Carney’s Data Denial

July 17, 2013

On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked about growing reports that businesses are being forced to hire part-time workers rather than full-time in order to avert the consequences of the health care law. Although this phenomenon has been documented, the White House spokesman inexplicably denied it. Carney insisted: “The data reflects that there is not support for the proposition that businesses are not hiring full-time employees because of the Affordable Care Act.”

It can be difficult to keep up with the flood of complaints and concerns voiced about Obamacare. As a reminder of the pain America’s businesses are feeling because of Obamacare’s looming mandates, penalties, and uncertainty, we offer Mr. Carney this data:

  • “We opted not to open another restaurant this year because we know that this was coming.” Tom Boucher, Owner and CEO of Great New Hampshire Restaurants testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health
  • “Nearly two-thirds of accounting professionals in a new poll believe the Affordable Care Act will make it less likely for businesses to hire new employees in the next year.” Accounting Today, Accountants See Obamacare Hurting Business Hiring
  • “71% of small businesses say they health care law makes it harder to hire.” U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Outlook Survey – July 2013
  • “The leaders of three major U.S. unions, including the highly influential Teamsters, have sent a scathing letter to Democratic leaders in Congress, warning that unless changes are made, President Obama’s health care reform plan will ‘destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class.” Wall Street Journal, Union Letter: Obamacare Will ‘Destroy the Very Health and Wellbeing’ of Workers
  • “Ken Adams has been turning to more part-time workers at his 10 Subway sandwich shops in Michigan to avoid possibly incurring higher health care costs under the new federal insurance law. … (A) number of restaurants and other low-wage employers say they are increasing their staffs by hiring more part-time workers to reduce reliance on full-timers before the health care law takes effect. … CKE Restaurants Inc., owner of the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s hamburger chains, last year began hiring part-time workers to replace full-time employees who left and as a result has boosted its overall workforce, though the company declined to specify how much. … Rod Carstensen, owner of 11 Del Taco restaurant around Denver, began in April converting his mostly full-time workforce into one comprising mostly part-time help to minimize his health care costs.” Wall Street Journal, Restaurant Shift: Sorry, Just Part-Time
  • “’So if they are 30 hours or more they are considered a full time equivalent employee if they are 29 hours or less they are considered to a part-time employee,’ says Westbrook. … Westbrook is a franchise owner of CiCi's Pizza, he owned two in Tyler and retained the store in Longview. ‘That's the reason why I sold my two stores is because the Affordable Health Care Act,’ says Westbrook. He adds, ‘We knew we had a decision to make and that decision came very swiftly and quickly, when we sold two of our CiCi's pizza's here in Tyler and we retained the one in Longview but that got us under the 50 employees.’ Westbrook says, if employees aren't insured, employers could face more than $2,000 in penalties for each employee.” KETK NBC Tyler, TX, More Full-Time Workers Bumped to Part-Time
  • “Several Wegmans employees confirmed part-time health benefits had been cut and said the company said the decision was related to changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act.” The Buffalo News, Wegmans Cuts Health Benefits for Part-Time Workers
  • “It's not as simple as just cutting employee pay or raising prices to bring in the extra money needed, Clyde's Chief Financial Officer Jeff Owens says. Clyde's has had to rethink its business plan. ‘It started out as a brainstorming exercise for us,’ Owens says. ‘We were able to sit in a room and ... list out any ideas that would generate either cost savings or additional revenue.’ Some of those ideas included things like using paper napkins over cloth, reducing portion sizes and, of course, staffing changes. There's also raising prices, which Owens says is last on the list.” NPR, A Restaurant Brainstorms How to Afford Obamacare
  • Schools across Indiana are cutting back the hours of teacher assistants, bus drivers, cafeteria workers and other aides to avoid having to offer them health insurance under the federal health care employer mandate that begins next year.” Courier-Journal, Indiana Schools’ Dilemma: Offer Health Insurance to Part-Timers or Cut Hours
  • “Rather than be forced to provide employees working an average of more than 30 hours per week with insurance benefits, the Starke County Commissioners this week passed a motion preventing part-time employees from working more than 130 hours per month beginning July 1.” WKVI, Starke Commissioners Reduce Part-Time Employees to 130 Hours Monthly
  • "In order to meet the Affordable Health Care Reform Act requirements, the Oneida Special School District has reduced 18 full-time positions to part-time. The employee's salaries will remain the same, but they will only work 29 hours per week and will lose health insurance through the school." the Oneida Special School District has reduced 18 full-time positions to part-time. The employee's salaries will remain the same, but they will only work 29 hours per week and will lose health insurance through the school." WBIR, Oneida schools say federal law forced insurance cuts

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