One of the major initiatives of ObamaCare was the mandate for employers to either provide health insurance or face possible extremely steep penalties for not providing health insurance or providing insurance that was too costly. This mandate was to take place starting January 1, 2014. The mandate applied to employers with 50 full-time equivalent employees. For most of our farmers, this law would not apply, however many of our orchards, vineyard and related operations may have been dramatically affected by this mandate.
Well, this mandate has been postponed for at least one more year. It will not start until 2015 and I am sure that is has nothing to do with 2014 being an election year. We may start to see even more ObamaCare provisions being postponed or eliminated over the next few months. One of the primary features is the creation of state-run health insurance exchanges and you are probably aware that most of the states are not up and running yet and they need to be ready beginning October 1, 2013.
It will be interesting over the next few months how this turns out and we will keep you posted.