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New Obamacare Delay Puts the Spotlight on Individual Mandate Once Again

Pete Souza (White House)

Alberto González - published on 02/11/14

Republicans cite concerns of fair implementation of the law, saying that individuals should be afforded the same conditions as businesses.

On Monday, the Obama administration issued new regulations delaying the implementation of Obamacare for employers. The new timeframe will allow businesses of 50-100 employees to defer penalties for non-compliance until 2016, while larger businesses (100 or more workers) will be given two years to phase into Obamacare’s requirements.

But the change in the law has prompted calls for a similar delay of the individual mandate, which would require non-insured persons to buy health insurance or incur a hefty tax penalty.

Republicans in Congress have critiqued the administration’s double standard, asking that individuals be extended the same proviso as businesses. House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) voiced this concern, saying, “It’s time we give every American the same relief from the law that the President has granted to businesses by working toward a legislative solution to delay Obamacare for everyone.”

Rep. Dianne Black (R-TN) brought up a similar point: “Where is the relief for American families who are suffering from this law? By providing more relief for employers without doing the same for individuals, the President is again sending the message that businesses deserve favorable treatment over the hardworking American people.”

Senate Republicans voiced their objections, too. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stated, “The White House seems to have a new exemption from its failed law for a different group every month. It’s time to extend that exemption to families and individuals – not just businesses.”

It remains to be seen what sort of action the administration may take with respect to the individual mandate. This is the second time that implementation of the law’s requirements has been delayed for employers.

Alberto González is the Associate Editor of Aleteia’s English edition. His prior endeavors have included working in political campaigns and in the United States Senate. He also maintains an active schedule as a liturgical vocalist and organist.

A native of California, Alberto graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2010 with a B.A. in Music and Political Science. He currently lives in the greater Washington, D.C. area.

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