By J. D. Heyes
What was sold to the American people as the greatest reform of the U.S. healthcare system in our history is turning out to be the biggest contributing factor destroying the greatest economy in the history of the planet.
At a time when unemployment remains unacceptably high (7.6 percent in June, up from lows of 4-5 percent in 2004-2006), Obamacare is putting even more downward pressure on hiring, leaving American workers stuck in cycles of unemployment or underemployment.
The “reform” law contains what is known as an “employer mandate” – it requires employers with 50 or more full-time employees to provide them with expensive health insurance coverage (and wasn’t the law supposed to reduce the cost of health insurance?). As a way to avoid having to incur this huge new expense, many employers are simply firing employees or reducing their work hours to part-time status. Mind you, most companies that are trying to avoid the mandate are doing so to stay in business, not to be lousy to employees. They figure that offering someone part-time employment is better than having no job at all. But the bottom line is, of course, their bottom line – without the additional revenue to cover the new mandate, adjustments have to be made if they are to remain in business.
Per The Wall Street Journal:
Ken Adams has been turning to more part-time workers at his 10 Subway sandwich shops in Michigan to avoid possibly incurring higher health-care costs under the new federal insurance law. He added approximately 25 part-time workers in May and June as he reduced some employees’ hours and replaced other workers who left. The move showed how efforts by some restaurant owners and other businesses to remake their workforces because of the Affordable Care Act may be turning the country’s labor market into a more part-time workforce.
So in other words, those who have some of the worst-paying jobs in our society just got shafted again – by a president and his government activist supporters who like to pretend they actually gave a damn about “working Americans.”
But wait, you say – didn’t the president delay implementation of the employer mandate by a year, until January 2015? Yes, but employers aren’t stupid; they realize that unless the employer mandate goes away for good, it will eventually return. So why hire more full-time employees now when you’re just going to have to fire them or reduce their hours later?
‘Fundamentally changing’ healthcare and employment
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia had this to say about a recent federal government jobs report denoting the dramatic uptick in part-time employment. The report
…is an encouraging sign for the working men and women who found a job last month, and those who are still looking. However, earlier this week the White House reminded us once again that its policies have held back the job growth that we should expect from an economic recovery. Obamacare has been predicted to be a drain on employment since before its passage and that outcome was confirmed by the Obama Administration’s delay of the employer mandate. The added costs and regulations to businesses across our nation mean less jobs and less economic growth. Delaying the inevitable for one year will bring no solace. We must have a permanent delay of Obamacare before we can realize our full job creating potential.
Successive jobs reports have all noted the trend towards part-time employment, but not just in the service and restaurant industries. Of the 753,000 jobs created since the beginning of the year, 589,000 were part-time, the Labor Department said.
“For the entire U.S. workforce, employers have added far more part-time employees in 2013 – averaging 93,000 a month, seasonally adjusted – than full-time workers, which have averaged 22,000. Last year the reverse was true, with employers adding 31,000 part-time workers monthly, compared with 171,000 full-time ones,” The Wall Street Journal echoed.
America is certainly undergoing the kind of “fundamental change” Barack Obama promised during his initial presidential campaign in 2008. Do you think the country is going to be economically stronger or weaker if the bulk of Americans can only work part-time?
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