Share This Page

Health care delay's cost pegged at $12B

| Tuesday, July 30, 2013, 8:06 p.m.

WASHINGTON — President Obama's decision to delay implementation of part of his health care law will cost $12 billion and leave 1 million fewer Americans with employer-sponsored health insurance in 2014, congressional researchers said on Tuesday.

The report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is the first authoritative estimate of the human and fiscal cost from the administration's unexpected one-year delay announced on July 2 of the employer mandate — a requirement for larger businesses to provide health coverage for their workers or pay a penalty.

The analysts said the delay will add to the cost of the overhaul's insurance-coverage provisions during the next 10 years. Penalties paid by employers would be lower and more individuals who otherwise might have had employer coverage will need federal insurance subsidies.

“Of those who would otherwise have obtained employment-based coverage, roughly half will be uninsured (in 2014),” CBO said in a July 30 letter to Rep. Paul Ryan, Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee.

Under Obama's health care law, employers with 50 or more full-time workers were supposed to provide health care coverage or incur penalties beginning on Jan. 1. But the requirement will now begin in 2015.

The delay intensified doubts about the administration's ability to implement Obama's signature domestic policy achievement and stirred Republican calls for a similar delay in another mandate that requires most individuals to have health insurance in 2014.

The Republican-controlled House followed up the administration's decision by voting on July 17 for its own measures to delay the employer and individual mandates. Neither piece of legislation is expected to succeed in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.