Obama in no-win position on ObamaCare delays, Sperling says

A top White House official dismissed GOP critiques of delays to portions of the healthcare reform law as disingenuous Tuesday.

Gene Sperling, director of the president’s National Economic Council, argued Republicans would find any reason to criticize the president’s landmark legislative achievement. Republicans are blasting the White House for Monday’s decision to again delay the employer mandate as proof the law is unworkable.

But Sperling contended the president was being pragmatic in choosing to delay the effectiveness of parts of the landmark law, and if he did not try to smooth the transition for businesses, Republicans would criticize that instead.

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“Do you have any question that if he had not made those adjustments, that the criticisms would be coming from entirely the other direction?” he said at a breakfast hosted by The Christian Science Monitor. “The only thing consistent about that position is that they consistently look for every possible way to criticize the [law].”

Sperling went on to defend the implementation of that law, which has seen its share of problems, technical and otherwise, by saying any initiative this large is going to come with some bumps.

“When you do things that are big and hard, they require more adjustments and transitions,” he said.

The delay to the employer mandate into 2016 is the second time the White House has hit the brakes on that central piece of the law.

The requirement that companies offer their workers insurance or pay was postponed once under pressure from business groups.

The new delay, revealed in final regulations from the Treasury Department, gives businesses that have between 50 and 99 employees until January 2016, to either offer health insurance or pay penalties, provided that they don’t cut workers just to get under the threshold.