March 8, 2014
As national Democrats prepare to run against the GOP on income equality issues, a giant union has issued a scathing Obamacare document that could undermine that case.
“The Irony of ObamaCare: Making Inequality Worse” is the title of the UNITE HERE (Culinary parent) document that is posted here and soon to be making its way to Capitol Hill. It is devastating to the Democrats. To wit:
Ironically, the Administration’s own signature healthcare victory poses one of the most immediate challenges to redressing inequality. Yes, the Affordable Care Act will help many more Americans gain some health insurance coverage, a significant step forward for equality. At the same time, without smart fixes, the ACA threatens the middle class with higher premiums, loss of hours, and a shift to part-time work and less comprehensive coverage.
The paper argues that the Affordable Care Act will transfer a billion dollars in wealth to insurance companies, create an unlevel playing field in the market, force employers to cut back hours and result in pay decreases. It lays it out in detail, with examples of union workers affected by Obamacare.
via Union research document says Obamacare will hasten income inequality | Ralston Reports.
March 3, 2014
All of the very low-wage jobs added in 2013 fell below the 30-hour threshold that ObamaCare defines as full-time, an analysis of government wage and hours-worked data suggests.
The finding highlights concerns about the impact of the health law’s employer insurance mandate, the proposed minimum wage hike and — especially — the combination of both.
via All New Low-Wage Jobs In 2013 Had Sub-30-Hour Weeks – Investors.com.
February 25, 2014
The CBO report states that: “there have been anecdotal reports of firms responding to the employer penalty by limiting workers’ hours … In any event, because the employer penalty will not take effect until 2015, the current lack of direct evidence may not be very informative about the ultimate effects of the ACA.” The employer penalty now will not take effect until 2016 for many employers, yet we seem to have amassed a mountain of anecdotes.
At some point these many anecdotes will turn into evidence. The Federal Reserve Bank’s “Beige Book” includes comments from businesses in all 12 of the Federal Reserve Bank districts. The document, issued eight times annually, summarizes comments from businesses. While it does not reflect the Federal Reserve’s official view, it does provide insights into economic conditions across the nation. Business contacts, economists and analysts frequently cite the ACA as having a dampening impact on business hiring, spending and overall uncertainty.
via Obamacare May Be Causing A Shift To Part-Time Workers In Illinois.
February 24, 2014
The “Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011” required this report to Congress on the impact of sections 2701 through 2703 of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, as amended by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the premiums paid by individuals and families with employer-sponsored health insurance. Specifically, the Chief Actuary of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is to provide an estimate of the number of individuals and families who will experience a premium increase and the number who will see a decrease as a result of these three provisions.
Two key findings:
· “We are estimating that 65 percent of the small firms are expected to experience increases in their premium rates while the remaining 35 percent are anticipated to have rate reductions.”
· “This results in roughly 11 million individuals whose premiums are estimated to be higher as a result of the ACA and about 6 million individuals who are estimated to have lower premiums.”
via Report to Congress – Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
February 20, 2014
The Congressional Budget Office has generated huge controversy with its conclusion that the Affordable Care Act will tend to discourage work among lower wage workers. An even bigger controversy may be buried in their analysis of the effect on the demand for low-wage workers. According to the CBO, the new penalties on employers who fail to offer health benefits “will initially reduce employers’ demand for labor and thereby tend to lower employment.” That sounds like a clear warning of job losses to come. But note their cautious use of the term “initially.” What happens next?
The CBO explains that generalized job loss is only a temporary problem. Why? Over time, employer demand will stop declining because employers will shift these new health care costs to workers in the form of reduced cash wages. As the CBO puts it, employers “can restrain wage growth until workers have absorbed the cost of the penalty.” In other words, the good news is that the hit to lower income jobs is only temporary. The bad news is that it will be replaced over time over time with a hit to cash wages for lower income workers.
via Obamacare, Plus Minimum Wage Hikes, Equals Higher Unemployment.
February 13, 2014
In the traditional opportunity society, government provides the tools — education, training and various incentives — to achieve the dignity of work and its promise of self-improvement and social mobility.
In the new opportunity society, you are given the opportunity for idleness while living parasitically off everyone else. Why those everyone elses should remain at their jobs — hey! I wanna dance, too! — is a puzzle Carney has yet to explain.
via Obama’s Affordable Care Act Is Winning In Its War On Jobs – Investors.com.
February 13, 2014
It is important to note that, before ObamaCare was passed, the average work hours remained steady for these sectors in Illinois, even in the aftermath of the financial crisis. In fact, average work hours increased slightly in two of these sectors between 2008 and 2010. But all three sectors saw dramatic reductions in average work hours after ObamaCare was enacted.
via Why the employer mandate delay is good news for Illinois and the U.S. – Illinois Policy Institute.
February 11, 2014
Note first that the diversion between high and low-wage industries did not occur during the recession, and in fact through the recession the two groups tracked each other pretty closely until early 2010. Then, in early 2010, something made the two lines start to diverge and in 2012-2013 they really went in opposite directions.
My suggestion for the “something” is Obamacare. In March 2010, the PPACA was passed. Looking at the jobs data, one can date the stall in the economic recovery almost precisely from the date the PPACA was passed.
via Average workweek for low-wage workers sank to new record low in December as employers cut hours to avoid mandate | AEIdeas.
February 11, 2014
A mere three years ago, 272 left-wing economists, Professor Gruber among them, produced a letter touting a study concluding that Obamacare would produce 250,000 to 400,000 jobs each year for the next decade (or, coincidentally, at least 2.5 million by 2024). Their prediction turned out to be false—they were off by at least five million jobs—and what’s happening now is the opposite of what they claimed to be a positive effect of the law. When they claim that the opposite of good is also good, it is hard to take them seriously.
The fact that their predictions were so wrong also makes it hard to take them seriously going forward. I’ve thought about possible explanations for their wrongness, and here’s my working hypothesis. These left-wing economists believe, like many historical materialists, that the total amount of income available to society is a given. When you redistribute, they say, the size of the pie remains the same; the only possible effect is that the poor, who now receive a larger share of total income, will spend more than the rich would have, thereby creating more jobs.
via Obama’s pivot to leisure – Economics – AEI.
February 11, 2014
Last July, just before the Independence Day holiday, the White House quietly announced that it was delaying Obamacare’s employer mandate—the law’s requirement that medium and large businesses sponsor health insurance for every worker—until 2015. It turned out to be the first of dozens of unilateral decisions by the Obama administration to ignore the law that Congress passed in 2010. But the story doesn’t end there. Yesterday, the Treasury Department announced that it would be further delaying the employer mandate. At this point, it’s worth wondering if the employer mandate will ever take effect, and what this will mean for other key portions of the law.
via Well, Never Mind Then: To ‘Ease The Transition To A 30-Hour Week,’ Obamacare Employer Mandate Delayed Again – Forbes.