Networks Ignore Controversy of Obama's Extending Another Employer Mandate Delay

On Monday evening’s news casts, none of the networks recognized the controversy of President Obama possibly acting outside the Constitution to delay ObamaCare’s employer mandate.

The President granted a one-year delay for businesses with 50 to 99 employees to provide them with health insurance. It was the second time he had delayed the mandate and thus changed a law passed by Congress, but the networks had only highlighted the controversy the first time.

As the MRC reported last July, the networks called the initial employer mandate delay “surprising” and a "significant setback” for Obama. Yet there was none of that tone this time around.  

ABC’s George Stephanopoulos at least provided a critical eye toward the delay: “And after all those glitches, all those false starts, tonight a new delay for ObamaCare.”

Below is a transcript of the segments, which aired on February 10:

CBS EVENING NEWS

[6:40 p.m. EST]

SCOTT PELLEY: Late today, President Obama made an election year concession to some businesses delaying for another year the employer mandate for ObamaCare. Major Garrett is at the White House for us tonight. Major? 

MAJOR GARRETT: Scott, this is the second time the Obama administration has delayed the Affordable Care Act's employer mandate. This latest change gives mid-sized businesses an extra year to comply with the regulations. 

(Video Clip)

GARRETT: (voice over) The biggest change will reflect roughly 115,000 businesses with 50 to 99 full-time employees. Those businesses will not have to provide insurance coverage in 2015. Employees will need to be covered beginning in 2016, or the business will face a penalty. The other delay allows companies with more than 100 employees to cover just 70 percent of their full-time employees next year, instead of the 95 percent previously required. These employers must increase coverage to 95 percent in 2016. 

(End Video Clip)

GARRETT: Only four percent of U.S. businesses are hit by the employer mandate, half of those already provide insurance coverage. But those that didn't lobbied for more time and got it. In a midterm election year, Scott, the White House simply did not need any more health care headaches. 

ABC WORLD NEWS

[6:41 p.m. EST]

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And after all those glitches, all those false starts, tonight a new delay for ObamaCare. The federal government has announced that small businesses, those with between 50 and 100 full-time employees, will have an extra year to comply with the new mandate, until 2016. This is the second time small businesses have gotten a reprieve. Last summer, the deadline for businesses all sizes was pushed from 2014 to 2015. 

NBC NIGHTLY NEWS

[7:13 p.m. EST]

BRIAN WILLIAMS: The Obama administration announced today it is delaying another part of the President's health care law. The change here involves medium-sized businesses, that means those with between 55 and 99 employees. Those companies will not have to provide health insurance for full-time employees until 2016. That is a change a year later than previously announced. 

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014