Another Week, Another Delay
House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) today made the following statement on reports that the Obama administration is delaying online enrollment for the Small Business Health Option Program (SHOP):
“I’ve never seen a law implemented with so many delays, mistakes and problems,” said Chairman Graves. “The June GAO report that I requested specifically stated the Small Business Health Option Program’s implementation delays and missed deadlines showed potential for ‘implementation challenges going forward,’ and with each passing week, we learn more of those challenges. This law is bad for everyone, but its delays, false-starts and misinformation are leading to even more confusion and uncertainty for small businesses. That uncertainty is freezing small business growth and hiring, which is harming the economy. I hope the law’s initial supporters are seeing these problems as a reason to work with House Republicans to repeal the law and create something that is more workable for small businesses.”
This Spring, the Department of Health and Human Services postponed the employee choice plans in the SHOPs until 2015, forcing small employers in states with federally-operated exchanges to offer only a single plan for their employees. This move severely limited the breadth of choices that were originally envisioned, which could lead to increased premium costs.
In June, a GAO report requested by Chairman Graves, confirmed the administration was ill-equipped for the implementation of the SHOPs, showing potential for “implementation challenges going forward.” In July, the administration decided to delay the penalty for the employer mandate, which requires businesses to provide federally-approved insurance coverage for all employees who work 30 hours or more per week. Earlier this week, The Washington Post reported that the small business exchanges in several states will not be ready to open on time.