Affordable Care Act's Employer-Coverage Mandate Delayed

The White House has decided to delay the ACA’s employer-coverage mandate, for businesses with 51 employees or more, by one year and does not think it’s a big deal. Over 90% of businesses with 51 or more employees already do offer health insurance. Basically, employers have an additional year to comply with the regulations of the ACA.

Businesses are relieved because they have been experiencing trouble setting up the proper technology and infrastructure to comply with the new law, in such a short period of time.

However, it is important to note that while businesses have been granted a year-long grace period, the individual mandate remains unchanged.

Employees, whose companies are affected by the recent delay, can obtain subsidized coverage through the individual insurance exchange in the meantime.

If an individual does not purchase insurance for 2014, they will be fined and that amount will escalate fairly rapidly over the next three years.

That’s the big news for today concerning the ACA. Let’s take a brief look at some of the major events that have occurred over the past 100 years between the government and healthcare.

  • 1880s: Germany’s Universal Health Insurance Program influenced United States policy makers. On January 1, 1891, the U.S. implemented a sickness-related income protection program that paid for people to obtain healthcare through local “clubs”. Sick insurance was not compulsory at this point.

 C.D. Babcock, Secretary of the Insurance Economy Society argued that sickness insurance programs did not reduce poverty, mortality, or duration of sickness. Medical practices, where these programs were already implemented, were experiencing a demoralized system.

  • Late 1800s/Early 1900s: Reformers were interested in improving social conditions of the working class. President Theodore Roosevelt and progressive groups campaigned for compulsory health insurance.

  • 1920: James Lynch of the New York State Industrial Commission proposed a “universal health insurance” program that would pay for medical and maternity care. His proposal included that worker’s would pay half the cost of their health insurance, while their employers would pay the other half.

  • 1930s-1940s: Call to bolster national preventive care programs and support state and local health departments. President Franklin Roosevelt was not interested in a large federal health insurance program.

  • 1946: President Truman argued that the U.S. needed a prepaid health insurance system for the entire population. The country was already using taxpayer money to provide free medical care for low income or no income families.

“This is not socialized medicine,” Truman said. “Everyone who carries fire insurance knows how the law of averages is made to work so as to spread the risk, and to benefit the insured who actually suffers the loss. If instead of the costs of sickness being paid only by those who get sick, all the people—sick and well—were required to pay premiums into an insurance fund, the pool of funds thus created would enable all who do fall sick to be adequately served without overburdening anyone.”

Tomorrow we will bring you up to speed on where our healthcare system stands presently. Please check back!

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