Not unlike the U.S. Constitution, the final rules on the employer mandate under healthcare reform issued by the Treasury Department and the IRS earlier this month begin with a preamble.

But while the Constitution's preamble is a single, lucid paragraph, this one's 133 pages of obtuse government-speak. And then another 94 pages of definitions, examples and notes.

For anyone who might have missed the news, the Obama administration is giving certain employers extra time before they must offer health insurance to almost all their full-time workers. Under new rules, employers with 50 to 99 workers will be given until 2016 — two years longer than originally envisioned under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — before they risk a federal penalty for not complying.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.