White House Delays Health Care Law's Employer Mandate

Companies With More Than 50 Employees Affected

White House Delays Health Care Law's Employer MandateThe U.S. Treasury Department announced last week that it would delay enforcement of a critical provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for one year. The section of the law that mandates companies with more than 50 employees provide health care coverage to staffers (or face fines) will now go into effect in 2015 instead of its previously scheduled date of 2014.

"The administration is announcing that it will provide an additional year before the ACA mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements begin," said the Treasury Department, which oversees the IRS implementation of the health care law, in a statement. "This is designed to meet two goals. First, it will allow us to consider ways to simplify the new reporting requirements consistent with the law. Second, it will provide time to adapt health coverage and reporting systems while employers are moving toward making health coverage affordable and accessible for their employees."

For industry companies, the delay means more time to determine how the law will impact their operations moving forward. "While I have no idea if politics is behind the decision, I do favor making sure the implementation of a huge new law is done thoughtfully and well," said Gene Geiger, CEO of Top 40 distributor Geiger (asi/202900). "If delay means it will go better, I am in favor."

Marc Simon, CEO of Top 40 distributor Halo Branded Solutions (asi/356000), applauded the delay, as it provides more time to ensure the new law is administered correctly. "I think it made sense to delay implementation," he said. "There are many nuances to how the law may be applied and many interpretations required. They need to get it right the first time."

However, others in the ad specialty market question whether the delay will continue to hamper companies' decision-making amid economic uncertainty. "I think it is a bad thing because it just creates more uncertainty and anxiety in the business world for another year," said Paul Lage, president and CEO of Top 40 supplier Gill Studios (asi/56950). "It will be painful, it won't help the economy, but at least we can get out of limbo and start moving forward."