Treasury Dept. defends ObamaCare mandate delay

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Republicans have questioned whether the delay is legal, since the law says the policy should take effect in 2014.

Treasury cited past instances in which it delayed penalties associated with new legislation.

Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Mark Mazur reiterated that the delay was designed to give businesses more time to comply with new record-keeping and reporting requirements associated with the coverage mandate.

"We recognize that the vast majority of businesses that will need to do this reporting already provide health coverage to their workers, and we want to make sure that businesses are able to comply with the reporting requirements effectively and efficiently," Mazur wrote in a letter to Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.).

Treasury is scheduled to testify next week at a hearing on the delay.