POLITICS
07/03/2013 09:35 am ET | Updated Jul 03, 2013

Obamacare Delay Prompts Conservative Criticism Of Health Care Law

Conservatives were quick to respond to the news that the Affordable Care Act's employer mandate will be delayed for one year, pointing to the development as proof that the health care reform law is flawed.

The Treasury Department announced Tuesday that employers who do not provide health insurance will not have to pay penalties of up to $3,000 per worker until 2015. Previously, the mandate was set to go into effect next year.

The Obama administration defended the decision to delay the mandate, saying the extra year would give employers more time to expand their health care coverage. However, Republicans seized on the news, claiming that the delay reveals the law's failures and accusing the administration of playing politics by holding off on implementation until after the 2014 midterm elections.

"This further confirms that even the proponents of ObamaCare know it will hurt jobs, decrease economic growth and make it harder for families to have access to quality and affordable health care," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said in a statement. "The best delay for ObamaCare is a permanent one."

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) released a similar statement, saying that the delay shows that the Obama administration knows the law "will only get worse."

"This is a clear acknowledgment that the law is unworkable, and it underscores the need to repeal the law and replace it with effective, patient-centered reforms," he said.

Echoing Sen. Max Baucus' (D-Mont.) characterization of the law's implementation as a "train wreck" earlier this year, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) called the Treasury announcement a "cynical political ploy."

“Delaying the employer mandate is a clear admission by the Administration that the health care law is unaffordable, unworkable and unpopular,” he said in a statement. “It’s also a cynical political ploy to delay the coming train wreck associated with Obamacare until after the 2014 elections.”

Anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist also weighed in on the decision in an interview with Newsmax.

"Ouch. This is not the president’s critics saying his plan sucks," Norquist said. "This is the president saying 'my plan sucks. If you knew what was in it you wouldn’t like it. So I’m going to delay pieces of what’s in it.'"

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