During two U.S. House of Representatives committee hearings on the Affordable Care Act’s implementation last week, agency officials stated that despite certain delays, the bulk of the ACA is set to take effect as scheduled. Notably, last month the U.S. Treasury Department announced that the employer mandate provision will be delayed by one year. Marilyn Tavenner, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, testified at the hearing conducted by the House Energy and Commerce Committee that the purpose of this delay was to ease the regulatory burden on employers as they adjust to the new ACA requirements, but that the core elements of ACA will take effect as planned.
For example, open enrollment in the federal and state health exchanges begins on October 1, 2013, and coverage begins on January 1, 2014. A number of lawmakers expressed doubt that the exchange rollout will proceed smoothly, and debated whether employers will reduce hiring and/or employee hours as a result.
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