Tuesday, October 23, 2012

ObamaCare and Jobs

Robert Samuelson discusses "ObamaCare: Rhetoric Vs. Reality".

He opens with:
Just recently, the Internal Revenue Service issued an 18-page, single-spaced notice explaining how to distinguish between full-time and part-time workers under the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"). The difference matters, because the ACA requires employers with 50 or more full-time workers to provide health insurance for those workers. At the same time, no company has to buy insurance for part-time employees, defined as those working less than 30 hours a week.
As a result, the IRS has issued a complex set of rules to let employers know who does (or does not) count as a full-time employee for the purposes of the law.

Many employers are now shifting workers from full-time to part-time status:
Employers have a huge incentive to hold workers under the 30-hour weekly threshold. The requirement to provide insurance above that acts as a steep employment tax. Companies will try to minimize the tax. The most vulnerable workers are the poorest and least skilled who can be most easily replaced and for whom insurance costs loom largest. Indeed, the adjustment has already started.
Some may call these "unintended consequences".  But they are completely predictable consequences of increasing government regulations.  No one should be surprised by them, including the legislators who passed the law.

It will be up to us to hold them accountable.

(Read the full text of "ObamaCare: Rhetoric Vs. Reality".  Link via Dr. Art Fougner.)