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Municipal Governments Slash Worker Hours To Escape Obamacare

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Unread 06.20.13, 06:48 AM
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Municipal Governments Slash Worker Hours To Escape Obamacare

06.19.13 09:01 PM

Obamacare was ostensibly conceived to enrich the lives of Americans living near the bottom of the economic food chain. It was President Barack Obama’s bold imposition of socialized wealth redistribution on an American capitalist blueprint that, while flawed by restrictions that already had taken baby steps toward socialism (thanks largely to insurance industry lobbyists), essentially didn’t accommodate the designs of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

But with Obamacare’s 2014 start inching nearer, tangible examples are beginning to emerge showing how the President’s radical vision of wealth distribution is fast tracking everybody (well, everybody who’s not tied in with the elected class) to the poorhouse.

Until recently, all the horror stories of businesses cutting their workers’ hours in an attempt to avoid Obamacare’s minimum-coverage mandate seemed to emanate from the private sector. But Investors Business Daily has begun compiling a long list of publicly funded agencies (schools, universities, municipal governments) that are similarly turning chunks of their full-time labor force into part-time, low-wage minions who won’t be eligible for employer-backed healthcare benefits come 2014.

Here are just a few highlights. You can see the full list (which itself will undoubtedly grow) here.
  • In Kern County, Calif., county administrators are trying to cut hours for 800 employees — or else find a new supply of at least $8 million annually to afford extending Obamacare-mandated benefits (at higher prices) to a larger pool of qualifying employees.
  • The Community College of Allegheny County, Pa., is cutting hours for 400 faculty and staff to avoid a $6 million annual hike in Obamacare costs.
  • “We have the budget to pay the people, but we do not have the budget to pay for the health care,” said Medina, Ohio, Mayor Dennis Hanwell, lamenting the city’s decision to cut employee hours from 35 to 29 hours per week. The cuts avoided an additional $1 million in new healthcare coverage costs for the city.
  • The Granite School District in Salt Lake City, Utah, was facing $14 million in new health coverage costs if it continued without modifying its workers’ hours. So it slashed 1,000 of its workers’ schedules to 29 hours per week — one hour beneath Obamacare’s 30-hour threshold before employers have to offer healthcare coverage.
  • “We simply can’t afford the Afford Care Act,” said Birmingham, Mich., Commissioner Gordon Rinschler, explaining the city’s cutting of seasonal employees’ work hours. “It’s hard to believe our friends in Washington, our professional politicians, didn’t exempt municipalities from this. They exempted all their friends — I guess you have to be a defense contractor or sell light bulbs to qualify for that.”

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