It’s been one year since the Supreme Court decision that allowed Obama administration officials to begin implementing the Affordable Care Act, and the frequency and volume of reports about the challenges facing those reforms—and the difficulties they are visiting on those who were supposed to benefit from them—are increasing dramatically.
Jeff Vernon, an employee of Scrambler Marie’s restaurant in Toledo, Ohio, told a local reporter that the owners were cutting his hours to avoid penalties under Obamacare. Businesses with more than 49 employees have to offer insurance to all “full-time” workers—defined as those who put in 30 hours or more each week. The result, for Vernon: $400 less in take-home pay every month. “That leaves me $27.50 for two weeks to live off of,” he explained. Vernon said the owners tried to avoid the cuts but didn’t have any other recourse. “They were real good about that,” he added. “The last thing they wanted to do was cut people. They don’t want to fire anybody.”
Other business owners haven’t been able to avoid eliminating jobs. A Gallup poll taken in June found that nearly one in five small businesses—19 percent of those surveyed—have cut workers “as a specific result of the Affordable Care Act.” The same poll, first reported by CNBC, found that 41 percent of those interviewed had suspended hiring because of Obamacare. The poll of 603 business owners with less than $20 million in annual sales also found that 55 percent believe Obamacare will lead to higher health care costs, while just 5 percent saw future cost savings.