Obamacare’s Employment Consequences

Posted on November 13, 2013. Filed under: Economics, Fiscal Policy, Government, Government Spending, Health Care, Law, Liberty, Macroeconomis, People, Philosophy, Politics | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Obamacare’s Employment Consequences

By Raymond Thomas Pronk


Credit: http://www.bhvcpa.com

One of the unintended consequences of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, is employers attempting to avoid the costs and penalties of the law by hiring mostly part-time employees and cutting the number of hours worked per week to less than 30 and to less than 120 per month. Businesses are also attempting to avoid the Obamacare employer-mandated health insurance for full-time employees by not hiring their 50th full-time employee.

Under the employer mandate provisions of Obamacare, businesses with more than 50 employees that do not provide a federal government qualified health insurance plan, must pay a penalty of $2,000 per year for each full-time employee minus 30. In the United States, less than 4 percent of businesses have more than 50 employees with less than 0.2 percent of these businesses not offering health insurance, according to a Forbes online article titled “Is The Affordable Care Act Really Bad For Business?”

Under Obamacare colleges are required starting in 2014 to provide health insurance coverage to employees who work more than 30 hours a week.  Most colleges have strict limits on the number of hours part-time instructors can work in a pay period so the college can avoid paying employee-benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans.

Colleges across the nation are reducing the number of full-time faculty and hiring mostly part-time instructors, known as adjunct professors or jokingly as “road scholars”. According to the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), “In 1975, only 30.2 percent of faculty were employed part time; by 2005, according to data compiled by the AAUP from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), part-time faculty represented approximately 48 percent of all faculty members in the United States.”

Obamacare will only accelerate this growing trend toward part-time faculty with strict limits on the number of hours worked, especially at community colleges like Richland.

Starting with this year’s fall semester, “an adjunct faculty member may only teach a workload of nine credit hours or less each week (less than 20 clock hours per week) according to Teachers Retirement System guidelines,” as set forth in the online Part-Time Employment Guidelines of the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD).

Furthermore, “part-time hourly, adjunct faculty-credit, adjunct faculty-continuing education (CE) and substitute faculty employees may work a maximum of 1,014 hours per fiscal year (hours include the cumulative total of all positions worked at all District locations),” according to Dallas County Community College District’s online document, Extra-Service Guidelines for Instructional Delivery.

The Department of the Treasury announced on its website on July 2 that the employer mandate would be delayed one year from Jan. 1, 2014 as required under Obamacare until Jan.1, 2015. Now that Obama has delayed implementation of the Obamacare employer mandate, 56 percent of American voters favor delaying for a year the individual mandate as well, with only 26 percent opposed according to the July 13 Rasmussen Reports. While American voters oppose the individual mandate by a 2-to-1 margin, most voters favor the employer mandate for businesses with 50 or more employees, 59 percent to 34 percent, according to Rasmussen.

During the first six months of 2013, about 963,000 more people were employed and about 936,000 were part-time jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Aug. 2, Household Survey.

“Over the last six months, of the net job creation, 97 percent of that is part-time work,” said Keith Hall, a senior researcher at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center and former head of the US Bureau of Labor (BLS) Statistics from 2008 to 2012.

Unlike members of Congress in Washington who receive taxpayer subsidies to pay for their health insurance under Obamacare, ordinary Americans are not exempt from pay and/or employee-benefit cuts resulting from the implementation of Obamacare.

Raymond Thomas Pronk presents the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 4-5 p.m. Monday thru Thursday and from 3-5 p.m. Friday and authors the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com.


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