John Hayward
7/3/2013 12:46 PM

It is reasonable to suppose that changing a major requirement of an incredibly complicated law is likely to disrupt other portions of the system. For example, delaying the ObamaCare employer mandates for a year is likely to wreak havoc with other parts of that eight-foot stack of regulations, which frankly already contained plenty of havoc, and was not in need of further wreaking.

One obvious problem is that the individual mandates – you know, the part of ObamaCare that could only be kept alive by rewriting the Constitution on the fly – are still in place. That means individuals are facing a healthy “tax/penalty” for failing to buy something their employers are no longer required to offer them.

And there’s a much more specific, seemingly intractable problem that will be of interest to Americans already pale with terror at the expensive insurance premiums Obama is forcing on them, as outlined by Philip Klein at the Washington Examiner:

One of the main ways that President Obama’s health care law plans to expand insurance coverage is by offering subsidies for individuals to purchase insurance on government-run exchanges. There are a number of eligibility requirements attached to the subsidies such as income level and immigration status. But another fundamental requirement is that applicants for federal subsidies must be able to show their employer does not offer health insurance that meets the federal government’s standards for affordability and breadth of benefits. If the employer offers qualifying health insurance, then the worker is not eligible.

Yet in its Tuesday announcement, the Treasury Department said it was not only delaying the implementation of the employer mandate, but also the employer insurance reporting requirements. If the Obama administration won’t be making judgments on whether employers are meeting the requirements of Obamacare, how can it assess individuals’ eligibility to receive subsidies to purchase insurance on the exchanges?

Well, you see, they’ll… no, wait, maybe they could… er, without the data from those burdensome reporting requirements, the IRS will have to… oh, dear.

Thankfully, the Treasury Department expects unicorns to gallop down a rainbow and deliver a reasonable solution at any moment:

In its statement, Treasury explained, “We expect to publish proposed rules implementing these provisions this summer, after a dialogue with stakeholders — including those responsible employers that already provide their full-time work force with coverage far exceeding the minimum employer shared responsibility requirements — in an effort to minimize the reporting, consistent with effective implementation of the law.”

More discretionary power for the government to apply to various industries as they, and some well-connected lobbyists, see fit! What could go wrong?

At any rate, there’s no reason to worry, because the bureaucracy has plenty of time to figure all this out. 90 days, to be exact. That’s when the public exchange train wreck is due to come roaring through our lives.