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There is a trend in the discussion in relation to Obamacare about the shift to part time work. This is just false. The move to part time workers is actually a larger market labor trend that began during the Great Recession. As the chart below highlights you can see a clear spike in the rise of involuntary part time work, that is part time workers who are working part time but wish to work full time.

In fact what the data is actually showing us in this chart is not only Obamacare NOT the cause of the part time worker, as those who oppose Obamacare are falsely pushing on network tv, but the number of involuntary part time workers is actually coming down since it's peak just after the start of The Great Recession.

This post was cross-posted at The Political Line

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Comment Preferences

  •  The twitter threads on Cruz are full of lies (12+ / 0-)

    I almost feel sorry for these people for the lies they have been fed

    forced home visits, NOT
    death panels NOT
    Jail for not getting ins NOT
    IRS managing your care NOT

    and on and on....

    "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

    by merrywidow on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 07:18:17 AM PDT

  •  The other issue is firms like Trader Joes (16+ / 0-)

    moving workers to the exchanges, which is projected as bad news. But in fact this is one of the intended consequences of ACA, that workers become independent of their employers for healthcare.

    •  Business providing coverage (10+ / 0-)

      Although my company provides pretty much the best coverage I've ever had and is apparently very happy to do so, I just don't see how it's the responsibility of businesses to provide health insurance coverage to employees.  I'd much rather have that money turned into a raise of me, have my taxes raised a bit and have single payer coverage.  

      One can only hope the knuckledraggers in the country won't prevent this trajectory from happening.  I sincerely do not understand why so many people are hell bent on preserving a terrible, deadly for profit private insurance industry that benefits no one except their shareholders.

      •  Back in the day, it was considered a perk (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kevskos, ssmt, Loge, JerryNA

        The idea was that by offering better health insurance, a company could lure better talent and have better employee retention.

        The problem is, it became a trap.  Employees got trapped into their current employers health plan and often find it very hard to switch jobs because of it.

      •  I've never understood why the business community (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kevskos, ssmt, gfv6800, Phoebe Loosinhouse

        did not push for a health care system that gets companies out of the health care business.  Seems like the only ones that would not want this is the insurance and health care companies.

      •  Well, MAYBE the shareholders; SURELY the execs! nt (0+ / 0-)
      •  it was a perk back in the days when wages were (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        price-fixed in the early 1900s so companies competed by offering other benefits including insurance against bills at the new big hospitals that were coming into existence. That is the only connection. It sure seems to me that health and employment need to become disconnected again, since it's obvious that the first thing that happens when you can't work is that you risk losing the health insurance.
           The last really good thing I heard on NHPR was a story about this that told the history of health insurance. Wish I knew what the story was called because it explained it all.

        We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

        by nuclear winter solstice on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 10:37:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You know this seems pretty simple to me (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MRA NY, Cedwyn, Sylv

      If the part-time workers (or any workers for that matter who lose employer insurance) pay less than what they contributed to their employer previously and if they have equal or better benefits, they will be happy and like Obamacare.

      If they pay more than what they contributed previously and their care is not equal, they will be unhappy.

      We just won't know until the exchanges open and in SIX DAYS and people find out what their real options are.

      I think one big question is how the unionized labor under the Taft-Hartley plans (20 million people) make out in the roll-out.

      “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

      by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 07:29:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's hard to prove a negative (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Basically, even if you show them that part time jobs rose dramatically before Obamacare was implemented (or was soon-to-be implemented) they can argue right back that these part-time jobs would have become full-time without Obamacare.

    How can you prove that this is not the case?  They can't prove it is the case either, but since it is both what they believe and what they WANT to believe, they won't bother with the burden of proof to support their own argument.

