From Obamacare’s inception, its opponents warned that, as written, it would spell the death of the full-time worker in America. By forcing employers to buy much more expensive insurance than before and, simultaneously, by saying that they need not insure employees working 30 hours a week or less, the law encouraged sensible employers, with an eye to its bottom line, to get rid of as many full-time employees as possible.
Now that Obamacare is becoming a reality, the same people who supported it are discovering what the law’s opponents already knew: it’s a redistributive policy that drives insurance prices up, destroys doctor-patient relationships, and devastates the economy. Smart people would attack these problems at the root, by demanding Obamacare’s repeal. Democrats, of course, attack employers. A perfect example of this is a petition I received from Change.org:
Staples: Don’t Cut Part-Time Hours Because of Obamacare!
Framingham, United States
I am writing this petition as an anonymous person, as I fear my employer will persecute me if they knew my identity. My trust in the company I work for has been shaken, as they have enacted a new policy to reduce our hours, and I believe they are not telling the whole truth as to why.
I have worked as an Easy-Tech Representative at Staples, sold countless thousands of computers, protection plans, and services, and have made Staples far more money than they have paid me. I typically work 30-35 hours in a week, and have so for about 9 years now. I enjoy working at Staples, and the staff at my store have come to depend on me. I love my job. I recently got married, and am pregnant with my first child.
However, in mid-December, the company announced to the staff at my store: A new policy of limiting ALL part-time workers to 25 hours a week — with NO exceptions — for reasons of “Scheduling Flexibility”.
This left me heartbroken, as I knew 25 hours a week wouldn’t let me make ends meet, let alone have enough to start a family! I questioned my co-workers as to why they would make such a drastic change. Even the General Manager couldn’t get a straight answer out of the upper management. So I decided to do a little digging, and with the help of the internet, I came across what appears to be the answer: The Affordable Healthcare Act aka “Obamacare.”
I read about how countless other companies were slashing part-time hours to use a loophole in the law: You don’t have to pay for healthcare if your employees don’t work more than 30 hours a week. I also learned that the Aetna medical insurance plan that Staples provided didn’t count, as it didn’t provide enough coverage to meet the minimums.
I was stunned. The TRUE reason was obvious: Staples didn’t want to follow the law and provide better heathcare to its employees. Instead, its giving its part-time workers a de facto pay cut and saving money by using a loophole.
However, there is hope. Other major employers such as Darden Restaurants (owners of Olive Garden and Red Lobster) rescinded similar cuts after intense pressure. Our Government has also delayed the requirement until 2015, giving Congress time to sort things out. Corporations such as Starbucks and H-E-B have pledged NOT to reduce part time hours.
Will you join me in asking Staples to join companies like Starbucks and H-E-B to pledge NOT the cut part time employees’ hours?
Did you catch that wonderful logic? “I read about how countless other companies were slashing part-time hours to use a loophole in the law: You don’t have to pay for healthcare if your employees don’t work more than 30 hours a week. I also learned that the Aetna medical insurance plan that Staples provided didn’t count, as it didn’t provide enough coverage to meet the minimums. I was stunned. The TRUE reason was obvious: Staples didn’t want to follow the law and provide better heathcare to its employees. Instead, its giving its part-time workers a de facto pay cut and saving money by using a loophole.”
Let me sum that up: The law is deficient because it creates a loophole whereby employers can save money by reducing full-time employees to part-time. Staples is violating the law by taking advantage of this perfectly legal loophole.
Moreover, Sue Whistleblower has conceded that she was getting perfectly good healthcare already. She nevertheless uses the Orwellian language that the law would force Staples to “provide better healthcare.” What the law really did was give Staples permission to provide no healthcare at all. After all, providing health care to the uninsured is what the exchanges are for.
In other words, Whistleblower got quality healthcare from her employer. When the law made it too expensive for her employer to provide healthcare for everyone, the employer looked in the law for a way out. The way out is for the employer to reduce employee hours and to dump the employee onto the mercies of the Obama exchanges.