Impeachable Offenses Update: Another Obamacare Provision Illegally Delayed

Will It EVER Stop? Another Obamacare Provision For Employers Delayed – Daily Caller

The Obama administration plans to delay enforcement of yet another Obamacare provision, according to a New York Times report.

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This line in the law would ban employers from discriminating “in favor of highly compensated individuals” when it comes to health insurance eligibility or benefits. Effectively, the provision prevents employers from providing their top executives cushy health benefits while low-level employees are given less optimal health insurance options.

The IRS will not enforce the provision in 2014 because they simply haven’t yet gotten around to actually writing the regulations that employers must follow, even though the Affordable Care Act was signed into law almost four years ago.

Obamacare originally required the IRS to enforce the health benefit “discrimination” ban just six months after the law was passed in March 2010. The Obama administration announced in 2010 that officials needed more time to write the rules, but assured Americans that the regulations would be finalized before Obamacare actually launched.

Years later, the IRS appears to still be grappling with the same questions about implementing the provision. IRS spokeswoman Michelle Eldridge denied in a statement that the agency had approved any new delay.

“The IRS has not announced any new or additional information on this issue,” Eldridge said. “The New York Times story refers to IRS Notice 2011-1, which was released to the press on December 22, 2010. That Notice stated that under Public Health Service Act, Section 2716 will not apply until after generally applicable guidance is issued, because the statute requires regulatory detail in order to operate properly.”

IRS officials appear to be stymied by the “regulatory detail” of the provision. For the IRS to mandate non-discrimination in health plans for employees with different compensations, the agency must decide how to quantify the value of employer-provided health benefits, how to define “highly compensated officials” and issue a final determination on what constitutes discrimination.

The tax agency has a series of scenarios made complicated by Obamacare’s structure that it will have to take into consideration before issuing guidance. Some low-earning employees may opt out of employer-sponsored health insurance in favor of increased subsidies via an Obamacare exchange, for example, while higher executives that aren’t privy to taxpayer subsidies for coverage do not. The IRS has yet to determine whether that employer would be discriminating even if the employer health plan has the same value for all employees.

Obamacare’s prescription for violating the ban is a $100 daily excise tax for each individual that was “discriminated” against.

The ongoing delay is just the latest in an increasingly frequent series of administration decisions to put off parts of the health care law.

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U.S. Aircraft Carrier’s Refueling, Overhaul Delayed Due To Irresponsible Defense Cuts

Navy: Lincoln Refueling Delayed, Will Hurt Carrier Readiness – U.S. Naval Institute

The U.S. Navy will delay the refueling of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) for an unknown period because of the uncertain fiscal environment due to the ongoing legislative struggle, the service told Congress in a Friday message obtained by USNI News.


The aircraft carriers USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), USS Enterprise (CVN 65), USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), and USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) are in port at Naval Station Norfolk, Va. US Navy Photo

Lincoln was scheduled to be moved to Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipyard later this month to begin the 4-year refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) of the ship.

“This delay is due to uncertainty in the Fiscal Year 2013 appropriations bill, both in the timing and funding level available for the first full year of the contract,” the message said.

“CVN-72 will remain at Norfolk Naval Base where the ships force personnel will continue to conduct routine maintenance until sufficient funding is received for the initial execution of the RCOH.”

Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower subcommittee released a statement denouncing the need for decision.

Forbes called the delay, “another example of how these reckless and irresponsible defense cuts in Washington will have a long-term impact on the Navy’s ability to perform its missions. Not only will the Lincoln be delayed in returning to the Fleet, but this decision will also affect the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) defueling, the USS George Washington (CVN-73) RCOH, and future carrier readiness.”

The move by the navy is the second this week involving funding for carriers. On Wednesday it announced it would delay the deployment of the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) to the Middle East do to the ongoing budget strife bringing the total number of carriers in U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) to one until funding normalizes.

“Canceling and deferring maintenance creates a significant backlog of deferred maintenance and affects future year schedules and cost, as well as future readiness,” said Lt. Courtney Hillson, a Navy spokesperson.

“The fiscal uncertainty created by not having an appropriations bill – and the measures we are forced to take as a result, place significant stress on an already strained force and undermines the stability of a fragile industrial base.”

The delay in the RCOH for the Lincoln translates into a carrier that will be undeployable for the foreseeable future. It is ‘not possible to restore,’ the carrier to active service without the $3.3 billion overhaul, Hillson said.

Under the current Continuing Resolution (CR), the Navy is $1.5 billion short on its accounts. Combined with coming sequestration in March the number grows to $9 billon for FY 2013, according to Navy documents.

The Navy had budgeted $92 million for the Lincoln refueling in its FY 2012 budget.

Each Nimitz-class carrier undergoes a refueling and complete overhaul at the halfway point in its 50-year service life.

HII said the company is, “disappointed with this turn of events,” and said the delay, “is the direct result of the lack of a defense appropriations bill,” HII spokesperson Christie Miller said in a statement.

“This is not a cancellation of the Lincoln’s RCOH at Newport News Shipbuilding,” Miller said.

“We intend to continue our efforts on the ship at the Navy base in Norfolk and will work to make as much progress as possible, as efficiently as possible, prior to its arrival.”

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