The news came in the form of a blog post from Assistant Treasury Secretary Mark J. Mazur. Its business-as-usual title — “Continuing to Implement the ACA in a Careful, Thoughtful Manner” — belied the doozy that it was.
“The Administration is announcing that it will provide an additional year before the ACA mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements begin,” Mazur explained. Translation: A major component of the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — won’t start until 2015. Because it’s not ready.
Worst Week in Washington
Chris Cillizza grants the award to the Democrat, Republican, West Wing dweller, Capitol Hill insider, K Street dealer, business guru, sports hero, think tank scribblers or other inhabitant of Planet Beltway who experienced the absolute worst week.
More from Outlook
Gun metaphors riddle our slang.
From “Grapes of Wrath” to the White House.
An interview with the woman the novelist accused of “two-timing me with Cervantes.”
What hasn’t changed since the Bangladesh factory collapsed.
If this delay happened in a vacuum, it might be okay for the president. But Republicans and even some Democrats have been suggesting for a while that Obamacare could be a disaster-in-waiting. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) have both said implementation could amount to a “train wreck” if the public is not properly informed about what’s coming.
Now, the Obama administration has lent credence to concerns that its health-care act is a logistical mess that expands an already unwieldy federal bureaucracy.
This law remains President Obama’s signature legislative accomplishment — one he will be judged by for years after he leaves office. Whether this delay amounts to a momentary setback or the first in a series of problems is impossible to predict. But the fact that Obamacare’s implementation is being pushed back more than three years after it was passed shows what a tough road — or, perhaps, track — lies ahead.
President Obama, for allowing your eponymous reform to look like a slow train coming, you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something.
Have a candidate for the Worst Week in Washington? E-mail Chris Cillizza at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more from Outlook, friend us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.