Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Part Time Country

Bill Hemmer on the Fox News Channel on Tuesday morning had Wall Street Journal economist extraordinaire Stephen Moore on to discuss the announced delay of the implementations of the small business exchanges of Obamacare that were to be established  by the start of 2014.  These exchanges will now be delayed for at least a year until 2015.

Check out this article by John Tozzi from Bloomberg Business Week:
"If the Obama administration wants to convince skeptical small business owners that health-care reform will improve the existing system, this news won’t help: A key part of the law that would let small employers offer workers a menu of health plans through state health exchanges is being delayed by a year, the New York Times reports. For 2014, small businesses shopping for policies in many states will be limited to choosing a single health plan to offer their workers. 

Count this as a political victory for states that wanted to thwart Obamacare by not building their own exchanges. The Affordable Care Act envisioned each state setting up a marketplace in which  individuals and small businesses could shop for health insurance, starting in 2014. But 26 states, most in Republican control, left it up to the federal government to build their exchanges. Companies with fewer than 50 employees in those states will have to wait an additional year, until 2015, for the exchanges to give employers the flexibility they’re supposed to."

Stephen Moore said that what this does is bring more uncertainty regarding Obamacare and that is bad for businesses and for the economy in general.  Small businesses, stated Moore, are already having headaches because of the upcoming costs and paperwork of implementing Obamacare and now those headaches for small businnessmen will be delayed for another two years.

Many small businessmen are telling Moore how their best option now seems to be [which is not one they relish in taking or one that is good for their business] is to reduce their number of employees to under 50 so they don't meet the 50 employee threshold for having to implement Obamacare.   The other option, without releasing employees, would be to cut the employees hours to under 30 hours a week [which means they will not be considered full time employees via the Obamacare regulations, and thus they won't be subject to implementing Obamacare on their businesses].

That is all bad for the employees, as they will then not only have to search for their own health care plans [which will be extremely costly because the businesses will not be contributing to the payment of the plan], but these employees will be receiving less than 30 hours a week of work.  Stephen Moore, asks correctly, "how can a person take care of their family on 28 hours [or less] of work?"   But what other option do these small businesses have?  If they don't take these options, the costs of implementing Obamacare for their employees [or face excessive fines] could threaten the very viability of these small businesses.

Obamacare's bad consequences are starting to materialize just as conservatives predicted even before its passage, as health care costs are going up, not down, many people will be losing jobs or work hours and not be more secure in their jobs, and many people will be losing their health care and not be guaranteed of it.  What a mess and headache for employers of small businesses.  And what [may become] a catastrophe for the employees of those small businesses.

This led Bill Hemmer, the host to make the inventive description of America, the "part time country".  Stephen Moore nodded and said "exactly".

With the number of unemployed still at an alarmingly high rate in this supposed recovery, even many of those working are not working full time.  From this Gallup Poll chart you can see that in even those Americans who are employed, more than one in five of them are not fully employed.

Gallup Chart

With the extremely high number of part time workers already in this country, and with a certain expansion of those part time workers because of the future Obamacare mandates on small business, Bill Hemmer hit the nail on the head. [paraphrasing-in my words]

America, under Obama, is becoming the part time country.


Anonymous said...

Excellent article.

Krissy in ATX

Big Mike said...

Thanks Krissy!!

bradley said...

great points, then again , as we now have a part time president (the other part being golf and vacations on my tax dollar!), no suprise we also will have a part time country!

Big Mike said...

I wish I had thought of that one!!! Good one brother.