implementing the employer mandate.”