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Obama Administration Postpones Major Component of PPACA

The Obama administration announced late yesterday that it is postponing for one year, until 2015, a major component of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) — the mandate that larger employers provide coverage for their workers or pay penalties. The 2010 Act originally required employers with more than 50 full-time workers to offer them affordable health insurance beginning in 2014 or face fines. The announcement yesterday postpones mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements and waives the imposition of any employer-shared responsibility penalty payments for 2014. The decision postpones the effective date beyond next year’s midterm elections, stating that the rules for compliance are just too complex for implementation by 2014.

In its announcement, the administration promised to provide formal guidelines shortly. The announcement did not address the individual mandate. Under the PPACA, most Americans will be required to have insurance by January 2014 or they will be subject to tax penalties.

The implementation of state and federal insurance marketplace exchanges has also not been delayed and White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett has posted on the White House Website that the administration is “full steam ahead for the Marketplaces opening on October 1.”

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