WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration on Thursday released new proposals for carrying out a major requirement of the federal health care law that was postponed earlier this summer.
At issue is how to gather information that would allow the government to enforce a requirement that companies with 50 or more workers provide affordable health insurance to their full-time employees. Companies that don’t comply would risk fines.
The mandate was supposed to take effect Jan. 1, but in July the White House unexpectedly announced a one-year delay until 2015. Officials said more time was needed to work out information reporting requirements so they would not be too burdensome for businesses. Delaying the mandate also defused a potential political problem for Democrats in next year’s congressional elections.
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The new proposal from the Treasury Department seeks comment on options to reduce or streamline reporting by employers, insurers and health plan administrators. In some instances, the administration is proposing to eliminate duplicative reports and in other cases, it’s asking for less detail.
Business groups said it will take time to sort through the technicalities but praised the administration’s effort to find common ground.