The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
Obamacare Drops Full-Time Employment

Many businesses anticipate that Obamacare will deal a blow to their bottom line in the form of fines and penalties. Some are now planning to evade the law’s fine for uninsured full-time employees by  pushing full-time employees to part-time status. The Wall Street Journal reports:

Several restaurants, hotels and retailers have started or are preparing to limit schedules of hourly workers to below 30 hours a week. That is the threshold at which large employers in 2014 would have to offer workers a minimum level of insurance or pay a penalty starting at $2,000 for each worker. . . .

Pillar Hotels & Resorts this summer began to focus more on hiring part-time workers among its 5,500 employees, after the Supreme Court upheld the health-care overhaul, said Chief Executive Chris Russell. The company has 210 franchise hotels, under the Sheraton, Fairfield Inns, Hampton Inns and Holiday Inns brands.

“The tendency is to say, ‘Let me fill this position with a 40-hour-a-week employee.’ “Mr. Russell said. “I think we have to think differently.”

We’re still years away from the full implementation of Obamacare, but the unintended consequences of the law are already emerging. Student insurance is harder to come by, companies are dropping insurance coverage for employees, and now they may be dropping full-time employment as well amidst the weakest economy in decades. It’s hard to imagine this is what the authors of this law had in mind.

Published on November 5, 2012 7:00 pm