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Turning On ObamaCare

When Obama and the Democrats lose the labor unions, you know something has gone terribly wrong.

When it comes to ObamaCare, labor unions were among the most fervent supporters of the legislation. They essentially helped to craft the legislation and then promptly received waivers to protect their Cadillac health plans. Remember that?

Well now the labor unions are unhappy. Looking at the realities of how the law will effect their workers, the heads of three major unions—the Teamsters, the United Food and Commercial Workers, and UNITE-HERE – have written a letter to Democrat leaders complaining about the effects of ObamaCare.

The letter was addressed to Harry Reid and Nancy “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what's in it” Pelosi. The letter reads in part:

“Right now, unless you and the Obama Administration enact an equitable fix, the ACA will shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits, but destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class …

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.”

No kidding! Many of us have known from the beginning that this was going to be the case. Obama promised that if we liked our health insurance, you could keep it. Now that's turning out to be untrue. Costs were supposed to decrease by $2,500 per family. That is entirely the opposite of what's happening. Businesses were going to offer more health coverage because of the insurance pools and exchanges. Instead, businesses are scrapping coverage and lowering worker hours in order to comply with the 30-hour full-time threshold established by ObamaCare. But what else did these labor unions expect to happen?

I can't believe I am saying this, but the labor unions are right. Here are a few new stories related to ObamaCare and its impact on employment.

The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend on the latest hiring trends and noticed that the leisure-and-hospitality sector of our economy hired more workers than any other sector in June. One theory as to why is this: “A number of restaurants and other low-wage employers say they are increasing their staffs by hiring more part-time workers to reduce reliance on full-timers before the health-care law takes effect.” So the number of workers is higher, but they are working fewer hours and won't have health coverage. The report gives various examples such as Subway sandwich shops, Carl's Jr and Hardees, Del Taco and others. Mort Zuckerman expands on the economic impact of becoming a part-time society in his latest piece in the Wall Street Journal. It reads in part:

“In June, the government's Household Survey reported that since the start of the year, the number of people with jobs increased by 753,000—but there are jobs and then there are "jobs." No fewer than 557,000 of these positions were only part-time. The survey also reported that in June full-time jobs declined by 240,000, while part-time jobs soared by 360,000 and have now reached an all-time high of 28,059,000—three million more part-time positions than when the recession began at the end of 2007.

That's just for starters. The survey includes part-time workers who want full-time work but can't get it, as well as those who want to work but have stopped looking. That puts the real unemployment rate for June at 14.3%, up from 13.8% in May.”

He goes on to explain that ObamaCare is partially to blame for this shift. We read these examples nearly every day. Let me give you a few more.

An entrepreneur who owns a few CiCi's Pizza restaurants in Texas has sold off some of his restaurants, citing ObamaCare as the reason. He says the incurred expense due to ObamaCare's mandate would have cost him $30,000 out of his payroll.

Colleges in Florida, including state-run institutions, are cutting adjunct faculty hours in order to bring them under the 30-hour ObamaCare threshold.

It's a dangerous shift if you think about the long-term consequences of a part-time society. Getting an education, getting married, buying a house, starting a family, saving for retirement – All of these basic building blocks of society become delayed or more difficult to achieve. That will be the true legacy of Obama's non-recovery, amplified by the impact of ObamaCare.

Another potentially dangerous societal shift is highlighted in a new study which essentially found the following: “If low-income adults can get health insurance through Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, they are less likely to try and get a job — or keep a job.” The study predicts that we could see “a decline in employment of between 530,000 and 940,000 in response to this group of individuals being made newly eligible for free or heavily subsidized health insurance.” Isn't that fantastic? So more poorer Americans will be less likely to work, but if Americans DO choose to work they are more likely to end up in a part-time job. What a disaster.

For those of you whose employer will continue to offer health coverage, it likely won't be the coverage you have enjoyed in the past. The Politico has a report today about how employers are switching to “skinny plans” for employees, which are limited in their benefits and coverage and do not cover major medical bills. Under ObamaCare, employers simply have to offer coverage in order to satisfy the mandate. If you want more comprehensive coverage, you will be forced to turn to … the government!

As if you weren't outraged enough, here are a few more stories related to ObamaCare and its implementation.

- A contractor hired (at a price of $1.2 billion) to manage a key part of ObamaCare's rollout is now under investigation in Great Britain for over-billing the taxpayers.

- Take a look at this piece of ObamaCare propaganda that was produced thanks to your tax dollars!

- An ObamaCare program that offers advice to consumers on how to sign up has many worried that Americans will be vulnerable to fraud.

The bottom line is that ObamaCare isn't just a disaster for our healthcare system. ObamaCare is a disaster for our economy, with the potential for negative, long-term impact on our society. This week House Republicans are set to vote on delaying the individual mandate. It's time America get serious about delaying the legislation in its entirety. Permanently.