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White House delays key element of health care law

White House delays key element of health care law

Photo: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama’s health care law seems to be losing much of its sweep.

On Tuesday, the administration unexpectedly announced a one-year delay, until after the 2014 elections, in a central requirement of the law that medium and large companies provide coverage for their workers or face fines.

Separately, opposition in the states from Republican governors and legislators has steadily undermined a Medicaid expansion that had been expected to provide coverage to some 15 million low-income people.

Tuesday’s move sacrificed timely implementation of the law but might help Democrats politically by blunting an election-year line of attack Republicans were planning to use. The employer requirements are among the most complex parts of the health care overhaul.

Business groups were jubilant about the delay.

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