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Obamacare Harms Workers

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When the Affordable Care Act was debated years ago, one of the most compelling arguments for its passage was a claim that it would make health insurance affordable for people with lower incomes. Now that the employer mandate begins to kick in for 2015, we are finding that it is people with these modest incomes who are being hurt the most.

Dr. John Goodman has (for decades) provided expert testimony before Congress on health care issues and health insurance. His survey last month of 136 fast-food restaurants with nearly 3,500 workers tells the story. The regulations in Obamacare forced the employers to make tough financial decisions that had an adverse impact on their employees and families.

Let’s take a before-and-after picture. Before 2014 about half of these 3,500 workers were “full time” (according to the Obamacare definition). In other words, they worked 30 hours or more a week. By the end of 2014, only 58 employees were “full time” and thus eligible for health insurance in 2015.

The companies then offered the remaining “full time” employees health insurance. What they offered was a bronze plan with very large deductibles (over $6,000) and co-payments. Hardly anyone wanted a high deductible plan. Actually that’s an understatement. Only one of the 58 remaining “full-time” employees enrolled in a bronze plan. The rest may end up in a Minimum Essential Coverage plan.

This survey bothers me for two reasons. First, John Goodman and many others predicted this would happen years ago. Congress did not listen. Second, it is appalling that it had to be done by a private citizen. Where are the news bureaus and government agencies? Why haven’t they done a similar study on the impact of Obamacare? We have not been well served either by politicians, bureaucrats, or the media.

Viewpoints by Kerby Anderson

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