Politics

ObamaCare looks back on job destruction

ObamaCare looks back on job destruction

In the course of an excellent Forbes article about the hard facts of America’s transformation into a “part-time nation,” Grace-Marie Turner drops a bombshell about the illegal delay of the ObamaCare employer mandate… which turns out to have been a cheap political stunt, in addition to a violation of the Constitution.

First, the icy statistical truth of Waiter and Waitress America:

An avalanche of “anecdotes” continues to pile up as workers across the country are having their hours cut and their health benefits slashed across a broad range of industries.

Loren Goodridge, the owner of 21 Subway franchises, says he has no choice but to cut the hours of his employees to 29 a week to avoid the law’s penalties.

The negative effects of the law reach the education industry as well. St. Petersburg College, a public university in Florida, is reducing the hours of 250 faculty members because the college says it cannot afford to provide them with health insurance.

Joseph Hansen, the president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union that originally supported the law, says the health law will have a “tremendous impact as workers have their hours reduced and their incomes reduced.”

Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that the ratio of part-time to full-time jobs has completely flipped this year from historical trends.  Last year, six full-time jobs were created for every one part time job.  This year, only one full-time job is being created for every four new part-time jobs.

So much for the last-ditch Obama apologist tactic of claiming this was all just over-hyped anecdotal evidence from hateful small business owners, who were either making things up, or using ObamaCare as an excuse to go on the job-killing rampage they’d been dreaming about for years.  Four part-time jobs for every full-time job?  Dear God.

Then Turner drops the bombshell:

The shift to part-time has accelerated over the past several months because of the “look back” provision in ObamaCare that sets the baseline this year for the number of full-time workers a company employs to determine their compliance with the employer pay-or-play mandate.

So it’s all a scam, a cheesy political circus act designed to generate headlines that will absolve Obama of blame for the ongoing destruction of the full-time workforce.  If he hadn’t gotten media coverage for the delay to distract voters, they might have correctly identified ObamaCare as a prime source of lousy job numbers during the 2014 elections, and punished Democrats at the ballot box accordingly.

But whatever benefits employers may derive from the employer-mandate delay (which, as Turner observes, President Obama insists on keeping illegal, even though House Republicans offered to help him make it legal), they won’t be creating any more full-time jobs, because ObamaCare’s incentives to eliminate such jobs remain in full effect.  Not that a one-year reprieve would have made much real difference, but the truth is that Obama’s much-ballyhooed stay of execution for the American workforce won’t make any difference at all.

Turner also mentions Obama’s gigantic stealth tax hike on the middle class: “Not only is the law taking a toll on part-time workers, but it also is increasing costs for families. ObamaCare’s new health insurance tax alone will raise premiums by $8 billion next year, increasing an average family’s premium by more than $350.”

It’s not really an increase in your premiums, Mom and Pop America.  It’s yet another left-wing pass-through tax, dumped on corporations that dutifully pass it along to their customers.  If you don’t like it, you’re encouraged to get mad at the private companies who were once again drafted into service as stealth tax collectors, not the socialists who actually inflicted the tax on you.

National Journal also notices those premium hikes, in an article that concedes Republican critics of ObamaCare “might be right” after all.  Gee, ya think?

Health law proponents have excused the rate hikes by saying the prices in the exchange won’t apply to the millions receiving coverage from their employers. But that’s only if employers continue to offer that coverage–something that’s looking increasingly uncertain. Already, UPS, for example, cited Obamacare as its reason for nixing spousal coverage. And while a Kaiser Family Foundation report found that 49 percent of the U.S. population now receives employer-sponsored coverage, more companies are debating whether they will continue to be in the business of providing such benefits at all.

Economists largely agree there won’t be a sea change among employers offering coverage. But they’re also saying small businesses are still in play.

Caroline Pearson, vice president at Avalere Health, a health care and public policy advisory firm, said there’s a calculation low-wage companies will make to determine if there’s cost savings in sending employees to the exchanges.

“The amount you have to gross up their wages so they can get their own insurance and the cost of the penalties may add up to less than the cost of providing care,” she said.

Who said anything about “grossing up their wages?”  All I hear are stories of companies regretfully informing employees that they’ll be dumped into the hell of the ObamaCare public exchanges, to receive taxpayer-subsidized overpriced crap insurance, because the company can’t afford to comply with ObamaCare.  I have yet to see a copy of such a letter that said, “Oh, and by the way, we’ll be giving you a raise to help offset those jacked-up premiums.”

“To any small employer, it’s a no-brainer,” said Devon Herrick, a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, a conservative policy research organization. “If workers can get better coverage that’s subsidized, it makes sense for the employer to stop providing health insurance.”

Whether the quality of care in the new market is comparable to private offerings remains to be seen. But one thing is clear: The cost of care in the new market doesn’t stack up. A single wage earner must make less than $20,000 to see his or her current premiums drop or stay the same under Obamacare, an independent review by National Journal found. That’s equivalent to approximately 34 percent of all single workers in the U.S. seeing any benefit in the new system. For those seeking family-of-four coverage under the ACA, about 43 percent will see cost savings. Families must earn less than or equal to $62,300, or they, too, will be looking at a bigger bill.

Those numbers include the generous tax subsidies designed to make the new system more attractive to consumers.

“In 16 states that HHS studied, premiums were on average almost 20% lower than what the Congressional Budget Office projected,” Peters wrote in an e-mail.

Premiums may be lower than predicted, but they’re not competitive with what workers are now paying for employer-sponsored care.

It’s pathetic to watch the Obama Administration cherry-pick a few states like New York, whose insurance markets were already overpriced disasters thanks to state government meddling, and use them as examples of how ObamaCare will save some people money.  Of course, they don’t want to talk about the other 45 states, where premiums are going up, sometimes way up, especially for the young people Obama is trying to lure into the vampire blood bank with celebrity propaganda campaigns.  As Mitt Romney tried to explain during the 2012 presidential campaign, whatever else you can say about RomneyCare, it was designed for Massachusetts.  He said this quite often, but he didn’t say it well enough; his former adviser Avik Roy did a much better job in a recent column.

Not everyone will qualify for those ObamaCare taxpayer subsidies, which are generous enough to reach well into the “middle class” (and blow the deficit sky-high, when the larger-than-projected wave of insurance refugees hits the public exchanges) but top out at $45,960 annual income for an individual, $94,200 for a family of four.  Congratulations, America – people who make over $45,000 per year are about to become welfare dependents.  But it still won’t be enough to save most of America from ObamaCare sticker shock..  The Nanny State gives, and the Nanny State takes away… sometimes doing both at the same time, to the same people, with the same idiotic law.

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