Democratic Senators Defend Delay Of Employer Mandate

Sens. Reed and Menendez say the decision will not stop other consumer changes in the health law and will allow officials to more carefully implement the overhaul. Meanwhile, a conservative group is planning an ad campaign against the law.

Politico: Reed: Obamacare Not In Jeopardy
The Affordable Care Act's implementation isn't in jeopardy despite President Barack Obama's administration delaying the employer mandate, Sen. Jack Reed said Sunday. Last week, the Obama administration announced the employer mandate -- a key provision in Obamacare -- would be delayed until 2015, despite the overall law itself going into effect in October. Obamacare critics say this shows how flawed the controversial legislation is. The Democratic senator from Rhode Island disagreed. "This was a response to concerns -- principally among the business community -- that the information and the operational details would not be there. And as a result, I think the administration wisely decided to postpone for one year the mandate on employers," Reed said on "Fox News Sunday." "The exchanges go into effect in October. The coverage goes into effect. And, indeed, what they've done really affects a very small minority of businesses throughout the country" (Cirilli, 7/7).

The Hill: Dem Senators: Delayed Mandate Will Aid Health Law Implementation
Democrats on Sunday defended the Obama administration's delay of a key component of ObamaCare, saying the extra time would help employers better deal with the law’s mandates. "The reality is this is an opportunity to get it right," Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said on NBC's "Meet the Press." Menendez said that critics of the law were unfairly attacking the administration for taking the time to better implement the law (Joseph, 7/7).

The New York Times: Conservatives' Aggressive Ad Campaign Seeks To Cast Doubt On Health Law
Though many of its rules will not take effect for months, President Obama's health care law is already the subject of an aggressive advertising campaign by Republicans to sow doubts about how it will work. In one of the largest campaigns of its kind, Americans for Prosperity, a conservative advocacy group financed in part by Charles and David Koch, will begin running television commercials this week asserting that the law will limit Americans’ health care choices (Peters, 7/6). 

The administration also announced some more details Friday about how the delay will affect the online insurance marketplaces.

The Washington Post: Health Insurance Marketplaces Will Not Be Required To Verify Consumer Claims
The Obama administration announced Friday that it would significantly scale back the health law’s requirements that new insurance marketplaces verify consumers' income and health insurance status. Instead, the federal government will rely more heavily on consumers' self-reported information until 2015, when it plans to have stronger verification systems in place (Kliff and Somashekhar, 7/5).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.