The employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act has come under the scrutiny of Democratic activists and policy experts recently, as many conclude it will put a strain on businesses and lead to job losses, Politico reports.
The mandate requires businesses with more than 50 employees to offer affordable health coverage to their workers or face a penalty.
Democratic lawmakers are not yet bolting from the mandate ahead of the November elections.
Chris Jennings, a longtime health policy hand who helped the White House during the final implementation push, says the employer mandate has become a "political irritant" — although he didn’t take a stance on whether it should stay, go, or be replaced with some other Democrat-blessed way of helping cover workers.
"The issue really becomes, ‘Do we need it or do we not need it?’" Jennings said. "It’s complicated to enforce; it is somewhat burdensome to some employers. But it does contribute to the underlying financing of the law."
Republicans, of course, have always hated the employer mandate. In different times, that could make it a prime target for a bipartisan overhaul. But as with all things Obamacare, election-year politics gum up the gears. Democrats are promising to improve Obamacare, Republicans are vowing to kill it, and neither party wants to let the other score a health care point before Election Day — even when they both find fault with the employer mandate.