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AIM says delay in Obamacare fines a victory for business

Missouri’s larger businesses can breath easier today following the announcement from the Obama administration that it is delaying the implementation of penalties for businesses that do not offer health insurance to their employees.

Under Obamacare, businesses with more than 50 employees would have had to pay penalties of up to $2,000 if even one employee enrolled in the national health care plan starting this coming January 1. Most large employers in Missouri offer health insurance plans, but the complex series of paperwork and rules associated with Obamacare made complying with the deadline nearly impossible.

“We are glad that the voices of the country’s major employers have been heard,” said Ray McCarty, president of Associated Industries of Missouri. “But the fact that more than four years after the passage of the national health care act, there is still uncertainty about how Obamacare is supposed to work points out to us the fallacy that government can provide a one size fits all health care program.”

Concern about the tight time line was uppermost on the minds of several members of the Associated Industries group that traveled to Washington D.C. to talk to the state’s congressional delegation in mid June. McCarty says the delay proves that businesses can band together to bring about changes at the federal level.

“This is a victory for business, no doubt,” said McCarty. “I’d like to think our little group had something to do with it. But the bottom line is there was enough of a groundswell of complaints about the provisions of Obamacare that it brought about change.”

Businesses now have until 2015 to comply with the health insurance provisions of the national health care act. At the same time, small businesses are still fighting pending regulations that would cause them to provide health insurance for employees who work as little as 30 hours.

“There is still much to be done in the efforts to try and comply with this typically byzantine federal program,” said McCarty. “If this goes forward as the law of the land, there are going to be many more deadlines, showdowns and frustrations as business tries to comply with this complicated new system.”

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