While the Obama administration has gone out of its way to mitigate, or at least delay, the pain of Obamacare for union workers, including public sector employees, they aren’t all off the hook. Quite a few public sector workers are having their hours cut to part time thanks to President Obama’s signature piece of legislation.
That’s right, ObamaCare’s employer mandate applies to the public as well as the private sector, and although it’s been delayed until next year, “many public employers have already adopted policies, laws or regulations” to avoid its costliest effects, the Times reports.
That means making sure part-time workers don’t reach 30 hours a week, the threshold at which the mandate kicks in: “Among those whose hours have been restricted in recent months are police dispatchers, prison guards, substitute teachers, bus drivers, athletic coaches, school custodians, cafeteria workers and part-time professors.”
Local officials from across the country describe the dilemmas ObamaCare has forced upon them. “Are we supposed to lay off full-time teachers so that we can provide insurance coverage to part-time employees?” asks Mark Benigni, schools superintendent of Meriden, Conn. “If I had to cut five reading teachers to pay for benefits for substitute teachers, I’m not sure that would be best for our students.”
In suburban Cleveland, Mayor Dennis Hanwell of Medina (population 26,678), tells the paper his city had to reduce the hours–and thus the pay–of office clerks, sanitation men, park inspectors and police dispatchers to 29 hours from 35. “Our choice was to cut the hours or give them health care, and we could not afford the latter,” the mayor says.
“We can’t afford it” are words the Democrats never want to utter or hear, unless it’s in the context of tax reduction. But on the bright side, all of those workers “liberated” to reduced paychecks will probably be eligible for Obamacare subsidies, food stamps and other government programs. So the Democrats will say it’s a win-win situation. Of course they won’t mention that as they willfully increase the number of people sitting on the cart, the few left pulling the cart are going to start getting really tired. Then what will they do? Is that when the more radical demands come in?