Sunday, February 24, 2013

Obamacare, Hamburger, and Job Flipping
If it’s flipping hamburgers at McDonald’s, be the best hamburger flipper in the world, whatever it is you have to do to master your craft.
Snoop Dog
I hate to be flippant, I really do, but Obamacare has a problem. 
The law requires firms with 50 or more employees to offer comprehensive health coverage to those  who work more than 30 hours a week.   If the firm reaches or exceeds the magic 50 and does not cover them, it faces a $40,000 penalty. 
This comes down to a $2,000 tax for each hire over 50.  The fine goes to $60,000 over 60 workers.   This is tough to do if you are a franchisee or owner of a fast-food hamburger business with average profits of $50,000 to $100,000 and average margins of 3.5%.
How  are McDonald’s , Wendy’s, and Burger King coping with the new rule, soon to take effect in 2014?  They are still hiring workers to flip burgers, but only for 29 hours a week, barely time enough to master their craft.  
And the firms  are talking to each other, or so it is said, about sharing part-time workers, thereby dodging the 50 worker Obamacare rule and staying in business rather than going out of business.
And what are workers doing?  They are flipping part-time jobs, rather than working full-time.  They may work the morning shift at McDonald’s, then go to a nearby Burger King or Wendy’s  to create a full-time work week in order to pay their bills, including  health insurance that the Obamacare individual mandate requires them to buy.
The end result is that employers are stuck with hiring part-time workers,  and workers are stuck with part-time jobs.
To conclude:
Somehow Obamacare’s full-time worker health coverage rule,
Requiring firms to pay for health plans in the 50 or over pool,
For incentives to  owners, this seems  perverse,
For workers, this  seems economically in reverse,
and to full-timer workers, job flip-floppers, and preparers of  Big MacWhoppers,
It all seems to be unfair and even cruel.
TweetObamacare requires firms with 50 or more workers to provide provide them with halth insurances, whih fast-food firms say they cannot afford.

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