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Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

More Employees Working Part-Time?

U.S., Quality of Life, Political, Employment, Economy

The Affordable Care Act (a/k/a ObamaCare) has been in the news for many reasons including the news that Staples has issued a directive to its managers to limit the hours of part-time associates to no more than 25 hours per week.

This is an example of what might be an unintended consequence of ObamaCare although Staples denies this directive was as the result of ObamaCare.  ObamaCare set the new norm of 30 hours per week or 130 hours per month as full time for purposes of benefits. 

Both large and small employers nationwide are being forced to confront the economic implications of the new 30 hour edict.  That will reflect in the U6 unemployment numbers which include the ‘under-employed’.  The cost of ObamaCare to employers is significant and includes penalties for not providing coverage, and various taxes on insurance companies that flow directly to employers.  There is still a misconception about taxes.  Taxes are ultimately paid by individuals no matter upon whom or what they may’ve been directed.  You and I pay every tax that is created.

Similarly, such new edicts as the 30 hour ObamaCare pronouncement impact individuals.  In some cases employers will simply drop their plans and pay the penalties since that is how they can best handle the problems of ObamaCare.  In other instances employers will, in fact, limit the hours worked to stay under the new rule.

Also, the consequence of extended enrollment periods and the elimination of pre-existing condition clauses in insurance contracts will raise the cost of health care coverage significantly.  Humana has already reported concerns over the fact that fewer people have enrolled coupled with the theory that those who have enrolled will be more heavily populated by those with formerly uncovered pre-existing conditions.

We will observe many such occurrences in the coming year or two as ObamaCare becomes a bigger and bigger part of everyone’s life.  Once again, it appears that the people who write such laws live in a bubble.  Either that is true and they’re simply ignorant, or they know full well what the laws they pass will do to us but just don’t care so long as they continue to be re-elected.  I don’t think our lawmakers, with a few exceptions, are ignorant.

That would suggest that there are very few consequences of these laws that were unintended.

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