Wait–Did Hillary Just Say Obamacare Hurts Workers?

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Dec 23, 2015 11:10 AM
Wait–Did Hillary Just Say Obamacare Hurts Workers?

The war room at the Republican National Committee found this interesting exchange between Hillary Clinton and a voter at a campaign event in Iowa City on December 16, where the former first lady seems to admit that Obamacare is partially to blame for creating scores of part-time employees. In other words, President Obama’s signature domestic achievement is hurting businesses and workers.

QUESTIONER: “Hi, I just want to know why there is discrimination against the part-time workers when so many companies are going to part-time when it comes to FMLA [Family and Medical Leave Act]?”

HILLARY CLINTON: “Well, that’s why they are going to part-time. That, and also, the Affordable Care Act. You know, we got to change that because we have built in some unfortunate incentives that discourage full-time employment. A lot of employers believe if you don’t work 40-hours a week you don’t get benefits and that includes; you don’t get health care benefits; that might include you’re not eligible for the family medical leave; you’re not eligible for paid sick days. So, there is a disincentive in our system that we need to deal with and I really worry about it because there is trend to try and move more and more people into part-time work; and how many of you are part-time workers? And sometimes you want to work part-time, it fits into your family, it fits into your life obligations but sometimes you want to work full-time but you can’t get a full-time job. So, I want to look at all the employment rules.

Yes, Hillary Clinton may be open to repealing the medical devices tax that the Obama White House vociferously opposed–though it was delayed for two years with the recent $1.1 trillion budget agreement–but added that she feels the new health care law has helped “families avoid bankruptcy.” The RNC aptly noted that Mrs. Clinton supported an employer-based health care mandate for businesses that employ more than 25 workers back when she ran against then-Sen. Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary. It’s these mandates that are corroding the gears of the massive machine we call the U.S. economy (via NYT):

When LaRonda Hunter opened a Fantastic Sams hair salon 10 years ago in Saginaw, Tex., a suburb of Fort Worth, she envisioned it as the first of what would eventually be a small regional collection of salons. As her sales grew, so did her business, which now encompasses four locations — but her plans for a fifth salon are frozen, perhaps permanently.

Starting in January, the Affordable Care Act requires businesses with 50 or more full-time-equivalent employees to offer workers health insurance or face penalties that can exceed $2,000 per employee. Ms. Hunter, who has 45 employees, is determined not to cross that threshold. Paying for health insurance would wipe out her company’s profit and the five-figure salary she pays herself from it, she said.

“The margins are not big enough within our industry to support it,” she said. “It’s not that I don’t want to — I love my employees, and I want to do everything I can for them — but the numbers just don’t work.”

Guy has also mentioned how Obamacare has been a serial failure since Healthcare.gov started taking applications back in 2013. Sticker shock from the plans has hit many Americans, along with drastic premium hikes for those plans as we enter 2016. Moreover, the left has lost the narrative on health care, though the media fails to point this out.

While covering more people is certainly a goal, the real selling point during the 2009-2010 debate over this law, besides that brief bout of congressional wrangling over whether the bill funds abortion, dealt with controlling costs–not increasing coverage. The talking point of not going bankrupt if you get sick was the main selling point, as evidenced by the president’s remarks back in May of 2009.

Hello, everyone. All right. Well, I just concluded a extraordinarily productive meeting with organizations and associations that are going to be essential to the work of health care reform in this country -- groups that represent everyone from union members to insurance companies, from doctors and hospitals to pharmaceutical companies. It was a meeting that focused largely on one of the central challenges that we must confront as we seek to achieve comprehensive reform and lay a new foundation for our economy -- and that is, the spiraling cost of health care in this country.

They're here because they recognize one clear, indisputable fact: When it comes to health care spending, we are on an unsustainable course that threatens the financial stability of families, businesses and government itself.

This is not news to the American people, who, over the last decade, have seen their out-of-pocket expenses soar, health care costs rise, and premiums double at a rate four times faster than their wages.

Today, half of all personal bankruptcies stem from medical expenses. And too many Americans are skipping that check-up they know they should get, or going without that prescription that would make them feel better, or finding some other way to scrimp and save on their health care expenses.

Why wasn't coverage as prominent in this push? Because the vast majority of Americans had health insurance. After years of Bush-era spending, the Obama administration decided to portray themselves as deficit-reducing warriors, which turned out to be a very short ride. Most importantly, one of Obamacare’s architect’s, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel’s brother, pretty much said the law is failing to control costs. Earlier this month, United Healthcare, Obamacare’s largest provider, had their CEO admit that they shouldn’t have entered Obamacare’s new individual markets so quickly since it’s cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars.

Obamacare is not working, and Clinton seems to admit that, or at least when it comes to American workers.