Continued from page 1

That’s exactly what is happening on Capitol Hill among Republicans who have been emboldened by Mr. Obama’s last-minute decision to delay the mandate’s implementation.

“Instead of simply delaying implementation of Obamacare, we should repeal it in its entirety,” said Chris Chocola, president of the free-market Club for Growth.

The message that the White House has been getting since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010 is that businesses will pare down their workforces to reduce their exposure to higher health care costs. It is now beginning to sink in.

Let’s not mince words. The White House’s decision to delay the mandate was driven by the nation’s weak jobs numbers and its looming political impact next year.

While the national unemployment rate remains around 7.6 percent, the bleak reality is that 18 states — including the most populous ones — have much higher jobless rates, and 15 of them are between 8 percent and 9.5 percent.

As long as these numbers persist, Mr. Obama’s employer mandate is dead in the water.

Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and contributor to The Washington Times.