  •  Lots of these companies are cutting healthcare (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hockeyray, Loge, myboo, JerryNA

    Not because of Obamacare ,they  using Obamacare as scrapegoat to save money , making employees foot thier own   healthcare in the long term to save the company money

    •  Yes! My daughter was told that she couldn't get (5+ / 0-)

      more hours and that they were hiring MORE part time workers instaed because of Obamacare. This may be what they told her, because they don't understand it, but Obamacare doesn't work that way, as I understand it. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't employer coverage mandatory if you have over 50 FT workers, but the PT worker hours can be added up to count as FT (meaning 2 half time workers = one FT worker), so it wouldnt account for more PT workers if the hours are the same, or am I missing something? Anyway, if so, it isn't even possible for Obamacare to be responsible for the PT popularity. My daughter's employer just wanted a scapegoat for their cruel business practices.

      •  Why don't the Senate (0+ / 0-)

        Hold hearing and make these companies head prove Obamacare is the  cause of the  job cut back ,under penalty of perjury ,how many company head can prove this false allegation

      •  right. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CFAmick, Kevskos

        So if you have 200 20 hour per week employees, you have 100 full time equivalents and have to provide insurance for 100 of your employees. Or pay the fine.

        Over and over again in the media, I see "reporters" saying that employers are moving to part time because of Obamacare. Even Paul Soloman on the PBS News Hour did the same.

        Makes me wonder if the media is deliberately misrepresenting OR if they're just too lazy to pick up on and report the facts.

        Either way, it allows the opponents of ACA to say that it's bad because people are being forced into part time.

        working for a world that works for everyone ...

        by USHomeopath on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 08:51:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's not how ACA works. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Under ACA there is no penalty for not providing affordable health insurance to part time employees regardless of the number of full or part time employees.

          The calculation in ACA of Full time equivalent employees is solely to determine if the business is subject to small company or big company rules.  If subject to small company rules (50 or fewer full time equivalent employees) there is no penalty for not providing affordable health insurance to full time or part time employees.  

          If subject to big company rules, there is no penalty for not providing affordable health insurance to part time employees, but there is a penalty for not proving affordable insurance to full time (30 or more hours/wk) employees.

          The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

          by nextstep on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 09:26:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think that's the biggest change we need to make (0+ / 0-)

            Change the ACA wording just slightly to impose the penalty based on FTEs rather than actual full-time employees. Bam, it now strongly encourages companies to use full-time workers.

      •  we need a diary on this point (0+ / 0-)

        I'm hoping someone who knows the details can do this.

        working for a world that works for everyone ...

        by USHomeopath on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 09:16:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Even if it was true (6+ / 0-)

    is it really the fault of Obamacare that you have a bunch of lowlife business owners who would cut hours just to avoid giving their workers health care.

    I'm no philosopher, I am no poet, I'm just trying to help you out - Gomez (from the song Hamoa Beach)

    by jhecht on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 07:34:07 AM PDT

  •  You really can't prove for sure (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Upper West, Kevskos, nextstep, JerryNA

    causation in something like this.  Yes, there was a trend before, probably caused by the recession.  But now that we are no longer in recession, why aren't we moving more rapidly back toward full-time jobs? Is it a lingering result of the recession, the requirements of the ACA, or a combination of the two?

    Personally, I suspect that it's option 3 -- a combination of the two.  Economically, you can see the incentive for a small business built into the ACA -- if, by increasing an employee's hours worked by 1 -- from 29 hours to 30 hours -- you make each of those 29 hours incrementally more expensive for the employer, it doesn't take an economic genius to figure out where the financial incentives are. (You wonder why Congress did not see this very obvious point when they passed the law, but that's a discussion for another day.)   And we've heard anecdotes about certain employers keeping some employee hours under 30 for just that reason. (Personally, I know some small business owners who have done the math and figured out where that financial incentive is.)  So, common sense tells you that this may be factoring into the decision that some employers are making, even if it's not the only factor.  

    I don't think you can say, with a straight face, that the ACA has NOTHING to do with it.  What is more likely is that it was a trend started before the ACA because of the financial downturn, and the ACA has contributed some to that trend continuing -- although how much?  That's the part that is very difficult to prove.  

    •  omg. I actually agree with you. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Based on my discussions with right wingers, this is a big anti-ACA theme. (e.g., -- one argued -- a guy working 30 hours a week and depending on food stamps shouldn't blame the GOP for cutting the foods stamps.  He should blame the ACA for cutting his hours.)  no logic, but still a kernel of truth about the ACA effect on hours.

