Obama: ‘We’re Smoothing Out This Transition’ With Latest Obamacare Delay

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The White House says a costly spending bill President Barack Obama signed into law five years ago Monday was good for the economy and helped the U.S. avoid another Great Depression. (credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The White House says a costly spending bill President Barack Obama signed into law five years ago Monday was good for the economy and helped the U.S. avoid another Great Depression. (credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBS DC/AP) — President Barack Obama says he’s giving mid-size businesses more time to comply with his health care law because the goal is not to punish anyone.

“Our goal here is not to punish folks,” Obama said. “Our goal is to make sure that we’ve got people who can count on the financial security that health insurance provides.”

Obama says the companies are trying to get right with the law and provide insurance for their employees. But they need more time to meet their responsibility.

“What we did yesterday was simply to make an adjustment in terms of their compliance because, for many of these companies, just the process of complying … it may take them some time even if they are operating in good faith,” Obama said during the joint press conference with French President Francois Hollande at the White House.

The Obama administration on Monday delayed a requirement that medium-to-larger firms provide health care for their workers or face fines. The administration said companies with 50 to 99 employees will have an additional year to comply with the coverage requirement, until January 1, 2016.

Obama said the delay was made to help smooth out the transition.

“This was an example of, administratively, us making sure that we’re smoothing out this transition. Giving people the opportunities to get right with the law, but recognizing that there are going to be circumstances in which people are trying to do the right thing and it may take a little bit of time,” Obama said

Republicans trying to win control of the Senate in the November elections are making the health care law their top issue, criticizing it as a job-costing burden on businesses and individuals.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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