Major Obamacare Provision Delayed by a Year; Businesses Won't Be Fined for Not Providing Health Insurance

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By Leonardo Blair , Christian Post Reporter
July 3, 2013|6:38 pm
health care religious freedom contraception mandate (Photo: Reuters/Jason Reed)

Protesters against U.S. President Barack Obama's health care overhaul gather outside the Supreme Court in Washington, June 28, 2012. The Supreme Court is set to deliver on Thursday its ruling on President Barack Obama's 2010 healthcare overhaul, his signature domestic policy achievement, in a historic case that could hand him a huge triumph or a stinging rebuke just over four months before he seeks re-election.

A major provision of President Barack Obama's sweeping health care law requiring businesses to provide their workers with health insurance or face fines has been delayed by one year, the Treasury Department announced on Tuesday.

According to a CNN report, the decision to delay the provision was due to concerns raised by business owners about the complexity of the law's reporting requirements. Businesses employing 50 or more full-time workers who don't provide health insurance coverage can be penalized under the Affordable Care Act popularly known as Obamacare.

"We recognize that the vast majority of businesses that will need to do this reporting already provide health insurance to their workers, and we want to make sure it is easy for others to do so. We have listened to your feedback. And we are taking action," Mark J. Mazur, assistant secretary for tax policy, wrote in a post on the website of the Treasury Department.

Businesses that don't provide health insurance to their employees won't begin facing fines until 2015. The extra year, according to Mazur, will also give the government time to make the reporting process more user-friendly for businesses. It was also noted that the establishment of exchanges in states for low-income Americans to obtain health insurance will not be affected.

Despite the reprieve from the delay of the provision, however, some critics of the law said a delay was insufficient to address the concerns with Obamacare.

"President Obama's decision to delay the employer mandate of the health care law because it will be a burden on businesses and job creators is proof the plan is more onerous and complex than he claimed," noted GOP Senator Rob Portman in a post on his Facebook page on Wednesday.

"Rather than delaying its implementation for businesses, this law should be repealed for everyone. Americans deserve access to affordable and quality health care that best suits their individual needs, and government has no business forcing individuals, families, and employers to enter into costly health care exchanges," he asserted.

Rep. Eric Cantor, House Majority Leader, was more concise in his comments on Twitter: "The best delay for ObamaCare is a permanent one."

One critic on Sen. Portman's Facebook page speculated that the reason for the delay was the upcoming mid-term elections.

"Democrats up for reelection during the midterm is the real reason behind the delay. Yes it should be repealed and it shouldn't be about INSURANCE, real healthcare need to be the priority. Talk to actual physicians that are practicing, NOT bureaucrats," wrote Tammie Sargent- Hanthorn.

 

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Majority of American Catholics OK With Children Being Raised by Gay Parents, Survey Finds Ahead of Historic Papal Visit

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By Michael Gryboski , Christian Post Reporter
September 2, 2015|4:52 pm
Pope Francis (Photo: Reuters/Giampiero Sposito)

Pope Francis waves as he arrives to attend an audience for altar servers at St. Peter's Square in Vatican City August 4, 2015.

A strong majority of American Catholics support raising children in non-traditional families, such as single-parent and divorced households, or by same-sex parents, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for Religion & Public Life.

"Nine-in-10 U.S. Catholics say a household headed by a married mother and father is an ideal situation for bringing up children. But the survey shows that large majorities think other kinds of families — those headed by parents who are single, divorced, unmarried or gay — are OK for raising children, too," noted Pew in an analysis released on Wednesday, ahead Pope Francis' first U.S. visit later this month in which he'll encounter a national Catholic population largely supportive of family units not advanced or encouraged by Church teaching.

"This may be in part because Francis' American flock is experiencing life in all its modern complexity. According to the survey, one-in-four Catholics have gone through a divorce. One-in-10 have not only divorced but also remarried. One-in-10 are living with a romantic partner, sans wedding, and more than four-in-10 have done so at some point in their lives."

The data came from Pew's 2015 Survey of U.S. Catholics and Family Life, which was conducted via cellphones and landlines from May 5 to June 7.

  • religion
    (Photo: Reuters/Mel Evans)
    Bishops across the U.S. are taking action to teach and shape policy in the face of accelerating threats over the erosion of freedom of religion in America. Archbishop Dolan also named Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Connecticut, to chair the new committee. Support for ad hoc committee work will include adding two full-time staff at the USCCB, a lawyer expert in the area of religious freedom law, and a lobbyist who will handle both religious liberty and marriage issues.

Levels of acceptance for non-traditional family units raising children were broken down into either "acceptable and as good as any other arrangement" or "acceptable but not as good as some others."

Combined, 84 percent of respondents considered children being raised by unmarried parents acceptable and 64 percent of respondents considered children being raised by same-sex couples to be acceptable.

"Catholics also condone a variety of adult living arrangements that the church traditionally has frowned upon," continued Pew.

"A sizable majority (85 percent) think it's acceptable for a man and woman to live together as a couple outside of marriage, including more than half (55 percent) who say cohabitation is as good as any other living arrangement for adults. And seven-in-10 Catholics say married couples who opt not to have children have chosen a lifestyle that is as good as any other."

Last November, the pontiff announced that he was going to make an official visit to the U.S. in September.

While the major focus was that of the triennial World Meeting of Families, which will be held in Philadelphia, the pontiff will also be addressing a joint session of Congress.

"It is my great privilege to announce that His Holiness Pope Francis will visit the United States Capitol on Thursday, Sept. 24," stated Speaker of the House John Boehner in February.

"On that day, he will become the first leader of the Holy See to address a joint meeting of Congress. It will be a historic visit, and we are truly grateful that Pope Francis has accepted our invitation."

Begun by Pope John Paul II in 1994, the World Meeting of Families is centered on issues pertaining to family values and family life.

 

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