New York Times: “Public Sector Cuts Part-Time Shifts to Bypass Insurance Law”

Before I get to the new article from the New York Times, I’d like to point out a few other things from the past.

In front of the U.S. Supreme Court, the Obama administration argued that Obamacare’s employer mandate is a tax.

This particular Obamacare tax only applies to “full time” jobs, which Obamacare defines as 30 or more hours per week.

So, Obamacare is a tax on full time employment.

Everyone knows that whatever you tax, you get less of. For example, after Obama increased the cigarette tax by 61 cents per pack in 2009, John Seffrin, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society, said:

“Raising the price of tobacco products is one of the most effective approaches to encouraging people to quit and preventing kids from picking up the deadly habit in the first place.”

In July 2013, leaders of the Teamsters, UFCW, and UNITE-HERE, all of whom endorsed Obama in both elections, sent a letter to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi which said that Obamacare will

“destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class… 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.”

Now, The New York Times, which also endorsed Obama in both elections, is reporting:

Public Sector Cuts Part-Time Shifts to Bypass Insurance Law

Cities, counties, public schools and community colleges around the country have limited or reduced the work hours of part-time employees to avoid having to provide them with health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, state and local officials say.

Among those whose hours have been restricted in recent months are police dispatchers, prison guards, substitute teachers, bus drivers, athletic coaches, school custodians, cafeteria workers and part-time professors.

In Medina, Ohio, about 30 miles south of Cleveland, Mayor Dennis Hanwell said the city had lowered the limit for part-time employees to 29 hours a week, from 35. Workers’ wages were reduced accordingly, he said.

Lawrence County, in western Pennsylvania, reduced the limit for part-time employees to 28 hours a week, from 32. Dan Vogler, the Republican chairman of the county Board of Commissioners, said the cuts affected prison guards and emergency service personnel at the county’s 911 call center.

In Virginia, part-time state employees are generally not allowed to work more than 29 hours a week on average over a 12-month period. Thousands of part-time state employees had been working more than that

To hold down the work hours of school bus drivers, Vigo County has reduced field trips for children and cut back transportation to athletic events. School employees who had two part-time jobs totaling more than 30 hours a week — for example, bus driver and basketball coach — were required to give up one of the jobs.

The Obama administration says “there is absolutely no evidence” of any job loss related to the Affordable Care Act.

The American Federation of Teachers lists on its website three dozen public colleges and universities in 15 states that it says have restricted the work assignments of adjunct or part-time faculty members to avoid the cost of providing health insurance.

The University of Akron, in Ohio, has cut back the hours of 400 part-time faculty members who were teaching more than 29 hours a week, said Eileen Korey, a spokeswoman for the school.

February 28, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , . Economics, Health care, Politics, Unions. Leave a comment.

Unions that helped pass Obamacare now say it will “shatter our hard-earned health benefits” and “destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week”

Three unions that supported the passage of Obamacare in 2010 (Teamsters, UFCW, and UNITE-HERE) have just sent a letter to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi which is very heavily critical of Obamacare. Among other things, the letter states:

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 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.

Our health plans have been built over decades by working men and women. Under the ACA as interpreted by the Administration, our employees will treated differently and not be eligible for subsidies afforded other citizens. As such, many employees will be relegated to second-class status and shut out of the help the law offers to for-profit insurance plans.

These restrictions will make non-profit plans like ours unsustainable.

We can no longer stand silent in the face of elements of the Affordable Care Act that will destroy the very health and wellbeing of our members along with millions of other hardworking Americans.

This is hypocrisy at its worth. All three of these unions supported the passage of Obamacare. All three of these unions supported Obama in both presidential elections. For them to now portray themselves as victims is absurd.

I’m not denying that Obamacare does all the bad things which they say it does. I think their claims about the harm caused by Obamacare are accurate.

What I am denying, however, is that these unions are “victims.” They are not victims. Instead, these unions are experiencing the consequences of their own actions. They chose to support the passage of Obamacare. They chose to help make Obamacare become reality. For them to now complain about its harmful effects is the height of hypocrisy.

July 16, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Health care, Unions. 1 comment.