Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Health Care Delay

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Health Care Delay

Article excerpt

DELAYING THE full implementation of the new federal health care law is hardly the best way to convince a still skeptical public that reform |is needed.

That, however, is the plan of the Obama administration, which announced this week that the |key requirement that most companies provide their employees with health insurance will be delayed until 2015. It was to take effect in 2014 and would have covered companies with 50 or more workers.

A long-term view suggests this is no big deal. Consider, for example, Medicare, the health insurance program for the elderly, which took effect in 1965. If Medicare's start had been delayed for some reason to 1966, or even 1967, what would be the effect today? Probably nothing.

One can apply the same logic to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which is certainly a blueprint for the future. If the law is working as designed by 2043, few people will care, or even know, that implementing the employer mandate was delayed a year.

The problem is that we're living in today's world and political environment, not the one in 2043.

There is much to like about health care reform, or, if you prefer, Obamacare. Not only does it strive to cover more people with insurance, it will guarantee coverage for those with preexisting conditions, eliminate caps on the amount of benefits provided to beneficiaries and allow young people to stay on their parents' policy until age 26. It also requires health insurance companies to give consumers rebates if their spending on health care falls below certain targets. …

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