Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The price of dodging Obamacare: Employer edition

With small employers having to comply this year with Obamacare's health insurance mandate -- stating that now even small employers have to provide full-time employees with health insurance -- it can be more difficult for some to find full-time work.  Many employers are attempting to compensate by keeping less full-time staff, but they're finding that the struggles of a mostly part-time staff aren't always worth the savings, according to this article from NPR.

Bosses Find Part-Time Workers Can Come With Full-Time Headaches

The articles talk about how some businesses, especially restaurants, have been trying to avoid the health insurance mandate by cutting full-time staff back in favor of part-time workers.  Predictably, they've had problems with high turnover, since part-time workers tend not to be as loyal.  This means their savings on benefits are often spent on other expenses, such as increased hiring and training.

Of course, the businesses they're highlighting in the article are the kind that have long had reputations for hiring a lot of part-time workers.  It makes me wonder how much full-time staff they actually cut to begin with.

I find it interesting that opponents of Obamacare don't like the Obamacare marketplace, and don't like penalizing people for not having health insurance, but also don't want to require businesses to provide it.  They don't want people to be able to go out and buy their own affordable health insurance, but they also don't want to ensure that people can then get it from their jobs.  If you point out that people need access to health insurance, they said, "Well then it's their responsibility to find a job that provides it."  But someone needs to work the jobs that don't, and if we allow employers to deny their employees health benefits, you better believe a large number of them are going to.

I hope that someday health coverage is as much an inalienable right as education or free speech is today.

No comments: