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Businesses Cut Employees’ Hours to Prepare for Health Care Reforms
Free Times ^ | 20 November 2012 | Eva Moore

Posted on 12/23/2012 6:10:16 AM PST by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

With President Barack Obama reelected to a second term, the health care reforms passed during his first term are set to take effect. And some employers are now facing the fact that they’ll be forced to offer health coverage to all employees who work more than 30 hours a week. Here in the Midlands, Lizard’s Thicket owner Bobby Williams is in that position. His company made the decision to cut new employees to 28 hours a week. Long-time employees will continue to work 40 hours a week, he says.

“Absolutely they’re upset about it,” he says of the workers whose hours will be cut. “We’re upset. It’s either that or close the restaurant.” Williams says he’s following the lead of some larger chains. Just in the past week, the restaurant group that owns Red Lobster and Olive Garden announced it will cut the hours of many new employees to below 30 hours a week. Other restaurants have made similar but more politically tinged decisions, with both Papa John’s and an Applebee’s franchise owner drawing fire when they said they’d have to cut hours or freeze hiring because of the law.

A study cited by the Chicago Sun Times found that 18 percent of employers with any part-time employees are cutting workers’ hours in response to the law.The requirement to provide health coverage applies only to businesses with more than 50 employees and takes effect in 2014. Lizard’s Thicket, with 16 locations, employs about 700 people. Williams says it would cost $2 million a year to insure all of them — which would mean raising prices, an ugly choice in this economy. Employers that don’t offer coverage will pay the government a $2,000 penalty per qualifying employee after the first 30 employees. So the fewer employees a business has working more than 30 hours, the smaller the penalty it’ll have to pay.

It’s hard to blame someone in Williams’ position, says South Carolina-based health care economist Lynn Bailey. While most large companies already offer health coverage for employees, it’s less common in industries like restaurants, retail and home health care, Bailey says. There, employees often make a low wage and are uninsured. And she’s worried that even under the new law, some people will still end up uninsured. Under Obamacare, people will be required to have health insurance. If low-income people’s earnings are low enough, they’ll qualify for Medicaid; otherwise, they’ll be asked to purchase subsidized insurance on a health insurance exchange set up by the federal government. (South Carolina has the option to set up its own exchange but declined to do so.)

Even with a subsidy, though, Bailey says it’ll be tough for some people to make up the difference, which could run to several thousand dollars a year. That could mean some people still end up without insurance. “There are lots of unintended consequences of the Rube Goldberg Obamacare,” she says. “This is what you have when you don’t have a single payer. Everyone’s trying to push somebody from one place to another.” In other words, it would have been easier to have the government act as health insurer, rather than trying to preserve the employer-funded model alongside separate programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

When it comes to restaurant workers and other low-wage employees here in South Carolina, there is a fix, according to Frank Knapp, president of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce: The state should accept the expansion of Medicaid offered under the health care law. “If the state of South Carolina expands Medicaid as prescribed in the Affordable Care Act, to 130 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, there’s a good chance that restaurant employees will be eligible for Medicaid,” Knapp says. “Then the employer’s not responsible for them.” Gov. Nikki Haley has said the state will not expand Medicaid, calling it “a broken program” in a July statement.

For Williams, the current system works: His employees can go to the emergency room when they’re sick, and they don’t pay. “I think we have a great system now,” Williams says. “Everybody gets treated.” But Bailey and Knapp both disagree that emergency room care is the way to go. “It’s just an unfunded mandate that gets passed on to insurance premium payers, employers, employees and taxpayers,” Bailey says. “It’s not health coverage.”


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aca; business; healthcare; obamacare
I know this is old news, but needed a story to post to let all know something bad nasty is about to happen with businesses because of this healthcare law. I can't say much without jeopardizing my job, but unless you have a skill that is desperately needed, you're going to be working some low-end job at less than 30 hours a week. Your healthcare will come from a government entity if you can get it at all and it will be low quality.

