ObamaCare slashing hours and forcing double employment

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Posted Wed, Nov 6, 2013

ObamaCare may help the people that can’t afford health insurance, but it’s also hindering students with minimum wage jobs.[Photo by Melaine Rice]

LAW OF THE LAND: ObamaCare may help the people who cannot afford health insurance, but it’s also hindering students with minimum wage jobs. [Photo by Melaine Rice]


DENVER, Auraria Campus — The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was signed into law on March 23, 2010 to reform the health care industry by President Barack Obama. This is widely known as ObamaCare. Everyone has objections towards ObamaCare, but not many actually know what ObamaCare’s goal is for the U.S.

ObamaCare’s goal is to give more Americans access to affordable and quality health insurance and to reduce the growth in health care spending. ObamaCare “expands the affordability, quality, and availability of private and public health insurance through consumer protections, regulations, subsidies, taxes, insurance exchanges, and other reforms.” (ObamaCarefacts.com)
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Some of the benefits of ObamaCare:

  • It lets young adults stay on their plan until 26.
  • Stops insurance companies from dropping people when they are sick or make a mistake on the application.
  • Prevents against gender discrimination.
  • Stops insurance companies from making unjustified rate hikes.
  • Gets rid of life-time and annual limits.
  • Gives the right to a rapid appeal of insurance company decisions.
  • Expands coverage to tens of millions.
  • Subsidizes health insurance costs.
  • Requires insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions.

“So far, 25 states and the District of Columbia have decided to expand Medicaid, which currently exists as a joint federal-state program that provides health care to certain poor Americans, such as children and the elderly. Next year, the health care program in those states will be opened up to anyone with an income under 138 percent of the federal poverty line,” said Stephanie Condon of CBS News.

This opportunity is great for people without health care, but how is Obamacare affecting people who already have health care or are carried under their parents?

“ObamaCare’s impact on jobs is hotly debated by politicians and economists. Critics say the Affordable Care Act, with its employer mandate to provide health insurance, gives businesses an incentive to cut worker’s hours. This year, report after report has rolled in about employers restricting work hours to fewer than 30 per week,” according to Investors.com

In states such as Indiana and Illinois, many worker’s hours have been cut to 32 hours per week. In Colorado, many works have seen their hours reduced to 28 per week. The reason for the hourly cuts? Under ObamaCare, if an employer works over 30 hours, then they qualify for health insurance through the company. Most companies don’t want to splurge for health benefits for their part-time employees. Therefore, by cutting part-timer worker’s hours just enough, they are not eligible to receive company health benefits.

ObamaCare may help the people that can’t afford health insurance, but it’s also hindering students with minimum wage jobs. The hourly cuts have affected some students at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

“I work at Office Depot and my hours were majorly cut,” said music major Erinn Cash. “I know the maximum hours you can work is 28 per week, and they cut the hours to 17 per week for me. Now the most I can make is $275. I‘ll starve to death.”

The stigma of being a poor starving college student has become a reality to some. The hourly cuts have forced students to find a second job.

“I work at the movie theater because we get some good benefits; free movies and free popcorn,” said accounting major, Jason Oates. “But with the hours getting cut from 40 per week to 28 per week, I had to pick up a second job. I started working at Sam’s Club as the cart attendant and cashier. I get so many more hours, but no store benefits. It’s hard to juggle school and two jobs. But I guess that’s what ObamaCare will do to the people that already have health insurance.”

About Kristina Vasquez

Kristina Vasquez is a Denver-area freelance writer.

View all posts by Kristina Vasquez

2 Responses to “ObamaCare slashing hours and forcing double employment”

  1. Sean Murphy Says:

    Good viewpoints from both sides of the issue!

    Reply

  2. Robert Crew Says:

    I like how you told both the positive and negative sides of the story, and got personal experiences from people around our school. You stayed objective of whole time. Good job.

    Reply

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