Do you remember then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling on Americans to support the massive Obamacare bill that no Congress critter had actually read, saying that “we must pass it to find out what’s in it”?
Every day since the passage of that monstrous piece of legislation, we are finding out exactly “what’s in it.” Increasingly, more and more Americans have discovered that the Affordable Care Act is not just unaffordable, but is costing them dearly, as work hours are slashed to part time and spouses are slashed from their company’s healthcare coverage.
As examples, in October 2012, Orlando-based Darden Restaurants stopped offering full-time schedules to many hourly workers in some Olive Gardens, Red Lobsters and LongHorn Steakhouses. The next month, Pennyslyvania’s Community College of Allegheny County slashed instructors’ hours to avoid Obamacare. In April 2013, citing Obamacare, Regal Entertainment Group, the biggest U.S. movie theater chain cut its employee hours; followed in July by an Indiana hospital chain, St. Vincent Health, firing 865 employees because of Obamacare.
Here are the latest:
1. Forever 21
Three days ago, a leaked memo from the clothing boutique chain Forever 21 revealed that beginning August 31, the company is reducing its employee hours to part time. In so doing, those employees will also lose medical, dental, vision and voluntary coverage.
William Bigelow reports for Breitbart.com that the company released a statement onFacebook claiming that “less than 1% of all U.S. store employees” would be affected. Although the company insists that the cuts are not due to Obamacare, it is being disingenuous because the company is cutting its employee hours to a maximum of 29.5 a week—a fraction less than the 30 hours a week designated by Obamacare as full-time employment. This allows Forever 21 to sidestep the law’s requirement for companies who employ 50 or more workers to provide health insurance coverage for full-time employees.
2. University of Virginia
Bob Schilling reports for BearingDrift.com that the University of Virginia (UoV) announced today that due to “rising health care costs,” starting January 1 next year, working spouses who have access to coverage through their own employer, will be ineligible for UoV insurance coverage.
The University blames Obamacare for an anticipated $7.3 million cost increase next year, which doesn’t include the millions more in Obamacare taxes that punish the university for its “generous” employee health care offerings.
Bizjournals.com reports that UPS or United Parcel Service Inc. plans to remove 15,000 spouses from its medical plan because they are eligible for coverage elsewhere. The Atlanta-based logistics company points to the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, as a big reason for the decision, reports Kaiser Health News.
In a memo to employees, UPS says that rising medical costs, “combined with the costs associated with the Affordable Care Act, have made it increasingly difficult to continue providing the same level of health care benefits to our employees at an affordable cost.” As a result, 15,000 working spouses of UPS’s workers, who are eligible for coverage by their own employers, will be excluded from the UPS health plan in 2014.
4. Businesses in Charlottesville, VA
Paul Bedard reports for the Washington Examiner that Obamacare has forced many firms in Charlottesville, VA, to switch to part-time workers, according to an online memo to investors by David John Marotta and Megan Russell of Marotta Wealth Management, an influential money management team.
The memo says, “Economic self-defense has many firms forcing their employees to work less than 30 hours a week regardless of their preference or availability. This trend seems to be universal even here in Charlottesville.”
One manager was told he’d be fired if he hired a 50th full-time worker, the number that triggers the costly Obamacare system. Going over 50 means firms will either have to start offering health insurance or pay a significant fine.
5. Other U.S. companies
Charlottesville, VA is not alone. Dan Mangan reports for CNBC, Aug. 21, 2013, that a survey by Towers Watson of 420 American mid- and large-sized companies finds most are envisioning changes to their employees’ health insurance offerings so as to control employee-related health costs that are expected to increase under Obamacare.
Nearly 60% of the companies—which collectively employ 8.7 million people—are considering shifting the work of insuring their workers off from the company plan to private health insurance exchanges.The same companies also are increasingly unlikely to offer their employer-sponsored health plan for retirees older than age 65, off-loading them to Obamacare state insurance exchanges and Medicare.
Dr. Eowyn is the Editor of Fellowship of the Minds and a regular contributor to The D.C. Clothesline.
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Contributed by Dr Eowyn of The DC Clothesline.