Mitch Perry Report 7.3/4/5.13: GOP pounces on delay of key Obamacare component

The Obama administration dropped a bombshell Tuesday afternoon, announcing that the employer mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act will be delayed until 2015.

The employer mandate requires every business with 50 employees or more to provide health care coverage, or pay a penalty of $2,000 per employee. Although some businesses had been complaining about implementing the plan while the economy is still slowly recovering, the fact is most small businesses are not affected, as the mandate doesn't kick for companies with less than 50 employees.

Other provisions are still in place, none bigger than the individual mandate, which states that every American must have insurance. If they can't afford it they might get a subsidy. If they can afford it, a financial penalty.

Republicans have always figured to use the unpopularity of the law as a cudgel in the 2014 midterms and this news may only give them more ammunition. In May House Republicans voted for the 37th time to repeal the ACA, giving the issue alive, even though is it is the law of the land.

But the GOP's continuing resistance seems to be working for them. Obviously the Dems hope that this isn't an issue in next year's elections. Yes, it is the law of the land, but it's a very fragile law, and the administration's announcement can only give comfort for those who wish it repealed.

Of course, repealing the law would take approximately 30 million Americans back onto the uninsured rolls. If the GOP would present a concrete alternative at the same time they argue for repeal, they'd really be winning this battle.

Our story on the state of the St. Pete mayoral race is featured in this week's CL.

Don Kruse hasn't been too successful in his previous bids to win a GOP primary for Hillsborough County Commission. He's hoping the 4th time is the charm.

And while a great deal of Tampa Bay area citizens will be reveling in 4th of July activities tomorrow, those concerned about the NSA surveillance stories that we've learned about in the past month will be protesting in downtown Tampa.

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