|DONNA CASSATA, Associated Press|
"The best delay for Obamacare is a permanent one," House Majority Leader
Success in midterm elections depends in large part on turning out the party's core voters, and Republicans see the latest twist as an opportunity to further vilify the health care law and ignite a
"I've heard from countless employers in
In their strategy for next year's elections, Republicans were determined to focus on how medium and large businesses would respond to the law's requirement and the possibility that would translate into job losses. The
The one-year delay to
"Pushing back the economic damage of Obamacare past the next election won't change the reality of harm to employees or to the overall economy," Hoagland said in an interview. "It just seeks to protect those responsible for the legislation."
Democrats sought to cast the issue as the administration listening to the business community.
"The administration has demonstrated its commitment to implement the Affordable Care Act with increased flexibility for the 4 percent of America's businesses impacted by the employer responsibility requirement," House Democratic leader
Pelosi argued that a significant majority of businesses already provide health insurance to their employees. The
Democrats have always been dogged by the fact that few Americans understand the law and many fear its effect.
In the most recent polling, the
The poll also found more people saying the nation will be worse off under the law than better off, a switch from public opinion immediately following its passage.
The administration's one-year delay "impacts a very small number. ... A lot more people are going to be impacted by their ability to get insurance in the exchanges, removal of pre-existing conditions and by ultimately what the price is going to be. ... I think in terms of the '14 elections, I just don't see this particular decision having much impact."
Brad Dayspring, a spokesman for the Senate Republicans' campaign committee, called the move "the worst of all worlds for Democratic candidates" because it will frustrate liberals who support the law while doing little to quiet Republican derision.
"What is a Democratic candidate supposed to say in light of this?" Dayspring said. "'Yes, I supported Obamacare, but thankfully we delayed it to protect you from how bad it is'?"
"I have repeatedly said that there is good and bad in the health care law, and we need to improve it. One improvement needed is to make it as simple as possible for our businesses to comply. I applaud the administration for delaying this requirement until there is a system in place that is workable for businesses," she said in a statement.
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