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Gibbs: Employer Mandate 'Will Be One of the First Things to Go'

8:27 AM, Apr 3, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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Former White House press secretary Robert GIbbs said Obamacare's employer mandate will likely be scrapped. Speaking to a benefits industry convention in Colorado Springs, Gibbs, who served in the Obama White House from 2009 to 2011, said the mandate that large employers provide a certain level of health-insurance coverage to their employees

“I don’t think the employer mandate will go into effect. It’s a small part of the law. I think it will be one of the first things to go,” Gibbs said, according to a report from benefitspro.com.

Gibbs's prediction comes just days after the extended deadline to sign up for health care insurance plans under Obamacare regulations. In February, the Obama adminsitration delayed the employer mandate's implementation a second time, this time to 2016.

Here's more on Gibbs's speech:

Killing the employer mandate would be one way to improve the law — and there are a handful of other “common sense” improvements needed as well, he said.

Others include better outreach ahead of next year's enrollment — educating people about the law’s deadlines, penalties and subsidies; improved technology; and greater incentives, besides not having to pay a low penalty, to young people so they will enroll in health coverage.

And, most importantly, Gibbs said “health care has to add an additional layer of coverage cheaper than the plans already offered.”

In his hour-long speech — which included questions and answers — Gibbs admitted to questioning whether the individual mandate as part of the law was the way to go; being embarrassed and critical over the “truly horrible” exchange rollout last fall; and cringing when former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi infamously quipped “we have to pass the bill to find out what's in it.”

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