Fact check rips Pelosi claim that ObamaCare mandate 'not delayed'

FILE: July 11, 2013: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

FILE: July 11, 2013: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.  (AP)

The big news on ObamaCare these past two weeks has been the administration's announcement that it will delay by one year the requirement on businesses to provide health insurance. 

Nancy Pelosi, though, had a curious take on the whole thing. Actually, she instructed reporters, "The mandate was not delayed." 

The House Democratic leader used some creative reasoning to make her case -- she claimed the administration really only delayed the requirement on businesses to report insurance coverage details. 

But The Washington Post fact-checker on Friday shut it down, effectively ruling that Pelosi is trying to "deny reality." 

"Yes, reporting requirements were delayed. But there also was a one-year delay of the actual employer mandate. It's right there in the announcement," the Post wrote. 


Here's what Pelosi said during a press conference on Thursday: 

"The point is, is that the mandate was not delayed. Certain reporting by businesses that could be perceived as onerous, that reporting requirement was delayed, and partially to review how it would work and how it could be better. It was not a delay of the mandate for the businesses." 

Pelosi was correct in the first part of that statement. In an announcement last week on the Treasury Department blog, Mark J. Mazur. assistant secretary for Tax Policy at Treasury, said the requirement to report details on insurance coverage would be delayed by a year. 

However, that decision meant everything else would be delayed too. Mazur said the penalties on employers would be pushed off until 2015, meaning the requirement itself would be pushed off -- though the administration would still "strongly encourage" employers to offer coverage during that time. 

But, as the Post noted, "encouraging employers to provide health insurance is not the same thing as mandating it." 

Pelosi tried to deny the existence of a delay as her Republican colleagues use the announcement as an opening to attempt to stall other parts of the law. 

Republicans are already teeing up votes on delaying what is known as the "individual mandate" -- the requirement on individuals to buy health insurance, which the administration so far has kept on schedule. 

The Post wrote: "We understand Pelosi's desire to minimize the impact of the decision -- and supporters of the law may have a strong case that the employer mandate is not as central to the law as the individual mandate to buy insurance -- but that's not an excuse to deny reality."