Lifestyle & Belief

Obamacare signup for small businesses delayed for a year


US President Barack Obama speaks during a rally on health care at the Comcast Center in College Park, Maryland, on September 17, 2009. Insurance companies are seeking to cash in on the reforms to expand health coverage to more low-income Americans.



Another day, another Obamacare delay.

The Obama administration on Wednesday announced plans to postpone an online health insurance marketplace for small businesses until November 2014 to make sure the website gets fixed first.

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It’s the second delay for online small business enrollment, which the administration had said would begin this month.

Instead of a website, small employers in 35 states will have to go through insurance brokers or deal directly with insurance companies to get a health plan that meets the new standards of the Affordable Care Act.

Many already do so.

But Republicans quickly pounced on the latest bad news.

“It’s another broken promise and more proof this administration’s assurances have no credibility,” House Speaker John A. Boehner said. “This law has been an absolute disaster, leaving us to ask ‘what’s next?’"

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Small business groups also expressed concern -- and frustration.

The setback is only the latest in a stream of missed deadlines, including a postponement for a Spanish language sign-up tool announced this week. The administration also recently pushed back the enrollment deadline for individuals.

In July, the administration announced a one-year delay in the requirement for larger employers to offer health insurance to employees.