WASHINGTON — In a significant setback for President Obama’s signature domestic initiative, the administration on Tuesday abruptly announced a one-year delay, until 2015, in his health care law’s mandate that larger employers provide coverage for their workers or pay penalties. The decision postpones the effective date beyond next year’s midterm elections.
Employer groups welcomed the news of the concession, which followed complaints from businesses. The news was posted late in the day on the White House and Treasury websites while the president was flying home from Africa. Republicans’ gleeful reactions made it clear that they would not cease to make repeal of the law a campaign issue for the third straight election cycle.