That's what they would expect if they ever took their own arguments seriously. The claim that the bill was a job-killer hinged on the notion that the penalties applied to firms with more than 50 workers who did not provide insurance would discourage hiring. The penalties also supposedly encouraged firms to reduce hours since they only applied to workers who worked more than 30 hours a week.

The economy should have already been seeing the negative impact of these requirements (contrary to what is implied in this NYT article) since the penalty provision was supposed to take effect in 2014 based on employment in 2013. This means that if the penalties actually were affecting hiring, then we should soon see a hiring boom as firms need no longer fear being over the 50 worker threshold in 2013. (They need not worry about this year's hiring pushing them over the cutoff for next year. Roughly 3 percent of the workforce leaves their job every month (roughly half voluntarily and half involuntarily), so if hires in 2013 pushed employers above the threshold, they would have little difficulty getting back under the 50 worker threshold in 2014.

This means that the delay of the imposition of the penalty provides a great test of the extent to which the Affordable Care Act really is a job killer. Anyone taking bets on the size of the hiring surge in the second half of 2013?

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