Health-Care Provision Delay Not a Big Deal: Pro

Wednesday, 3 Jul 2013 | 2:03 PM ET
Jon Schulte | E+ | Getty Images

The White House's decision to delay until 2015 the requirement that large employers offer their employees affordable health-care coverage has surprised some and raised questions about whether other provisions of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act can be implemented on time.

The postponement was in response to concerns from businesses with 50 or more workers, which would have to pay fines for each full-time employee without health coverage.

CNBC spoke to analysts and experts about the implications of the decision.

Employer Health-Care Provision Postponed
Ezekiel Emanuel, provost at the University of Pennsylvania, says the administration's delay of mandated employer health-care coverage is really not a huge thing.

Ezekiel Emanuel, vice provost at University of Pennsylvania, chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy:

"Let's be quite clear that this applies to a very small number of employers. Those employers under 50 never had a penalty if they did not provide health insurance, and that's the vast majority of employers in this country—about 95 to 96 percent of all employers.

"It really applies to the 200,000 employers who have more than 50 workers, and 94 percent of those employers already offer health insurance, they are already giving their employees health insurance with a mandate, without a penalty. … So this applies to about 6 percent of the very largest companies in the country mostly ... retailers and restaurant companies, and for them it is a good breather."

Health-Care Hold More Symbolic Than Substantive: Expert
Peter Orszag of Citigroup discusses the administration's decision to delay a key part of the Affordable Care Act and its likely impact on the health-care system.

Peter Orszag, global banking vice chairman at Citigroup and a former director at Office of Management and Budget:

"I think the bigger effect, again, is that just symbolically the administration has said, 'We'll take our time to make sure everyone fully understands how this is going to work.'

And, by the way, don't forget the administration hasn't actually laid out all of the details how even the delay will work. They said we're going to delay things, but full details of exactly how this is going to fit together are expected next week."

(Read More: Will Obamacare Hurt Jobs? It's Already Happening, Poll Finds)

Key Health-Care Provision Delayed
The Obama administration has given companies with more than 50 workers an extra year to meet requirements of the ACA, reports CNBC's Bertha Coombs, talking with Alan B. Miller, Universal Health Services chairman and CEO.

Neil Trautwein, vice president of the National Retail Federation:

"I think it was evident that mechanically the exchanges weren't ready, the administration wasn't ready, and we weren't ready and we are not going to be ready in time for this to take off in October when the exchanges start enrolling people and in January when the exchanges are supposed to open up their door."

(Read More: Here Are Winners and Losers in Obamacare Delay)


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