Employers are keeping a very tight lid on what they're going to do in order to avoid government reaction (more passing of laws), but it's not going to be pretty. Some big transactions are taking place right now on properties as some big financial players are making every effort to shed businesses, properties in order to avoid future taxation on those transactions. The media is not covering any of this.

Something else that is happening is very troubling. Old relationships built on trust and appreciation for work done are out the window completely. It's all about business survival now. The leftists will use this to demonize businesses even more. We're in for an economic collapse comparable to the Argentina collapse of 1991 (which continues to this day).

1 posted on 12/23/2012 6:10:30 AM PST by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

"Where's my Free helfcare at?"

2 posted on 12/23/2012 6:12:57 AM PST by SkyPilot
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin
Øbama brings Americans the 58 hour work week

29hrs + 29hrs = 58hrs

(that's if you are 'lucky' enough to find two part time jobs....)

3 posted on 12/23/2012 6:16:38 AM PST by libertarian27 (Check my profile page for the FReeper Online Cookbook 2011)
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin
Employers are keeping a very tight lid on what they're going to do in order to avoid government reaction (more passing of laws), but it's not going to be pretty. Some big transactions are taking place right now on properties as some big financial players are making every effort to shed businesses, properties in order to avoid future taxation on those transactions. The media is not covering any of this.

Not sure what you are referring to, but I can believe that corporations would shed businesses right now because the cost of doing business under Obama is now a negative sum game.

Something else that is happening is very troubling. Old relationships built on trust and appreciation for work done are out the window completely. It's all about business survival now.

The difference between Socialism and Communism is the latter has his foot on your neck with a knife behind your ear, while the former wears a business suit and promises you Utopia on earth with no cost to you.


4 posted on 12/23/2012 6:20:48 AM PST by SkyPilot
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

The writer of the article makes this all sound like news, as if somebody just thought of this. Looks like many liberals are going to be surprised in the near future.


5 posted on 12/23/2012 6:48:17 AM PST by Bernard (John Kerry as SOS will be the almost-perfect symbol of the Obama administration.)
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

My brother had a successful ‘small business’ (85 employees at it’s zenith) for 20+ years and it’s getting smaller (now under 20). The only recent hires, this past fall, were two part-time workers for an essential full-time job. He’s up at 3 in the morning, can’t sleep, because he has to go through firing some more people after Jan. 1. It’s rapidly coming down to the way the business began - my brother & his partner doing all the work themselves ... assuming there is work because right now, NO work is coming in. They both are personally guaranteed on some projects so bankruptcy is in the future. He told me last year if Obama was re-elected, that would be the end of his business and it looks like that will be the case. Interestingly, he’s one of the last standing in our area because he took action to downsize long before a lot of his competitors. Many of his employees are ‘long-timers’ .... very sad, but he’s not in business to keep people employed - he’s in business to make a living for himself and his family and he’s not sacrificing their welfare to keep other people in jobs. This is being played out all over the country - IMO, there is no way to avoid a “crash”, whether we go over the so-called cliff or not. Obama and the government idiots (including Congress) can lie all they want about the economy holding its own or getting better, but the reality on the ground is not what they’re trying to sell us.


6 posted on 12/23/2012 6:54:16 AM PST by MissMagnolia
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To: SkyPilot

Even with a subsidy, though, Bailey says it’ll be tough for some people to make up the difference, which could run to several thousand dollars a year. That could mean some people still end up without insurance. “There are lots of unintended consequences of the Rube Goldberg Obamacare,” she says. “This is what you have when you don’t have a single payer. Everyone’s trying to push somebody from one place to another.” In other words, it would have been easier to have the government act as health insurer, rather than trying to preserve the employer-funded model alongside separate programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
The plan is to destroy private health insurance and have government health care as the solution, Obamacare was just a pit stop to get us there.Once government pays your health care they can dictate how you live your life since everyone is invested in your health expenses . This has never been about health care but establishing control over the masses.


7 posted on 12/23/2012 6:59:05 AM PST by bonehead4freedom
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To: SkyPilot

“The difference between Socialism and Communism is the latter has his foot on your neck with a knife behind your ear, while the former wears a business suit and promises you Utopia on earth with no cost to you.”

