Obamacare Has Consequences

Behold:

Community College Of Allegheny County will cut the hours some instructors to avoid paying for their health insurance coverage under new Affordable Care Act rules.

CCAC President Alex Johnson announced in an email to employees last week that the school would cut course loads and hours for some 200 adjunct faculty members and 200 additional employees.

The Affordable Care Act — nicknamed Obamacare — classifies employees who work 30 hours or more per week as full-time, and CCAC would be required under the new law to provide employer-assisted health insurance to those employees.

Instead, temporary part-time employees, such as clerical, computer, seasonal and other positions, will be limited to working 25 hours per week, and adjunct instructors will only be able to teach 10 credits per semester. Permanent part-time employees, already eligible for health care coverage, will be unaffected. The Pittsburgh-based college estimates the move will save it from spending an additional $6 million.

“While it is of course the college’s preference to provide coverage to these positions, there simply are not funds available to do so,” David Hoovler, executive assistant to the president of CCAC, told The Huffington Post. “Several years of cuts or largely flat funding from our government supporters have led to significant cost reductions by CCAC, leaving little room to trim the college’s budget further.”

He noted that students have also seen “significant tuition increases” and the college had “examined various alternatives to reducing hours without finding an affordable option.”

Don’t worry. I’m sure this is just an aberration. There is absolutely, positively no way in the world that other employers might find themselves in a similar position, thus worsening an already bad employment situation and further weakening the economy. No sirree, no reason at all to lose any sleep whatsoever over this.

  1. Pencilvania

    ” . . .there simply are not funds available to do so.”   Spoken like a person who actually has a budget to follow.

    Would that our government chiefs had ever run a community college. 

  2. Rachel Snow

    I attend Utah State University at an extension facility in my home town, and I have already heard there will be a tuition increase for spring semester, and the teachers I’v seen are all looking rather preoccupied.

    I am feeling lucky that I only have one more semester left to go, but at the same time, I am beginning to think I may have just struggled through four years of college for nothing.  People dont move up in times like these, they move out and dont get replaced.

  3. ctruppi

    The silver lining in all this is that the vast majority of those affected by this post probably voted for Obama.  We need these types of negative impacts felt in a very real way by these people.  I don’t like to wish for anyone suffering regardless of political affiliation, but this would be a more powerful message than anything conseratives can come up with.

    BTW, I recently was out with a good friend of mine who is very high level in finance/accounting for a VERY big fortune 50 company.  He told me that they already have Plan A in place - try to live with Obamacare and see what the real costs are because no one knows how bad it will be (although everyone at this company agrees it will be some level of bad).  If it’s bad enough, they will go to Plan B - stop offering health care and pay the very predictable penalty.  This is for 10′s of thousands of employees.  This friend assures me that all the big companies are taking a wait and see approach like this.  Once the 1st company stops offering health care, the rest will follow.

  4. Mothership_Greg

    Let’s boycott those greedy 1%ers at Community College of Allegheny County!  I’m going to go photoshop a picture expressing my displeasure immediately, and post to Facebook!  They’ll never get a cent of my money to buy their pizzas, er, education!

  5. Paul Erickson

    I wish this first example was at one of the elite universities, rather than at a community college.  Community colleges are surely the least guilty of causing the higher education bubble.

    As etruppi suggests at #3, big name schools can hold out for a time just like big companies.  But this will be widespread.

  6. Garrett Petersen

    1) A plan is proposed.  Critics say it will cause bad result X.

    2) The critics are shouted down, and the plan is enacted.

    3) Bad result X occurs.  “Bad result X would have been so much worse if we hadn’t had this wonderful program,” proponents say.

    4) An expansion to the program is proposed.  Critics say that it will exacerbate bad result X.

    Repeat (2)-(4) ad infinitum.

  7. KC Mulville

    How long will it be before the leftists adjust?

    • If companies cut back to “part-time” workers, who will be the first politician to propose a bill to either penalize part-time employment, or lower the bar for “full-time employment?” 

