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Topics: Obamacare

Examiner Editorial: Obamacare's toll on jobs keeps rising

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Barack Obama,Obamacare,Jobs,Health Care,Employer Mandate,Unemployment

More than 250 employers have eliminated jobs or decreased employee hours due to the costs associated with Obamacare, according to a report compiled by the research staff of Investor’s Business Daily. The business daily compiled a list of all known employers that have adjusted their workforces as a result of the thousands of new federal health care regulations. The bad news is that these employers are only the crest of a coming tidal wave of firms that will hand out pink slips and/or reduce full-time workers to part-time status. This is called a major “economic dislocation.”

Some employers are cutting workers from just under 40 hours per week to less than 30. Others are capping payrolls below Obamacare’s 50-employee floor for requiring businesses to provide health insurance. IBD cautioned that also explains that 258 is most likely not the full number of employers. “Because private firms may fear bad publicity or litigation if they admit to cutting hours to avoid Obamacare’s coverage mandate, it’s not surprising that few would be willing to come right out and say it,” IBD wrote.

IBD’s list includes 19,300 workers who face reduced hours due to Obamacare’s costs. Sadly, “virtually all” of those hour cuts come from low-wage industries like restaurants. It is not only private-sector employers who are cutting hours. Public-sector employers – over 200 – are also cutting work hours. Even school boards are cutting hours.

The Obama administration is in an advanced state of denial concerning what Obamacare is doing to the nation’s economy. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney denied that there are any such employer decisions linked to Obamacare, saying “the data reflects that there is not support for the proposition that businesses are not hiring full-time employees because of the Affordable Care Act.” Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told a House committee that any reports of businesses changing hours or hiring patterns were “isolated incidents.”

In fact, the “isolated incidents” come from major employers like Subway and Wegmans. A July U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey found that 71 percent of small businesses believe Obamacare would make it more difficult to hire employees. Even more ominous is IBD’s observation that when it prepared its report, “many employers were only just beginning to understand and respond to Obamacare’s regulations that were confusing and late in coming. This suggests another flurry of work-hour reductions can be expected next spring.”

Guess what happens in 2014? David Freddoso at Conservative Intelligence Briefing explains why the one-year delay in Obamacare’s employer mandate is likely to figure in the coming campaign: “The real political danger here for Obama is that during the first half of 2014, a gaggle of new employers start doing the same. The reason is that Obamacare’s employer mandate applies to the previous year’s staffing levels — an attempt to stave off mass-dumping just as employers start to see the law going into action.”

On top of that, Obama will be contending with a well-established historical pattern. Second-term presidents almost never do well in their sixth-year elections, and 2014 marks the sixth year of the Obama era.

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