      Of course, the ACA really helps the worker cut to part time as to health care -- he now can get insured on the exchanges when he couldn't before.

      On the other hand, he's hurt because he's not working as many hours.

      So it's really hard to say -- if part time is a trend largely independent of the ACA, then the ACA is great for workers.  If it exacerbates the part time trend, then it's a mixed bag.

      Of course, in a rational world (who am I kidding), Congress would be amending this section to provide some incentive or disincentive for employers to discourage cuts to part time.

      The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

      by Upper West on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 08:26:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  this was taken care of in the original ACA (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Upper West, Loge

        read comments upstream in the thread.

        It's full time equivalents, not full time workers. The media is misinforming about it and letting opponents get by with this argument.

        working for a world that works for everyone ...

        by USHomeopath on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 08:55:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Only actual Full Time employees working in (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          USHomeopath, wmspringer, coffeetalk, VClib

          companies with more than 50 Full Time Equivalent Employees are required to be provided with affordable insurance or the employer pays a penalty.  There is no penalty for not providing such insurance for part time employees.

          You can see this directly in the ACA itself starting on page 154 (of text not PDF) of the Actual text of ACA

          The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

          by nextstep on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 09:46:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Walmart workers get Medicaid under ACA! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phoebe Loosinhouse, a2nite

    Such a deal!  Even better, the 55+ Walmart pt workers will repay their health costs from their estates.  Since 55+ Medicaid is just a collateral loan.

    Furthermore, to increase enrollment in health coverage without requiring people to complete an application on their own, states are advised to automate enrollment whenever possible by using existing databases for social services programs such as SNAP (food stamps) to enroll people who appear eligible for Medicaid but are not currently enrolled. Therefore, you could find yourself auto-enrolled in Medicaid against your will if your state acts on this advice.

    .... You won’t find the following info in the ACA. It’s in the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1993 (OBRA 1993) – a federal statute which applies to Medicaid, and, if you are enrolled in Medicaid, it will apply to you depending on your age.

    a) OBRA 1993 requires all states that receive Medicaid funding to seek recovery from the estates of deceased individuals who used Medicaid benefits at age 55 or older. It allows recovery for any items or services under the state Medicaid plan going beyond nursing homes and other long-term care institutions. In fact, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) site says that states have the option of recovering payments for all Medicaid services provided. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) site says at state option, recovery can be pursued for any items covered by the Medicaid state plan.

    b) The HHS site has an overview of the Medicaid estate recovery mandate which also says that at a minimum, states must pursue recoveries from the “probate estate,” which includes property that passes to the heirs under state probate law, but states can expand the definition of estate to allow recovery from property that bypasses probate. This means states can use procedures for direct recovery from bank accounts and other funds.

    c) Some states use recovery for RX and hospital only as required by OBRA 1993; some recover for a few additional benefits and some recover for all benefits under the state plan. Recovery provides revenue for cash-strapped states and it’s a big business.

    Too bad that was not fixed!
  •  I'm still not seeing effective counter (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Upper West, TracieLynn, Sylv, viral, JerryNA

    messaging on the part of the Democrats. In that regard, Chuck Todd was completely correct in that Democrats have been feckless or absent in the marketing side of the ACA.

    As an example - I was watching Morning Joe today which was mostly focused on the Cruz fake filibuster, but there was some side comments about how "America doesn't like Obamacare".

    Sitting right there was was Rep. Elijah Cummings. So I sat there thinking "Speak up, Rep. Cummings! Say something good about Obamacare and some of the positives." Nope,  he said nothing UNTIL the conversation turned to how Vitter had wanted to back a Senate add-on that voided the Congress from exempting their own staffers, which I agree is the absolute height of hypocrisy. Rep. Cummings said he would never go for that out of "concern for the staffer" !!!!!

    So, the only thing he actually said regarding the ACA is that he would be concerned if his own staffers that were not Federal employees would have to use it. Thanks for the ringing endorsement of the ACA, Rep. Cummings!

