U.S. to delay healthcare employer mandate to 2015

Posted at: 07/04/2013 1:48 PM
Updated at: 07/04/2013 1:49 PM
By: NBC News

In restaurants, retail facilities, and at other large companies around the country, employers now have an extra year to comply with the affordable care act without fear of penalty.

The law would have required companies with 50 or more full time workers to offer benefits by January or pay a fine of at least two-thousand dollars per employee.

Then Tuesday, in a blog post on the department of the treasury website, the Obama administration announced it was giving businesses until 2015 to comply.

"I think it was a realization this was not going to work and they didn't want to come out the door sideways on this," said Neil Trautwein of the National Retail Federation.

Neil Trautwein represents retailers who were worried 2014 was too soon to adjust to the new requirements still being solidified by the Obama administration.

"The fact remains this law is incredibly complex it's hard to get your arms around it," said Trautwein.

Home for the July 4th holiday, republicans responded to the announcement at town hall meetings calling the health care law a train wreck.

"That doesn't mean we don't need health care reform we do but this legislation is going to make health care in this country worse," said Representative Bob Goodlatte of Virginia.

But democratic strategists cautioned this isn't a setback.

They say successfully implementing the biggest transformation in u-s health care since Medicare should be done carefully.

"And if it takes an extra year to do that, that's a smart thing to do," said political strategist David Axelrod.

For now, individuals will still be required to get health care or a pay a fine by 2014.

But health care experts predict that mandate will likely be delayed as well.