Legislators react to new ACA employer mandate delay

The Obama administration announced on Monday that the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate would be delayed again for businesses, which drew calls from legislators for relief for individuals and steps to address the healthcare law more comprehensively.

The new regulations will delay the employer mandate for small businesses until 2016 and allow larger businesses to phase in the mandate over two years.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) said the administration’s decision proved that Democrats couldn’t survive politically if the law went into full effect.

“This is just one more admission that the law is bad for hardworking taxpayers and American employers,” Camp said.

House Small Business Committee Chairman Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) said the law is bad for the economy and the healthcare system.

“Small businesses are grappling with healthcare costs that have doubled as a result of the law, and many businesses have already made hiring decisions based on the law’s requirements,” Graves said. “Many companies are confused and perplexed by all of the changes and delays to the law, and (Monday’s) decision doesn’t help. Small businesses don’t need another postponement, they need a better law.”

Reps. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) questioned how the administration could delay the employer mandate for businesses while failing to provide relief for individuals.

“The administration is picking and choosing who will benefit and scheduling the delay until after yet more elections,” Roberts said. “I have to ask, where is the delay for the individual? Where is the delay for the average American? We must repeal and replace this law.”

Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio) and other legislators pledged to continue working to repeal the law.