By Brad Wenstrup
“We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it.” Those were the words of then Speaker Nancy Pelosi three years ago, describing the passage of President Obama’s health care law.
Unfortunately for the American people, we are finally finding out what is actually in Obamacare. Unworkable mandates have proven too much for even the Obama administration to enforce along the original timeline.
Conveniently, over the 4th of July week, the Obama administration announced in a quiet blog post on an obscure government webpage that the employer mandate is delayed a year. This mandate requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide employees with government-approved health care or receive a fine. While good news for the moment, this delay is merely a “stay of execution” for our already struggling economy.
A one year delay does not help anyone in the long term, neither employer nor employee. Employees will either be laid off or have their hours reduced now, or in a year. Employers will either spend millions of dollars and man hours complying with regulations now, or in a year.
I have heard from many small businesses and local governments in Ohio about the uncertainty surrounding the requirements and enforcement that Obamacare demands of them.
Every employer is trying to navigate the complex maze of new government requirements and regulations. They have already started working to meet the mandate, and now are stuck in limbo as the executive branch tries to figure out which parts of the law they will enforce, and when.
The unilateral decision to delay certain provisions undermines the very rule of law. If President Obama can pick and choose what he wants to enforce within Obamacare, what prevents him from doing the same with other legislation?
And while this administration has determined that their signature piece of legislation is too complicated for businesses, the individual mandate still stands. Businesses get a break, but individuals have no relief from the burdens of Obamacare.
The individual mandate must be delayed too.
In the long term, a permanent delay through the full repeal of Obamacare and its mandates is the only workable solution. On the road to repeal the House of Representatives is working to ensure that all Americans receive equal treatment under the law. Should not laws be fairly applied to everyone?
This week, the House passed two bills that legally delay not only the employer mandate, but also the individual mandate. It’s only fair.
Why do hardworking individuals not deserve relief from the hardships of Obamacare? If President Obama and his allies in Congress stand by their decision to delay one mandate, is it not fair to delay the other?
As a doctor and former small businessman, I know the turbulence that Obamacare causes to our economy and our health care system. While the President himself begins to acknowledge the deficiencies in his law, we all must work towards real solutions that put the patient at the center of our healthcare system, not the government.
Brad Wenstrup is a US Congressman represents Ohio’s Second District.