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Senator Grassley questions motive for delay in federal health care launch

(Radio Iowa) – Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is questioning the motivations for Tuesday’s decision by the Obama administration to delay a key element in launching the federal health care law. The provision that requires most employers to provide health insurance for their workers is being put off for a full year, which Grassley says is good in at least one way.

“Of course, the decision will delay the expense and the tremendous burden on employers to meet the mandate,” Grassley says, “and it puts it off until after the 2014 election.” Many advocates for businesses have pushed for a reprieve, saying the legislation is too complicated to follow.

Grassley, a Republican, is wondering if the one-year delay was based on those complaints, or more on a political chess game. Grassley says, “I don’t know whether that was an election decision or just the realization that the implementation of ‘Obamacare’ is practically impossible to get done when they want it done or do it at all.”

The senator hopes this unexpected delay in launching the main hallmark of the health care mandate opens the possibility that the blueprints can be put back on the drawing board for another look. Grassley says, “Instead of this piecemeal delay and diversions, I think it’s better if the administration would seek a full delay so that we could start over and fix problems in the health care system with good policy that’s workable and affordable instead.”

The federal health care law stipulates that all employers with at least 50 workers will have to provide “affordable” coverage to their full-timers, or face severe tax penalties. It was to have gone into effect on January 1st of 2014 but is being pushed back to New Year’s Day of 2015.