The unpopular, job-killing Obamacare provision that forces businesses with 50 or more employees to pick up the tab for workers’ health insurance or face a hefty tax has now lost support from even liberals, Politico Magazine reported Sunday.
Liberals ranging from President Barack Obama’s own former press secretary Robert Gibbs to the liberal Urban Institute and Commonwealth Fund say ditching the employer mandate makes sense and would reduce “distortions” in the labor market. Moreover, as they note, most large businesses already provide health insurance; the provision is only expected to increase coverage by 200,000 nationwide. Furthermore, Obamacare’s employer mandate compliance requirements layer costly and onerous compliance hurdles on job creators.
Chris Jennings, who helped the Obama White House with its Obamacare implementation, concedes that the employer mandate has become a “political irritant.” Jennings added, “The issue really becomes, ‘Do we need it or do we not need it?’ It’s complicated to enforce; it is somewhat burdensome to employers. But it does contribute to the underlying financing of the law.”
Even David Cutler, one of Obamacare’s architects, has said doing away with the onerous employer mandate is “not a huge deal.”
Still, the Obama administration and Senate Democratic Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) continue to stonewall GOP-led efforts to remove the costly, job-killing mandate. The reason: Politico notes that the employer mandate is expected to bag from $46 billion to over $100 billion in tax penalties and fees to help fund Obamacare over the next ten years. Unions also support the unpopular provision.
According to the Investor’s Business Daily Employer Mandate Scorecard, 429 employers have already slashed tens of thousands of worker hours and jobs to avoid getting hit with Obamacare’s employer mandate.
Obama has already delayed the employer mandate’s implementation twice to avoid electoral backlash for Democrats. Whether the Obama White House will join the growing chorus of liberals who now side with Republicans in opposing the employer mandate remains to be seen.
Obamacare remains deeply unpopular nationally. According to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, just 40% of American now support Obama’s signature legislative achievement.
Voters head to the polls in 121 days.