Why we can’t get answers from the DOL

A head Labor Department official said Monday that the department
cannot provide as much clarity or answer questions about the Affordable
Care Act as people are seeking due to elements of the law.

Speaking at the International Foundation for Employee Benefit Plans Washington
Legislative Update at the Capital Hilton, Phyllis Borzi, assistant
secretary for employee benefits security, acknowledged that those in the
audience — mostly multi-plan trustees — are struggling with how to
implement the ACA and although the DOL is working with them “these are
very, very difficult issues because the statute is so unforgiving in a
number of areas.”

Borzi, who is in charge of the Employee Benefits
Security Administration, said that many times people come into the
department’s offices to talk about the law and want to put aside the
statute during the conversation. “We can’t do that,” Borzi said. “It’s
only when the statute gives us some wiggle room and often it does not.”

Further, she said often when the U.S. Government is sued about the law, many of
the cases accuse the government of exceeding its legal authority so “we
are very cautious about not exceeding our legal authority,” Borzi said.

However she said the department remains committed to helping people as they
figure out how the law will impact their plans. “We are not there yet,”
she explained, “any of you wondering what will happen, I wish I could
give you some clarity … but we do understand how important your plans


This article was posted by Brian Kalish on 5/21/13 on Employee Benefit Advisor