One of the main talking points or promises during the run up to the election by both President Obama and Mitt Romney was, “I can help the middle class” and/or “I can stimulate job growth”. Were the candidates at that time sincere or was this just hyperbole?
Long before the election I expressed concern over the impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (referred to as Obamacare) mandates. In particular I can see a danger in the individual mandate and even more with the employer mandate.
Now I have heard the argument that people are mandated to have automobile insurance, so what is the difference? People are required to have liability insurance to protect other drivers, not the individual. Even full automobile insurance coverage is typically meant to protect the lien holder, not the individual, as most people choose to only carry liability on a vehicle once it is paid off.
We are already seeing evidence of how the employer mandate is going to have an impact on our faltering economy and country. The employer mandate states that companies with 50 or more employees must provide health insurance coverage to employees that work 30 hours or more per week or face a hefty $2,000.00 to $3,000.00 fine.
Companies across the country are already taking measures to survive the employer mandate that will start in 2014. Here are a few examples:
- Darden Restaurants, parent company of chain restaurants Olive Garden, Red Lobster and Longhorn Steakhouse, has announced that it will be reducing employee workweeks for many of its employees to 28 hours per week in order to bypass the mandate. The company has approximately 185,000 employees.
- The grocer Kroger, which employs 350,000 people nationwide, has announced that existing part-time and new hires will be limited to 28 hours per week.
- Applebee’s Restaurants has reported it will not be hiring new employees.
These are but a few of the national chains that have made national news because they have decided to be proactive in their approach to keeping the doors open. I feel confident that there are thousands upon thousands of businesses across the country, big and small, at this very moment trying to figure out how they will approach this mandate in order to keep the doors open.
With regard to unemployment, I believe it will soon start climbing again and continue to climb for the unforeseeable future as these mandates take hold or at the very least job growth/creation will continue to remain stagnant. So much for helping the middle class…just idle words to garner votes from an electorate that seems content on seeing this country turn to rubble.