The long of "unexpected" (by liberals and the media - pardon the redundancy) adverse effects of the ACA has been revealed.
Here's a trend you'll be reading more about: part-time "job sharing," not only within firms but across different businesses.
It's already happening across the country at fast-food restaurants, as employers try to avoid being punished by the Affordable Care Act. In some cases we've heard about, a local McDonalds has hired employees to operate the cash register or flip burgers for 20 hours a week and then the workers head to the nearby Burger King or Wendy's to log another 20 hours. Other employees take the opposite shifts.
Welcome to the strange new world of small-business hiring under ObamaCare. The law requires firms with 50 or more "full-time equivalent workers" to offer health plans to employees who work more than 30 hours a week. (The law says "equivalent" because two 15 hour a week workers equal one full-time worker.) Employers that pass the 50-employee threshold and don't offer insurance face a $2,000 penalty for each uncovered worker beyond 30 employees. So by hiring the 50th worker, the firm pays a penalty on the previous 20 as well.
How does this help low income workers Mr. President?
A 2011 Hudson Institute study estimates that this insurance mandate will cost the franchise industry $6.4 billion and put 3.2 million jobs "at risk." The insurance mandate is so onerous for small firms that Stephen Caldeira, president of the International Franchise Association, predicts that "Many stores will have to cut worker hours out of necessity. It could be the difference between staying in business or going out of business." The franchise association says the average fast-food restaurant has profits of only about $50,000 to $100,000 and a margin of about 3.5%.
Because other federal employment regulations also kick in when a firm crosses the 50 worker threshold, employers are starting to cap payrolls at 49 full-time workers. These firms have come to be known as "49ers." Businesses that hire young and lower-skilled workers are also starting to put a ceiling on the work week of below 30 hours. These firms are the new "29ers." Part-time workers don't have to be offered insurance under ObamaCare.
Emphasis mine. But wait, my liberal friends say - these regulations don't kick in for another year. It's just another example of greedy business taking advantage of the working class! Not so fast, would be my reply....
The mandate to offer health insurance doesn't take effect until 2014, but the "measurement period" used by the feds to determine a firm's average number of full-time employees started last month. So the cutbacks and employment dodges are underway.
Emphasis mine. Another unintended consequence....
CEO's are stepping up to battle the unintended job losses that the ACA has created.
But the damage won't be limited to franchisees or restaurants. A 2012 survey of employers by the Mercer consulting firm found that 67% of retail and wholesale firms that don't offer insurance coverage today "are more inclined to change their workforce strategy so that fewer employees meet that [30 hour a week] threshold." This week Nigel Travis, the CEO of Dunkin' Donuts, asked Congress to change the health law's definition of full-time to 40 hours a week from 30 hours so worker hours won't have to be cut.
And while I expect the House to attempt to undo some of that damage, I know the Senate and the President will block even that basic bit of common sense.
One of the really damning parts (for the Obama Administration and their job creation claims) is a sidebar chart that shows just how hard it is to find a full time job to pay the bills.
Take a look at the spike from approximately 2008 until 2011. While it started to dip in 2011, according to the WSJ article it's going to go back up.
The timing of all this couldn't be worse. Involuntary part-time U.S. employment is already near a record high. The latest Department of Labor employment survey counts roughly eight million Americans who want a full-time job but are stuck in a part-time holding pattern. That number is down only 520,000 since January 2010 and it is 309,000 higher than last March. (See the nearby chart.) And now comes ObamaCare to increase the incentive for employers to hire only part-time workers.
Democrats who thought they were doing workers a favor by mandating health coverage can't seem to understand that it doesn't help workers to give them health care if they can't get a full-time job that pays the rest of their bills.
While I suspect that some Democrats really did think they were trying to help workers. But the vast majority of the ones who cobbled this horrible legislation together and rammed it down everyone's throats had a bigger goal in mind. A goal of crippling the economy in order to get more people dependent on government aid so that they could justify confiscatory taxes on "the rich" (a term the Democrats have yet to define).
Throughout the course of the "debate" on the ACA, the American people and the GOP begged and pleaded for the Democrats to slow down the process - to allow everyone time to read the bill. Nancy Pelosi insisted that you had to pass the bill in order to see what was in it. Now we know why - because if the bill's consequences had been known, it never would have passed.
There is no fixing the abomination....total repeal and starting over from scratch is the only way to fix the multitude of unintended failures of the ACA.