Obamacare and the crisis of underemployment
by Congresswoman Virginia Foxx
Obamacare is deadweight on a stagnant job market. Millions of Americans do not have jobs. Millions more are underemployed, crunching numbers around kitchen tables trying to make ends meet. The solution to this crisis of underemployment is not a secret; it’s economic growth to spur an increase in private sector hiring.
But Obamacare is undermining growth and making it harder for businesses – large and small – to hire more full-time workers or even maintain part-time worker schedules. “…a number of private businesses cut worker hours this year because of the health care law,” reports the Washington Post.
“Obamacare Is Accelerating [the] U.S. Towards a Part-Time Nation,” Forbes announces.
Citing the “Obamadodge” trend, the Kansas City Star notes, “’Involuntary’ part-time jobs are growing in the U.S.” This extends to North Carolina, where the News & Observer confronts the fact that “Some NC employers cut worker hours to avoid [the] cost of health care reform.”
Facing such damaging headlines, President Obama made a unilateral decision to attempt to dull the effects of his unworkable law by offering big businesses a one-year reprieve from Obamacare’s onerous employer mandate. Selective delays – and this is one of many – will certainly not generate any lasting uptick in hiring. Having just spent several days visiting local job creators, I can tell you, the President’s offer of temporary relief from irreconcilably broken policies – among them a policy incentive to define workers as part-time – is not a recipe for building North Carolina careers.
Selective delays spawn confusion. They leave a cloud of uncertainty hanging over both the seven million people who – whether they like it or not – are projected to lose their current employer-sponsored health insurance, and other Americans who won’t be receiving any respite from Washington when they are forced into Obamacare’s exchanges come January 1.
Young people, who already feel the sting of joblessness at a higher rate than others, stand to see their “premiums soar” under Obamacare and will likely be forced to rely on large income-based taxpayer subsidies – distributed according to an “honor system.” Families, whose premiums have increased $3,000 since 2008, face the prospect of further heightened costs when state and federal exchanges open and various Obamacare mandates “go live” next year. Though the law stands to financially burden employers as well as patients, its disparate treatment of the two groups through the President’s waiver system is unfair. Every American deserves a break. That is why the House of Representatives voted, with bipartisan support, to stop Obamacare’s individual mandate tax from hitting anyone next year.
The House has voted forty times to repeal, replace, dismantle, delay or defund all or parts of Obamacare. For those who charge these efforts are “meaningless,” seven of those votes have resulted in the President himself acknowledging the flaws House Republicans illuminated, and signing the legislation into law. These are not fruitless votes.
Promises for openness and transparency were left by the wayside three years ago when President Obama and Congressional Democrats rammed Obamacare through Congress on a purely partisan vote. That broken process was a precursor to the broken way in which the federal government is handling health care – with patients on the periphery and a select few in Washington and inside the IRS offices calling the shots.
President Obama and the proponents of his health law promised it would create jobs, cut health care costs, expand insurance and not raise taxes. But even prior to its full implementation, Obamacare has failed on all counts. Obamacare is the wrong solution for jobs, for American health care, for working families and for our economy.
Americans still want greater access to high-quality, affordable, competitive patient-centered care. The best way we can go about achieving those goals is by repealing Obamacare in its entirety and starting fresh on health care reform with the American people as our guiding partners. In the House of Representatives, our efforts to stop Obamacare will continue. And though the road ahead to repeal, defund, delay or replace Obamacare in Democrat-controlled Washington is largely uphill, we will keep working. Real reform is worth the effort.
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