Friday, February 21, 2014

ObamaCare,  Public Job Cuts, Sharp as a Two-Edged Sword

Sharp as a two-edged sword.

The Bible, Proverbs

 Cities, counties, public schools and community colleges around the country have limited or reduced the work hours of part-time employees to avoid having to provide them with health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, state and local officials say.

Robert Pear, “Public Sector Cuts Part-Time Jobs to Bypass Insurance Law, February 20, 2014,  New York Times

For public sector workers –police dispatchers, prison guards, substitute teachers, bus drivers, athletic coaches, school custodians, cafeteria workers,  faculty members in public institutions – the ObamaCare mandate that employers must cover all workers if they have 50 workers or more is a two-edged sword.   

 Full-time workers have been limited or  reduced to workers working 30 hours or less, and the number of  part-time workers  have also been reduced.   The part-time workers receive no health insurance.  For part-time workers in a part-time nation,   it’s a two-edged sword – no insurance and less pay. 

President Obama’s recent delays of the insurance mandate often comes too late for these workers.   Their employers, paid out of and working within the boundaries of state and municipal budgets,  have already taken steps to reduce full-time employees to part-time and to hire fewer part-time workers.   

These steps are necessary to meet  tight budget demands.   Many of these public institutions are obligated by law to operate within their budgets.   In many states, these public budgets are being slashed because of overwhelming Medicaid costs.   

Budget officials must plan ahead and cannot  adjust to “every reboot of ObamaCare – glitches to the horizon, the constant revision of the law’s rules, policies cancelled and resurrected at higher costs,” (Daniel Henninger, “The Rube Goldberg Democrats, Wall Street Journal, February 20, 2014).

Since ObamaCare was enacted on March 23, 2010,  8 million private sector jobs have been added, but according to the Labor Department,  698,000  public sector jobs have been deleted.  It’s a mixed bag, but it’s bad bag  for public sector employees at the bottom of the bag.  

 As Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) noted in Poor Richard’s Almanac (1733),  An empty bad cannot stand upright,” at least when it comes to providing for one’s self and one's family.

Tweet:  Since ObamaCare was enacted, jobs of 698,000 public sector jobs have been lost, number of public workers  have been reduced, and their benefits have been eliminated.

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