Obama Administration Delays ACA Provision Until 2015
On Tuesday, the Obama Administration announced that they would delay the implementation of a key mandate from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act until 2015. The provision, which states that all employers with more than 50 employees must provide insurance coverage to their employees or face a monetary penalty was originally supposed to take effect in 2014.
Under the law, employers must provide information on coverage and costs in order to show that they offer adequate coverage to employees. The delay will give employers more time to provide the necessary information to the Internal Revenue Service, insurers, and insurance exchanges and will also ensure that companies understand and complete the process fully as well as accurately, according to NPR.
Reuters stated that many Democratic lawmakers are applauding the delay as a sign of flexibility. Republican lawmakers believe the move demonstrates how the mandate is flawed and ineffective.
Neil Trautwein, Employee Benefits Policy counsel for the National Retail Federation stated, "They're not ready, we're not ready, and rather than plow ahead, they're going to take the right and wise approach. The last thing the administration or the business community needs is for the ACA to come out of the gate sideways."
Media Resources: Huffington Post 7/2/13; NPR 7/2/13; Reuters 7/2/13
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .