Dem senators: Delayed mandate will aid health law implementation

Democrats on Sunday defended the Obama administration's delay of a key component of ObamaCare, saying the extra time would help employers better deal with the law’s mandates. 

"The reality is this is an opportunity to get it right," Sen. Robert MenendezRobert MenendezThe Mideast-focused Senate letter we need to see Taiwan deserves to participate in United Nations The way forward on the Iran nuclear deal under President Trump MORE (D-N.J.) said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

The administration announced last week that it would delay the healthcare law’s requirement for businesses to provide their workers with health insurance.

Menendez said that critics of the law were unfairly attacking the administration for taking the time to better implement the law.

"If ten angels came swearing above that this was the best law for the country's health, there would be opponents who would say 'the angel's lying,'" he said.

Menendez said the key portion of the law only affects about 1 percent of the business community and that delaying it wouldn't have much impact on the overall law's future.

On “Fox News Sunday,” Sen. Jack ReedJack ReedDem senators push for probe of Sessions over Comey firing Overnight Finance: Trump floats tying tax reform, infrastructure | Trump trade rep confirmed | Dems raise concerns over banking regulator | House to kick off tax reform hearings Overnight Regulation: Senate GOP looking at how to repeal ObamaCare insurer rules | Dems raise concerns over bank regulator MORE (D-R.I.) said the overall health law was stable. 

"This was a response to concerns principally amongst the business community... the administration wisely decided to postpone for one year," he said. 

"What they've done really affects a very small minority of businesses throughout the country… given the potential confusion, postponing it, not eliminating but postponing it, makes sense."

Republicans blasted that sentiment — and argued that the delay was just the latest sign that the bill was unworkable and should be repealed.

"The question is, what part of ObamaCare actually works? They've already had to concede on other parts of ObamaCare not working. Now they have to do it on the employer mandate, and pretty soon I think they're going to have to have some questions about the individual mandate," said Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho). "There's nothing about this law that is working in the United States."

Sen. Bob CorkerBob CorkerClinton administration official knocks 'soap opera' of Trump White House Trump's steps on Iran show cooperation with Congress is possible Senate GOP short on ideas for stabilizing ObamaCare markets MORE (R-Tenn.) on “Fox News Sunday” warned that the law’s regulations would hamper the economic recovery.

"I don't know how you can create a mechanism that has more downward pressure on employment than this healthcare bill," he said. 

"Just moving it back a year is not going to undo the uncertainty that many people have,” he added, but noted he was “glad they've taken this step.”

“There's many pieces to this, if not all, that I'd like to see undone," Corker said of the overall healthcare bill.