A group of Republican representatives on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are demanding answers from the U.S. Treasury about the decision-making process behind the latest delay to the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate.

In a letter sent Wednesday to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, the committee members, led by Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), ask the Treasury for “factual and legal information underpinning its decisions to delay key provisions of the [ACA].”

On Monday, the Obama Administration announced that employers with fewer than 100 employees will have until Jan. 1, 2016 to provide health insurance coverage to their full-time employees. It’s the latest in a series of deadline delays related to the ACA.

For industry reaction to the latest employer mandate delay see: http://eba.benefitnews.com/news/benefits-industry-mostly-thankful-for-another-aca-employer-mandate-delay-2739204-1.html

“These delays and modifications are explicitly at odds with the text” of the ACA, the committee’s letter charges.

The committee members ask Lew to provide:

  • Documentation supporting the Treasury’s legal and statutory authority to issue delays to the ACA mandates.
  • Any analyses the department conducted on the burden to employers caused by the delays.
  • Analyses or documentation related to the costs and penalties for individuals under the ACA.
  • A list of government departments or agencies that were consulted about the decision to delay the employer mandate, including the names of the staff members and dates they were first informed about the delay.
  • All documents exchanged between or among the Treasury department and the Department of Health and Human Services and the Executive Office of the President related to the latest employer mandate delay.

President Obama said Tuesday the latest delay does not undermine the law and gives the American people and their employers an opportunity to make the ACA work “in an optimal sort of way.”

The response from the employer industry so far has been positive; with many saying they appreciate the president’s flexibility and are thankful for the additional time to comply.

The Republican House E&C Committee members have asked the Treasury department to respond to their requests about the latest employer mandate delay by Feb. 25.

A copy of their letter to Treasury Secretary Lew can be read here.

 

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