Jobs and Premiums: Obamacare Myths Unraveled
Data shows that Americans are confused about the Affordable Care Act — known popularly as Obamacare. Data compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation in its August 2013 Health Tracking Poll showed that roughly four in ten Americans, 44 percent, think either the Affordable Care Act has been repealed by Congress or overturned by the Supreme Court, or say they do not know whether it remains law or not, which was the answer of 31 percent of respondents. As that statistic suggests, the lack of understanding extends far beyond the basic concept. Here’s an analysis of two prevalent Obamacare myths.
“Well, if you don’t believe ObamaCare is the biggest job killer in the country, look to the facts. This year report after report has rolled in about employers restricting work hours to less than 30 hours per week — the point where the mandate kicks in. The data also points to record-low workweeks in low-wage industries. It is low-wage industries in particular because the people who get hammered by this are not the CEOs. It is not the rich. The rich have done just fine under President Obama. It is hard-working American families, the people who are struggling. It is young people, Hispanics, African Americans, and single moms. They are the ones who are losing their jobs and being forced to work 29 hours a week.”
In his 21-hour long speech on the Senate floor earlier this week, Republican Ted Cruz of Texas expounded on one of the biggest myths that have been perpetuated about the Affordable Care Act. His argument is that the Obamacare provision that requires businesses with 50 or more full-time employees provide those workers with a minimum level of health insurance coverage or face tax penalties will cause employers to shift employees’ schedules so that they will no longer be considered full time or layoff workers entirely. There is also the concern that employers will choose to hire more part-time workers rather than full-time workers. While there is evidence to support that claim that the Affordable Care will modestly affect employment in the United States, the claim that the reform is a “job killer” is overblown.