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Obamacare creates inventive for employers to keep hours below 30

  • Published in Letters

To The Daily Sun,

A recent letter from Bernadette Loesch tries to claim that the criticism of Obamacare is unfounded and unsubstantiated. In this letter she tells of the Walt Disney Company offering full-time employment to 427 part-time employees and how this proves that the claims of Obamacare hurting jobs is "not borne out by reality". She then states how a recent survey of chief financial officers shows that full-time jobs are going to increase by 2 percent over the next year proves how these claims are false.
Bernadette's claims are the easiest to disprove with some simple research. In fact Members of Congress, who have been exempted from the law by the president and Secretary Sebilius, wrote the law that specifically exempts all congressional staff so they can receive taxpayer subsidies to pay for their private health insurance. Congressional members and their staff responded in a survey that they don't want Obamacare.
James Hoffa, president of the Teamsters Union; Joseph Hansen, president of the UFCW; and D. Taylor, president of Unite-Here recently sent a letter to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid complaining about Obamacare where they said the unintended consequences of the ACA are severe. Perverse incentives are already creating nightmare scenarios:
"First, the law creates an incentive for employers to keep employees' work hours below 30 hours a week. Numerous employers have begun to cut workers' hours to avoid this obligation, and many of them are doing so openly. The impact is two-fold: fewer hours means less pay while also losing our current health benefits.
Second, millions of Americans are covered by non-profit health insurance plans like the ones in which most of our members participate. Under the ACA ..., our employees will be treated differently and not be eligible for subsidies afforded other citizens. As such, many employees will be relegated to second-class status and shut out of the help the law offers to for-profit insurance plans. Even though non-profit plans like ours won't receive the same subsidies as for-profit plans, they'll be taxed to pay for those subsidies. Taken together, these restrictions will make non-profit plans like ours unsustainable, and will undermine the health-care market of viable alternatives to the big health insurance companies. They finish the letter by stating "Time is running out: Congress wrote this law; we voted for you. We have a problem; you need to fix it."
Add to this that there are over 300 employers that have reported that they have eliminated jobs, moved employees from full-time to part-time or have simply cut hours because of Obamacare. Most of the employers are public entities such as Houston County, Alabama government; Arizona State University; Community College System of N.H.; Akron, Ohio city government; Youngstown and Upper Arlington School Districts in Ohio; Boone Community School District in Illinois; and the West Perry School District in Pennsylvania. This list includes many other types of employers such as Walmart Stores, Inc.; the Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in Connecticut; the Cleveland Clinic; Sea World Entertainment, Inc.; Waldblum's Supermarket; Circle K; North Shore University Health System; and Pillar Hotels and Resorts.
In fact, Reuters and the Washington Free Beacon recently had stories explaining how the program that expands health insurance to over 25 million people doesn't mean these people will receive health care. According to their stories there are over a dozen hospitals that are cutting jobs and reducing patient care and/or services offered because of Obamacare.
According to reports from the U.S. Department of Labor there are statistics that show the number of new unemployment claims each month are mostly from full-time jobs the reported unemployment percentage continues to drop. This is because of an increase in part-time jobs, approximately 400,000 per month, and moving people from the unemployed category to the not-in-the-labor-force category. Labor statistics show that the Labor Participation Rate, which is the percentage of eligible workers actually working, is 63.2 percent. This is the lowest rate since Jimmy Carter was president. Labor Department surveys to employers show that the high cost of Obamacare is the driving factor for these statistics.
Bernadette states that "the American public need to look behind the headlines and learn what's really happening for the American workforce". Unfortunately she doesn't follow her own advice.
Greg Knytych