Republican darling Mia Love was just beaming as she explained how she was “excited” to have voted to reduce the number of workers eligible for ObamaCare from their employer. When host Greta Van Susteren asked Love about getting health insurance for those workers, Love didn’t seem to have given it any thought.
As host Greta Van Susteren explained, the Republican House of Representatives has passed a bill defining a full-time workweek as 40 hours. Currently, under ObamaCare, full-time is only 30 hours a week. Thus an employer of 50 or more is obligated to provide health insurance to employees working 30 hours a week or more.
Van Susteren asked Love, a newly-minted Congresswoman from Utah, to explain why this change is “important.”
A big smile came across Love’s face as she said: “It gives the employer more flexibility. I mean, if you think about it, as so many people in my district kept saying, they’re anticipating letting people go because they - the threshold was just – they couldn’t meet that threshold. …Now someone’s ability to make more money was just cut back.”
Van Susteren asked, “What about health insurance for those who get cut out?”
Love didn’t have an answer. She stumbled and fumbled around as she said, “Well, again, this is about making health costs as cheap as possible. And the more regulation we add, the more we put into this, the more difficult it is for people to be able to have some sort of health insurance.”
Frankly, that’s ridiculous. But instead of challenging the notion that Love was making it easier for people to get “some sort of health insurance” by making them ineligible for it, Van Susteren changed the subject to President Obama’s threatened veto.
Love seemed almost as excited about forcing Obama to “make that hard decision” and veto the bill as she was about voting for it. She added, “I certainly hope he doesn’t veto it because I think that this is one of those things that is very important to employers and to people who want to be able to keep their hours and keep their jobs.”
Van Susteren didn't challenge that comment but she should have. For example, in a blog post at Reason.com, hardly an ObamaCare cheerleader, senior editor Peter Suderman argues that the change would likely make ObamaCare more expensive and create even greater incentives for employers to cut hours:
By rewriting the rules so that businesses no longer have to cover individuals working between 30 and 40 hours a week, the change would shift roughly a million people off of employer coverage. About half would then end up enrolled in coverage either through Medicaid or Obamacare’s subsidized exchanges. The public, in other words, would be picking up the tab. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the change would increase the deficit by about $53 billion by 2025.
In addition, it would probably not end the cutting or limiting of work hours in response to the law. Instead, it would shift the point at which the cutting and capping is done. Rather than capping employees who might otherwise have worked, say, 30 or 32 hours, employers under this provision would have an incentive to cap hours for employees who work roughly 40 hours each week. That’s an awful lot of workers. As Yuval Levin noted at National Review Online last November, one study found that, amongst the large employers affected by the requirement, about 29 million work between 40 and 44 hours a week. Just seven million work between 30 and 39 hours. (my emphases)
Sherry Glied, dean of NYU's School of Public Service, came to a similar conclusion after researching the impact of the current employer mandate. She called it a "smokescreen" to say that the legislation would protect workers.
Nevertheless, Love called her health care vote “a lot of fun.”
Watch it below, from the January 8 On The Record.
This has really become a depressing expose’ of ignorance in the House and Senate. Maybe they always had such empti-headed douche bags in Congress, but we just didn’t have to be exposed to their nonsense?
The fact that the fat cat employers (as you call them) are already making hundreds of times as much as the AVERAGE worker (not just minimum wage workers, but all workers) and their corporations are recording huge profits is what’s led to the protests for “living wages” at the fast-food and other minimum wage jobs. I’ve got a feeling that if the employers were willing to offer full health coverage and guaranteed paid sick leave and paid vacation/annual leave to their employees instead of raising their wages, the employees could deal with the $7.25 an hour. (It’s a lot easier to take a $7.25 an hour job if you know that when you get sick, you can go to the doctor and only have to shell out a $25 co-pay AND both not worry about being fired and still make that $7.25 an hour while you’re sick.)
If Mia Hate really wants to make it harder for her constituents to have health care coverage, she needs to lead by example. There is NO WAY that members of Congress put in a 40-hour work week, yet they have health care coverage that puts the maximum amount available through Obamacare to shame.
While teabagging Mia and the Repugs are busy taking health insurance away from working people, they should also eliminate the federal minimum wage. When fat cat employers can get workers for next to nothing, their executive salaries and bonuses will skyrocket. That’s the American way isn’t it?