Questions People Ask About the 99 Percent (Part 4 of 5)
By Peter Van Buren, March 22, 2014.
Aren’t people actually quitting their full-time jobs to get cheaper, subsidized health-ObamaCare?
The American concept of tying access to healthcare to having a full-time job that is willing to offer “benefits” is the 21st century equivalent of debtors’ prison. If you have a job, you and your kids may get care. No job, you suffer in silence or roll the dice with whatever mediocre public health that may or may not exist.
Some people now believe that workers are quitting full-time jobs (where they have to pay a portion of health care costs under Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act [ACA]) so that they can qualify for subsidized health insurance via the ACA.
Leaving aside the common sense argument that someone would sacrifice a significant portion of wages to quit or drop to part time in return for a small subsidy, the statement that anyone is quitting is simply not true. The quitters theory is not (just) some FOX-conspiracy: even the New York Times has picked up the theme.
The reality is that people are losing full time jobs, as employers cut those jobs to avoid their own additional costs under the ACA. Yes, formerly full time workers are being fired or cut to part time, but only because employers want to avoid their own costs under the ACA and instead pass those costs back to the taxpayers.
It works like this. Most employers with more than 50 full time employees must pay into the ACA under a provision called the Employer Shared Responsibility Provision. This means that the business pays between $2000 to $3000 per full time worker into the ACA fund. Less than 50 workers and the business qualifies for discounts and maybe even tax credits.
The math is simple. Cut your full time staff below 50 and the government picks up health care costs via subsidies and tax credits. Over 50 workers and you pay. Hence, people are not quitting, they are being thrown out. The Congressional Budget Office predicted a loss of the equivalent of 2.5 million full-time positions, all to protect profits.
Last in this series: Why Can’t We Cut Public Assistance?
(c) Peter Van Buren, 2014
Image via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Depression