Thank You Mr. President, May We Have Another?
Let's give credit where credit is due.
The Affordable Health Care Act, better known as ObamaCare, might go down as one of the worst pieces of legislation in American history. At the same time, it will undoubtedly stand as a testament to both raw political power and absolute political brilliance..
Seriously, if most of the provisions of ObamaCare had taken effect immediately instead of being delayed until 2013 and beyond, is there any doubt that we'd be talking about President Romney?
Here's the latest "unintended consequence".
Most businesses of any size are now required to offer health insurance (or pay a penalty) to any part-time employee who works more than 30 hours a week. Since this imposes an enormous unfunded economic mandate on private employers, the private sector is responding in a completely predictable manner.
Cutting the hours of part-time employees.
I personally know a business that uses a number of part-time employees - many of whom had been working 35 to 39 hours per week. Most of the employees fall into one of three categories: entry level workers hoping to land a full-time gig, students trying to make a few bucks while working on their degrees; or more experienced workers who don't (for a variety of reasons) want a full-time job.
Many of these part-time workers don't need or want health insurance coverage through their employer. In some cases, they are young enough to be covered through their parents. In other cases, they have insurance available to them through their spouses. Some just would like to choose to go without coverage if it means more money in their pockets.
That can't happen any more however.
Thanks to ObamaCare, workers are seeing their regular weekly hours cut from 36 or more to 26 (in order to make sure the 30 hour threshold isn't reached). At $10 per hour, this translates into a $100 weekly shortfall. The effect is that part-time workers are having to pick up extra part-time jobs to make up for their lost earnings.
This is despite the fact that the workers don't ant to see their hours cut - and that the businesses wouldn't otherwise reduce hours were it not for the unfunded mandates of ObamaCare.
It's convenient to describe this as an unintended consequence - but that's not really accurate.
For years, Hawaii has required employers to provide insurance for any employees working over 20 hours per week. What has the effect of this been?
Predictably, businesses in Hawaii hire tons of part-time employees and limit their hours - meaning that part-timers have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet (but still don't qualify for employer provided insurance).
Is it any surprise that Congress may be considering exempting itself from the crummy system that it has foisted on everyone else?
Thank you Mr. President, may we have another?