In deciding to postpone the implementation of the employer mandate, the Obama administration has undermined its sole claim to greatness and delivered a blow to Democrats on the ballot in 2014. Here are seven reasons (more will pop up in the days to come) why it is a huge setback:
1. It proves the president’s assurances that everything was 100 percent on track to be false. His credibility is low now; this may send it skidding further.
2. This gives every Republican the “I told you it was a mess” argument in 2014.
3. It also gives Republicans encouragement that they can prevent the mandate from ever going forward and can see Obamacare collapse under its own weight.
4. The delays are another instance in which Obama’s support for big government will undermine Americans’ faith in it. It is all too unwieldy to run well.
5. It will open the floodgates to arguments that the rest of the law should be delayed as well. (See #2.)
6. It will fuel the meme that Obama’s second term is a flat-out disaster.
7. And if Obamacare is in tatters, what has Obama accomplished in his presidency?
UPDATE: The inequity is great here. A big employer could potentially drop insurance, sending the employee out to pay more for his coverage or face a fine. The law for the little guy will become his worst nightmare. Pressure may therefore build to delay the individual mandate so as to alleviate this problem.
Meanwhile Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) is quick off the draw with a statement: “Obamacare costs too much and it isn’t working the way the administration promised. And while the White House seems to slowly be admitting what Americans already know, and what I hear consistently in my travels around Kentucky regarding the regulatory burden on employers, the fact remains that Obamacare needs to be repealed and replaced with common-sense reforms that actually lower costs for Americans.” You can almost visualize his Cheshire cat grin.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Virg.) adds: “Rather than continuing to delay the predictable pain until another election day has passed, we should scrap this entire law and instead implement patient-centered reforms before any more damage is done to our economy or the health care families depend on. The best delay for ObamaCare is a permanent one.”