    And we wonder why we are losing the messaging war?

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 07:50:05 AM PDT

    •  Vitter Wants to Screw Over Federal Employees (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kevskos, myboo

      . . . you can't be too surprised by that.  If Vitter is behind it, you can be sure it's detrimental.


      All other people in this country are permitted to participate in the medical plans offered by their employers.  Congress took that option away from a few Federal employees - those who work for Congress.  

      That small group of people was singled out by Congress in the ACA.  No-one else in the country is targeted like that.

      Vitter wants to keep that.

      Cummings is concerned because his staffers ARE federal employees and ARE prevented from receiving the same benefit other Federal employees receive. (none of Cummings' staffers are anything but Federal employees - you have that quite messed up).

      So, these few Federal employees have been kicked off their employer-provided insurance and the employer's contribution has been taken away.  They can go to the exchanges, but they - again because they have been singled out by Congress - are not permitted to get the employer contribution that all other Federal employees receive.

      A fix was developed:  HHS will permit these few persons who had been specifically targeted to

      1.  be part of the exchanges and
      2.  to receive the employer-provided contribution that all other Federal employees receive.  They will not lose that part of their benefit package.  Vitter wants them to lose that benefit.

      The lesson:  If, upon hearing a Republican talking point, you think that it actually makes sense, call a friend and get set straight.

      You're welcome.

      P.S.  Seems to me Cummings was prepared to counter the Repug Disinfo of the Day.  He did an okay job at that, IMO.  But Claire McCaskill did an even better job earlier in the program.

      •  I had to go out and read further (0+ / 0-)

        and found this:

        Congress Exempt From Obamacare! Or Something! which is by Jonathan Chait in New York Magazine and which does a pretty good job of explaining the whole snafu.

        I still think Rep. Cummings did a lousy job, since he could have explained what the actual issue was, instead of leaving the impression that I and I am sure others got, that Obamacare was to be avoided at all costs if you had any say in the matter.

        I did miss Claire McCaskill earlier, but it's good to know that she did a good job. I'll look for the clip.

        “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

        by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 09:24:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't see how HHS has the power to make this (0+ / 0-)


        This can be fixed by either changing the law to allow HHS to do what they are doing, or increasing the cash pay of Congressional employees.

        The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

        by nextstep on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 09:52:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  adjunct instructors (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    One of my jobs is adjunct instructor at a rural community college. They cut our hours this semester explicitly to avoid mandates within the ACA.

    Most instructors at my college taught 12 hours (1 less class than their professor peers) and also worked 20 hours as a tutor. The new rule forbids adjuncts from working as tutors, and cuts the maximum allowed teaching hours to 9. Furthermore, most adjuncts here worked at other colleges as well- that will no longer be allowed.

    The memo about the change explained that the determination of whether we were full time employees or not would now count unpaid but mandatory class-prep/grading time, as well as other positions for the same college, and other teaching work at any other college. As such, they needed to cut our hours to avoid a full-time designation. Of course they hired another layer of administration to make sure their teachers were in compliance.

    Of course, this makes a barely tolerable/affordable position impossible.

    Much of the shift to part-time work might be systemic, but adjunct teachers are absolutely being affected negatively by reaction to the ACA.

    •  I would suggest the adjunct (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bob152, JerryNA

      professors strike or quit to find better employers. They effectively said you're piece workers with no benefits and they forbid you from supplementing at other colleges?!

      I don't see that you have any other option except to tell them to get stuffed and write a bunch of letters to both the college newspaper and the local newspaper and embarrass the freaking hell out of them.

      Your students should also stand up for you. I would be ashamed to attend a college like that.

      “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

      by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 08:40:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  They should just fix this. (0+ / 0-)

    The Employer Mandate should apply to ALL workers in other words each employee receiving a W2 or 1099 the Emloyer Mandate should apply to regardless of hours worked.

    This part time thing just gives Corporations loopholes and you'd think by year 2010 the Democrats would have had their experience construction a fair law without loopholes.

    Also the Employer Penalty should at least be greater than or equal to the cost of providing healthcare per employee.

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