House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) released the following statement in response to the Administration’s latest delay of the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOPs) enrollment:
“In the midst of the angst and uncertainty that small businesses and Americans feel about Obamacare, today’s news of yet another last-minute delay is more proof that the law is unworkable and bad for small businesses,” said Graves. “If small firms failed to provide services this frequently, they would be fired. Based on the June GAO report on SHOPs readiness that I requested, we knew the administration was not prepared for implementation, but this pattern of continued delay and disarray is especially disappointing. This mismanagement and inadequacy is causing the American people and small business owners to lose trust in their government’s ability to do just about anything.”
This list of delays and mismanagement:
• On April 1, the Administration announced that the employer health insurance choice on the federal SHOP exchanges would be delayed until 2015, limiting employers to one single plan.
• 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.”
• On September 26, the Health and Human Services Department announced the SHOPs online enrollment would be postponed from October 1 until November, forcing small businesses to enroll using paper forms. That same day, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney clarified the enrollment would begin on November 1.
• During a Ways and Means Committee hearing on October 29, CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said the SHOPs would be operating at the end of November.
• On November 22, the administration extended the Obamacare federal exchange signup deadline (for January 1 coverage) from December 15 to December 23.
• Today’s delay announcement would be the Administration’s 4th SHOP-related delay.