The difference between Socialism and Communism is the difference between Seduction and Rape, in the end you still got screwed.


8 posted on 12/23/2012 7:01:34 AM PST by eyeamok
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To: Bernard
Source for more business owner input:

Click here.

9 posted on 12/23/2012 7:04:46 AM PST by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
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To: MissMagnolia

Your post is showing what is really going to happen. The MSM is NOT reporting this.


10 posted on 12/23/2012 7:06:58 AM PST by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin
From February 2011:

3M chief warns Obama over business regulation

"Mr Buckley, who has run the diversified manufacturer since 2005, said: 'There is a sense among companies that this is a difficult place to do business. It is about regulation, taxation, seemingly anti-business policies in Washington, attitudes towards science.'

He added: 'Politicians forget that business has choice. We’re not indentured servants and we will do business where it’s good and friendly. If it’s hostile, incrementally, things will slip away. We’ve got a real choice between manufacturing in Canada and Mexico – which tend to be pro-business – or America.”

11 posted on 12/23/2012 7:11:11 AM PST by Madame Dufarge
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To: Madame Dufarge

I hate this country and hopes it crashes


12 posted on 12/23/2012 7:32:39 AM PST by scooby321 (AMS)
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

Watch hussein declare unemployment is at record lows when businesses have to hire 2 people to cover the hours one person used to work. See, problem solved! All hail The Won!


13 posted on 12/23/2012 7:33:40 AM PST by bgill (We've passed the point of no return. Welcome to Al Amerika.)
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To: scooby321

The crash will come and soon; I am perturbed by your statement that you hate this country. Why do you hate this country?


14 posted on 12/23/2012 8:03:41 AM PST by txnativegop (Fed up with zealots)
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To: scooby321
I happen to love the United States of America.

I hate what the left has done to it.

It's worth fighting for and worth saving; and I still believe it can be rescued.

15 posted on 12/23/2012 8:17:12 AM PST by Madame Dufarge
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

This happened to my wife. Her hours were reduced, and we lost our healthcare insurance because of it. I have to try and do it as an individual now, as my own business is too small to qualify for group rates. Our premiums will double, and I don’t know if we can afford it.


16 posted on 12/23/2012 8:23:08 AM PST by Ironfocus
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To: Ironfocus
I misspoke , I don't hate this country but I hate what it has become.

I use to live my life and now I must read how the Government is taking my rights away every day.

17 posted on 12/23/2012 8:40:04 AM PST by scooby321 (AMS)
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To: Ironfocus

Theoretically, people in your situation are supposed to be able to go through the healthcare exchanges in order to find affordable policies.

Whether that will happen or not is questionable, but that was the promise of Obamacare. That everyone would be covered, the exchanges would be set up so that insurers would compete for our business, and that there would be subsidies for low and moderate income working people to afford that insurance.


18 posted on 12/23/2012 8:59:48 AM PST by Dilbert San Diego
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To: libertarian27
Øbama brings Americans the 58 hour work week. 29hrs + 29hrs = 58hrs

exactly so. Overtime hours without the overtime pay, to boot.

19 posted on 12/23/2012 9:13:40 AM PST by NonValueAdded (If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you've likely misread the situation.)
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To: NonValueAdded

Its payback time.

Working 58 hours a week so welfare mamas can sit on their tax payer subsidized butts and breed more moufs to feed. At our local grocery store, out of 4 people in line, I was the only one not using a welfare food card aka SNAP.

And they were buying White Castle frozen burgers, cookies, sodas and steaks.

The tide needs to turn.

Enough already.


20 posted on 12/23/2012 10:38:41 AM PST by Cowgirl of Justice
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin
The have already raised prices at McDonald's, Wendy's, etc.

All of the stuff on the dollar menu went up 25-30 cents.

Business is passing along the cost increases to the customers.

21 posted on 12/23/2012 10:47:52 AM PST by Rome2000 (THE WASHINGTONIANS AND UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE ARE THE ENEMY -ROTATE THE CAPITAL AMONGST THE STATES)
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