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Lunchtime Must-Read: Brett Norman: ACA Employer Mandate: Not as Bitter in Better Economy

Brett Norman: ACA Employer Mandate: Not as Bitter in Better Economy: "Contrary to the once dire predictions...

...of health law critics and the business community, employers are not dropping coverage en masse and steering workers into the federally subsidized plans on the new Obamacare exchanges. In advance of the mandate finally kicking in, many are already increasing the number of employees offered coverage to ensure compliance. ‘The economic reality has changed,’ said Paul Fronstin, a senior associate at the Employee Benefit Resource Institute. Unemployment’s below 6 percent, down from the double-digit days in which the mandate was first debated. ‘Employers are remembering why they offered benefits in the first place--to compete for workers.’

The mandate is the Affordable Care Act’s last big piece of coverage expansion to be put into place. The Obama administration twice delayed it in the face of furious lobbying by the business community and repeated votes by the House to kill it.... ‘As we’ve gone along, I think there are other factors that have come into play – employee morale, retention of managers,’ said Michelle Neblett, director of labor and workforce policy for the National Restaurant Association. ‘I don’t hear people talking about dropping coverage, I hear about people figuring out how to afford to offer coverage.’...