Even the news last month that the employer-mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act has been delayed to 2015 hasn’t stopped an avalanche of companies looking for ways to shed costs to cover the expenses associated with implementing the health care law.
The list includes UPS, the global package delivery giant, which announced to nonunion employees that they will move forward with plans to end health insurance coverage this fall for spouses who are eligible for coverage elsewhere.
“This change is consistent with the way many large employers are responding to the cost associated with the health care reform legislation,” UPS said in a memo to employees, obtained by Kaiser Media News. “This allows UPS to continue to provide its employees and their families with the coverage they need and value, at an affordable cost.”
But, while critics have argued that companies, like UPS, are slashing benefits to fulfill long-term unrealized cost-cutting dreams independent of Obamacare, UPS claims that the move was spurred by the law, which mostly takes effect in 2014, as it requires coverage for full-time employees.
“Since the Affordable Care Act requires employers to provide affordable coverage, we believe your spouse should be covered by their own employer — just as UPS has a responsibility to offer coverage to you, our employee,” it said.
But those full-time jobs, defined by the law as 30 hours or more per week, are becoming harder to find, according to an analysis published last week by the Reuters news agency. It showed that more than a third of employees hired this year were part time and often in low-wage positions, attributing the trend to Obamacare and a slow economy.
Jed Graham at Investor’s Business Daily broke down the second-quarter data, finding a 2.7 percent rise in employees working 25 to 29 hours per week at a primary job and a 1.4 percent decrease in those working 30 to 34 hours, in what he called, “an unprecedented drop in work hours (in some industries) since Obamacare became law.”
And when even major unions, including the Teamsters, send a letter to Democratic leaders, as they did last month, warning the law will “destroy the foundation of the 40-hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class,” we should take note.
Because, as workers continue to lose coverage and many more are spit out into the individual insurance market as implementation looms of the individual mandate, it should be apparent that the president’s foray into the health care system is only confounding the issues that have made our oligarchic system unworkable.
We call again for repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
The Orange County Register