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U.S. to delay health care employer mandate to 2015

U.S. to delay health care employer mandate to 2015

The U.S. administration said late Tuesday it will not require employers to provide health insurance for their workers until 2015, in a move that delays a key provision of President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law by a year.

The delay of part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act represents the administration's response to widespread complaints about the reporting requirements for employers with 50 or more workers who are subject to the mandate.

"We have been in a dialogue with businesses and we think we can simplify the new reporting. We want to give businesses who want to provide health insurance the time to get this right," a senior administration official said.

The move could add to speculation about whether healthcare reform will be implemented by the time the law is scheduled to come into full effect on Jan. 1.

The administration has already delayed insurance offerings for small businesses that were to be made available through new online exchanges. A recent report by the watchdog Government Accountability Office also called into question whether new insurance marketplaces for millions of individuals would meet an Oct. 1 deadline for open enrollment.

Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor to Obama, said in a blog post on Monday that the government was fully prepared to open the new insurance exchanges for individuals in October.