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This summer, the Obama administration delayed enforcement of the requirement that all employers with more than 50 employees provide coverage to their workers until 2015. But barring a last-minute reprieve, the individual requirement for insurance will go into effect in 2014, as planned.
Because of an amendment written by Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Congress is the only large employer that has to enter the exchanges this year — or that is even allowed to do so.
The amendment was introduced as another attempt to derail the law, by requiring lawmakers to get the same coverage offered to uninsured Americans. But it survived when Senate Democrats later passed the legislation with backing from a single Republican.
Undeterred by the impending enrollment deadline, Heritage Action for America and other conservative groups have been hosting anti-Obamacare town halls during this month’s congressional recess.
In Minnesota, the St. Paul-based Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom has encouraged state residents to avoid the MNsure exchange.
Groups with ties to the Obama administration, including Organizing for Action and Enroll America, have countered the conservative efforts, staging events to inform people about opportunities for health care coverage.
“The bottom line is, the exchanges were to meet a specific problem, and that is the 50 million uninsured,” Ellison said on Minnesota Public Radio this month. “This piece of the law that was designed to address a specific problem is now being used as a political got-you. I just think it’s very unfortunate.”
Corey Mitchell is a correspondent in the Star Tribune’s Washington Bureau. Twitter: @C_C_Mitchell