Better Right? Or Better Fast? (Editorial)

Sometimes, the best way through a thicket is straight ahead. Such is the case with Obamacare, though the president himself showed last week that he wasn’t convinced when his administration delayed for one year — until Jan. 1, 2015 — implementation of the rule requiring larger companies to offer employees health insurance coverage or face fines.

“We have heard concerns about the complexity of the requirements and the need for more time to implement them effectively,” Treasury Assistant Secretary Mark Mazur said. “We have listened to your feedback and we are taking action.”

The business community lauded the delay. Randy Zook, president and CEO of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the delay was a “good, smart step.”

He added, “I think you’ve got to give them credit, frankly, that they’ve heard the outcry of frustration from so many business owners and managers.”

Arkansas Surgeon General Joe Thompson said, “We need to get this right, and if they weren’t going to get it right, I’d rather delay it for a year and get it right.”

And we understand that, according to Deputy Insurance Commissioner Cynthia Crone, the delay was going to affect only about 1 percent of employers in Arkansas.

So call us unconvinced. Many news outlets, including this one, still hold to the belief that it’s better to get something right than to get it first. The highly divisive Affordable Care Act may be an exception to this precept. The longer it’s delayed, the likelier it is to be not completely overturned but transformed by politics into an even more complex system that’s even less likely to succeed.

Failure to rip off the bandage isn’t likely to benefit anyone.