It’s hard to believe things could get worse for President Obama and his “signature” health care legislation tragically called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Yet, ever since it’s inception, Obamacare (ACA’s more common name) has succeeded only in disappointing those it sought to help most, and embarrass it’s namesake through a continuous cycle of failures and unintended consequences.
Oh, and not to mention being one of the most consistently unpopular pieces of public policy ever forced onto the American people, as depicted in this RealClearPolitics poll average:
Now one of the nations largest employers, and one of the few who had a practice of offering health insurance to it’s part time employees before Obamacare was even a concept, announced plans to drop these benefits.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to eliminate health insurance coverage for some of its part-time U.S. employees in a move aimed at controlling rising health care costs of the nation’s largest private employer.
Wal-Mart told The Associated Press that starting Jan. 1, it will no longer offer health insurance to employees who work less than an average of 30 hours a week. The move affects 30,000 employees, or about 5 percent of Wal-Mart’s total part-time workforce, but comes after the company already had scaled back the number of part-time workers who were eligible for health insurance coverage since 2011
For an act that was intended to make health care more affordable and available (especially for those on the lower end of the income scale), it appears to be having the opposite effect. Companies such as WalMart are having to cut back on coverage to part time employees (following suit with other big box stores such as Target and Home Depot), and 42 changes have been enacted as of July 2014 to an act originally passed in 2010 to spread out the pain of Obamacare’s implementation (oh, and to reduce the effect of this law to Democrats running in the November mid-term elections).
Lets also not forget the incredibly clunky and downright embarrassing rollout of many of the laws supposed benefits last year, to include the healthcare.gov website fiasco.
One of the biggest delays has been the employer mandate, which has only postponed the pain we will all feel in higher prices at the cash register and lower hours for many employees. These will not be acts of greed, but of survival for the private sector (who has to, you know, generate their own revenue to exist instead of take it like the government does). Many will experience the ultimate cut of hours by simply being let go shortly after this delay expires. This won’t be the WalMart’s of the world either; it will be the small businesses which employ a vast number of people in this country. ACA, while well meaning, has simply created an environment where small businesses will keep their employee counts low as well as slash hours and benefits for those who remain. This will result in more people out of work, and more people enrolling in public exchanges (which will simply increase the financial burden on all taxpayers).
Was ACA a neat idea with the best of intentions? Perhaps, but it is also simply an unworkable one. It’s unpopularity after being on the books for four years has shown that people have seen what’s in it, and they are not liking what they see… and what they are feeling in fewer benefits and increased costs. Unfortunately, even if the Senate majority switches in November, it will be a difficult task to repeal this legislation in the near term when you have a President in office whose ego blinds him to the obvious need to start all over again on this initiative.