April 16 2013

ObamaCare New Normal: Working Fewer Hours

Charlotte Hays

Nancy Pelosi famously said that Congress had to pass the Affordable Care Act so we could find out what is in it.

She had it backwards: We should have found out what was in ObamaCare before it was passed (and maybe then it would not have passed).

Breitbart reports on the latest unintended consequence of the Affordable Care Act: the Regal Entertainment Group, the nation’s largest movie theatre chain, is cutting back hours for employees because of ObamaCare. Breitbart reports:

In a memo to employees, management was blunt: “To comply with the Affordable Care Act, Regal had to increase our health care budget to cover those newly deemed eligible based on the law's definition of a full-time employee.”

Fox News reports that, as a result of cutting employees' work hours (which is, of course, the same as a pay cut), full-time Regal managers have resigned in "a wave" after their hours and pay checks were slashed by as much as twenty-five percent.

The manager told FoxNews.com ObamaCare has had the unintended consequence of taking food off his table.

“Mandating businesses to offer health care under threat of debilitating fines does not fix a problem, it creates one," he said. "It fosters a new business culture where 30 hours is now considered the maximum in order to avoid paying the high costs associated with this law.

“In a time where 40 hours is just getting us by, putting these kind of financial pressures on employers is a big step in a direction far beyond the reach of feasibility for not only the businesses, but for the employees who rely on their success," he said.

ObamaCare requires that workers putting in more than 30 hours a week must have employer-based health insurance. Thus many companies will have an incentive to cut back on hours for employees.

Just one more observation: The former Regal employees, as devastating as Regal’s cuts will be, might have done well to wait until another job was lined up before quitting. Wherever they find work, they’re likely to get the same deal.

Working thirty hours a week is likely to become the new normal--now that we know what's in ObamaCare.

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