JP Pritchard

Houston Business Relieved by Postponement of the Employer Mandate.

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Many in the business community are breathing a sigh of relief because the Obama Administration has postponed for a year implementation of the “employer mandate” under the Affordable Care Act.  That’s the part of the law that requires companies with 50 or more workers to provide health care insurance.

Houston employment attorney George Reardon with the Littler Mendelson Law Firm has been trying to help his clients deal with the mandate.  Reardon says “the delay is welcome, but the problem is not with the implementation timing of the law, it’s with the design.”  He adds many of the new law’s regulations are just not clear.

Mr. Reardon says the Obama Administration was “…in a kind of a lose-lose situation.  If they didn’t postpone it, there would be chaos, and now that they do postpone it, it seems to be an admission of problem in the law.”

That opinion is echoed by a business executive we talked to who wants to remain anonymous.  He says he’s been struggling with bringing his company into compliance for months.  He admits he’s been struck by the onerous nature of the some of the rules, and largely confounded by the regulations.  As he put it, “This is just a realization that they’ve made it so difficult that nobody can figure it out.”

Meanwhile, the individual mandate, requiring those who are uninsured to buy health insurance through a government exchange is still in effect, requiring enrollment starting October First of this year.

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