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Latest Obamacare Victims: Public School Staff


The delay of the employer mandate isn’t stanching the economic bleeding created by Obamacare, according to Reuters. Yasmeen Abutaleb reports on how public schools across the country are responding to the ACA:

In Pennsylvania’s Penn Manor School District, Superintendent Mike Leichliter said there is no room in its constrained budget to provide additional employee insurance…. “When we looked at our costs, (healthcare) was one area that really had the potential to skyrocket,” Leichliter said. “This is absolutely the worst time for school districts to be faced with mandated increases” […]

In Indiana’s Fort Wayne Community Schools district, one of the state’s largest, administrators reduced hours for 610 of its 4,050 employees, including substitute teachers and support staff, who were working 30 or more hours a week. Providing them with health insurance would have cost $10 million annually, said Krista Stockman, public information officer for Fort Wayne.

Obama administration officials and ACA supporters are blaming cuts like these on the sequester, rather than the ACA. Because of the sequester, 26 states cut their education budget in the 2012–13 school year, and this, they argue, has trickled down into employment. But blaming all the staffing reductions on the sequester doesn’t seem to align with what the officials at the schools are saying about the reasons for these cuts.

Expanding access to care through employer mandates without serious cost-cutting measures leads to all sorts of perverse economic effects. Unless the delay is made permanent, as people across the whole political spectrum are calling for, we can expect to see more stories like this turn up.

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  • Corlyss

    “Obama administration officials and ACA supporters are blaming cuts like these on the sequester, rather than the ACA.”

    They’re lying. Just like they lied about the costs and cooked the books to get the results on paper they wanted in order to sell the scheme to gullible or radicalized Democrats in Congress.

    But they’ve been outed. Reid finally said what many of us thought from the beginning.

    The objective was to break the link between employer provided health care and workers, which would result in employers deciding health care was too expensive for them to provide and workers would be thrown out of a system that had existed for 70 or 80 years. When the funding stream to private insurance business, profit-oriented businesses, evaporated, private health insurance businesses would go the way of the buggy whip manufacturers and there would be a public clamor for government to step in and pick up the responsibility. Ordinarily I try to avoid attributing to malice that which may be explained by stupidity. But it’s just too darn coincidental that the Obamacare fiasco just happens to produce the results it is without some level of conscious design behind it.

    • Bruno_Behrend

      If your theory is true, then 1.5 cheers for ObamaCare.

      Breaking the idiotic attachment of health insurance to work is a laudable goal, and 100% necessary.

      I don’t look to an employer for auto, life, or boat insurance. Our whole system is predicated on an awful 1946 decision to allow corporations to deduct health premiums while disallowing individuals to do the same.

      It should have been the opposite.

      There is nothing wrong with American healthcare that can’t be solved by;

      a) personal and portable savings accts.

      b) 100% price transparency for every aspirin through brain surgery

      c) a ban on differential pricing

      d) removal of all coverage mandates and pricing transparency for a la carte coverage

      e) a national market for insurance, not state markets

      d) a high-risk, uninsurable “risk pool” for the very sick, financed by a low, flat premium tax on the wide, new, basket of policies.

      It’s time to put hospitals, doctors, Pharma, and all the other special interests to the back of the bus, and empower consumers.

      • ojfl

        Bravo Bruno, bravo. But the likelihood of us getting any of that for the next four years is nil. This president, despite all the rhetoric, has shown no inclination to believe the market and market forces in general. Generally it seems progressives do not believe people make rational economic decisions and that the need to be guided and “nudged” to the preferable outcomes, even if history shows us the outcomes were rarely predicted by central planners.

        • bpuharic

          Uh…the current structure of healthcare preceded Obama. While the right thinks the extinction of the dinosaurs was his fault, the fact is that healthcare in this country lobbies like crazy to protect their interests

          Progressives go with what works. Conservatives go with what makes a few people rich. Those 2 are sometimes in conflict

          • ojfl

            The evidence to the contrary in the article, bpuharic, progressives do not always go with what works. Obamacare is indeed favorable to lobbies and special interests, again as evidenced by the delays and other executive “modifications” applied to the law. They do not favor the little guy but rather entrenched interests and big corporations.

          • bpuharic

            The right has always believed in 1 dollar, 1 vote and it’s no surprise our political decision making process reflects that. We got the best deal the monied interests would allow, thanks to the right wing’s view that corporations are ‘person’s.

          • ojfl

            It is strange then bpuharic, that the right did not support the passage of this law if it is bought and paid for by the special interests they so much love. Very strange.

          • bpuharic

            And those who voted for it got universal healthcare cobbled together by saving insurance companies…almost as if those companies had a voice in the process to save themselves…strange

          • Corlyss

            When the truth about how the Obama administration wrangled the concessions it got to destroy our health care system, it will make Whitey Bulger look like a certified Saint.

          • Brian Smith

            Progressives go with what buys votes and thus power for themselves. Also, the extinction of the dinosaurs was Bush’s fault.

          • bpuharic

            Which, I suppose, is why neither Sheldon Adelson or the Koch bros spent any money in the last election…

            The right lobbies to protect Wall Street to deregulate banks so they can continue to do the fine work they started in 2007

          • Bruno_Behrend

            “Progressives go with what works..”!!!???

            Yes, Detroit, IL, CA and the Northeast prove this conclusively.

          • bpuharic

            And TN, TX with their huge pension liabilities and the 2007 right wing caused collapse of our economy shows how much the right knows about economics

        • Corlyss

          Right. So many players, nobody has control over the whole structure, almost everything that would improve the system arouses the furious campaigning of interest groups that have too much to lose if the current situation changes substantially.

      • Corlyss

        I hear ya. I don’t disagree with you. I just haven’t heard anything doable that’s compelling enough to replace the current arrangement. It’s for darn sure that Obamacare wasn’t it.

  • Pete

    Well, the teachers unions pushed for ObamaCare so they’re starting to get what they deserve.

    • f1b0nacc1

      Couldn’t happen to a more deserving group of people…

  • Alexander Scipio

    Just had an epiphany on the 30-hr work week. (Probably means I’m on the late show, but I just thought of this.)

    The huge numbers of workers trying to get by on 30 hours a week (BECAUSE of Dem policy) will then drive Dems to demand (again) an increase in Min Wage to help these guys out from the financial catastrophe CREATED by those same Dems – making even MORE voters totally dependent on a
    permanent Dem majority.

    The destruction of hours – and wages &
    living standards – by Democrats under Obamacare is NOT an “unintended
    consequence.” It is FULLY intended… and makes sense as soon as you
    link Min Wage into the discussion….

    • Corlyss

      What’s interesting that nobody talks about in the wage inequity and poverty debates is the role transfer payments play in making all the dire hysterical ravings by Democrats and their flakers and constituents mere fiction.
      And when is someone going to start challenging the rationale behind anything pitched at people 130% of poverty level. Either your under the poverty level and deserve the freebies, or your not and you don’t.

  • Bruno_Behrend

    Not to defend Obamacare, but there isn’t a school district in the country that couldn’t fire 80% of its administration and support and still educate children.

    Public ed will be closer to balance when the classroom to administrator ratio is closer to 80:20, and not the current 50.5:49:5.

    If you aren’t firing admin like a prairie fire, you aren’t serious about education reform.

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