Service Job Health Benefits Come Under Knife Ahead Of ObamaCare - Investors.com
obamacare author max baucus: choo choo!Spending on health benefits in service occupations and among small firms exposed to ObamaCare mandates shrank over the past year, new Labor Department data show.
Although employers face penalties in 2014 if they fail to offer affordable coverage, this decline in spending on health benefits shows that they're finding ways to shift some of ObamaCare's looming costs back to the government.
Strikingly, Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that health benefit increases came to a standstill in service occupations after the first quarter of 2010 — when ObamaCare became law. Prior to that, benefit costs had grown steadily since the mid-1990s.
But following ObamaCare's passage, health benefits per hour of work in service occupations grew 0% through March 2011 and 0% the next year, before falling 0.7% through March 2013.
Meanwhile, over the past three years, health benefits rose a moderate 2%, 2.8% and 2.7% per hour for the broad workforce, evidence that lower health care inflation doesn't explain the unusual declines in some sectors.
Rather, a likely culprit is a shift in the mix of full-time workers who will come under ObamaCare's employer mandate and part-time workers who won't.
BLS data, though volatile from month to month, clearly show that retailers have been cutting the average workweek for nonsupervisory employees over the past year.
May's employment report showed that the number of temp workers hit a record high, evidence that employers are embracing temps as a strategy for dodging ObamaCare fines.
The cost-shifting of ObamaCare's expenses won't only fall back on government, but on workers clocking fewer hours and, in other cases, on workers covering a bigger share of their health premiums.
For perspective, ObamaCare's $5,000 wage-equivalent fine comes out to $2.40 an hour for a 40-hour workweek. That's nearly 4.5 times after-tax spending on health benefits.
There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences.
P. J. O'Rourke
Well, I think the affordable should kick in when the magic of the marketplace goes to work through the power of competition to ensure the most efficient delivery of goods and services to the consumer.Originally Posted by Erod
I find this whole debate absurd. The old system wasn't working. We needed to do something. What solution do you suggest?
But of course, conservative don't want that. They want a continuation of a broken system that incentivizes making health care hard to obtain in this country, because everybody knows health care should be expensive and generally unobtainable; otherwise, everybody will actually see doctors and stay healthy!