By Christine Pollack, vice president of government affairs, RILA
Since the law was enacted in early 2010, retailers have, to the best of their ability, been planning for what lies ahead. However, retailers have done so with surprisingly little clarity on what exactly will be expected of them. That’s right, with only 17 months until the law goes into effect, the administration has not told retailers, or any other employers, what changes they’ll be forced to make and how they’ll be expected to comply. This is not only a concern to retailers, but it should also be a concern to the 170 million American’s who receive health care through an employer. The Administration’s inability to provide details to employers also spells trouble for President Obama’s promise to America, that “if you like your health insurance, you’ll be able to keep it.”
In the coming weeks, we will almost certainly receive answers to the following questions.
- Will the Administration thrust dozens of delayed rules onto employers with little regard for the challenges associated with such quick implementation?
- Will the Administration be emboldened by the Supreme Court’s decision and produce rules that ignore the costs and concerns employers have expressed about rigid employer-mandate rules?
- Will the Administration recognize the need to protect the crown-jewel of America’s healthcare system, employer-sponsored coverage, and preserve flexibility in the system that allows employers to design coverage options reflective of the needs of their workforce?
Retailers worry that when they finally get the answers to these questions, they will find themselves overregulated and unable to continue to offer the quality, affordable health coverage their employees enjoy.