    • There will be a “persuasion” campaign to portray the slashing of hours and job cuts to be a violation of civil rights. After all, you have a right to a job, don’t you? You therefore must have a right to benefits, don’t you?
    • Obamacare itself will be “too big to fail.”

    And so on. If that sounds preposterous, who would have thought that free condoms were a civil right?

  8. Devin Cole

    I think this is a feature of Obamacare, not a bug.  Obama, Pelosi, et al never made any bones about wanting a single payer health care system.  Job losses and cutbacks by employers to avoid huge Obamacare related costs will simply be portrayed at the evil rich trampling workers “right” to health care.  Never mind this example is a small community college.  There will be plenty of businesses doing the same, and I think there already are, that the left will be able to highlight.  Obamacare is not the end game here, so do not be surprised if we “need” an overhaul that takes us to single payer sooner rather than later.

  9. Bullwinkle

    Predictably, many of the comments on the story are calling for a single payer system to “solve” this issue

  10. WI Con

    On the ‘plus side’. at least the students under 26yrs old on their parents plan can get an abortion or some condoms & about one in two have a shot at finding a job.

    The glass is truly half-full.

  11. DocJay

    Let us see how fearless leader deals with the doctor shortage.

  12. SunnyOptimism
    ctruppi: 

    BTW, I recently was out with a good friend of mine who is very high level in finance/accounting for a VERY big fortune 50 company…. · 2 hours ago

    I work for a very BIG Fortune 100 company ( a few 100,000 employees world-wide & 10′s of billions in annual revenues) and I can confirm that this is the most likely scenario (I know some of the folks in HR in our division and they talk openly about this sort of stuff).  Most large, multi-national corporations will take a wait-&-see approach to see what the financial impact is.  Given the high cost structures of the US health insurance market, many of them will realize a profit gain if they choose to dump their employees onto state or federal exchanges and just pay the per-employee fine.

    But, as you elude to, no one wants to be the beta-tester for that scenario so as to avoid the political witch hunts (anyone remember how Henry Waxman used his chairmanship of the Gov Oversight Committee to harass companies that pointed out all of the problems with the ACA?)

  13. cbc

    Would single payer be any worse?  It would have the advantage of being somewhat more honest.  With the panel of 15 and the endless regulation, there will be no freedom of choice in the market, let alone any transparent account of how health care is being rationed. 

  14. BlueAnt

    This is not an isolated action; it is just the ones that reach a reporter’s ears which are getting public attention.  In my personal life, I have heard three businesses/organizations that are forced into the same reduction of hours.

    Apparently, the first step on the road to a European style welfare state is to reduce our energetic, productive, overly active work force to the more sedate European work week.

    KC Mulville: 

    • Obamacare itself will be “too big to fail.”

    It already is.  Chief Justice John Roberts performed the first rescue a few months ago.

    DocJay: Let us see how fearless leader deals with the doctor shortage.

    Same as always:  by vilifying rich people, this time in the form of corporations.  Secondary tactic is to blame Republicans for whatever marginal compromise they managed to stick into some legislation.

     And if that doesn’t work, he can always blame Bush again.

  15. Chris Campion
    ctruppi: The silver lining in all this is that the vast majority of those affected BTW, I recently was out with a good friend of mine who is very high level in finance/accounting for a VERY big fortune 50 company.  He told me that they already have Plan A in place - try to live with Obamacare and see what the real costs are because no one knows how bad it will be (although everyone at this company agrees it will be some level of bad).  If it’s bad enough, they will go to Plan B - stop offering health care and pay the very predictable penalty.  This is for 10′s of thousands of employees.  This friend assures me that all the big companies are taking a wait and see approach like this.  Once the 1st company stops offering health care, the rest will follow. · November 21, 2012 at 5:06am

    This is exactly what my company is doing. They said if it’s cheaper to pay the fine, they’ll pay the fine. I don’t think it’s all that clever, but this was the plan to put everyone into the gov’ts eventual single-payer plan.

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