Please read my post about “Pinned – for now” first.
Andrew Johnson of National Review has has found “100 Unintended Consequences of Obamacare.”
Let’s see how many we can squeeze into this post – we may have to use more than one page.
Here we go:
1. IBM Earlier this month, the computer giant, once famed for its paternalism, announced it would remove 110,000 of its Medicare-eligible retirees from the company’s health insurance and give them subsidies to purchase coverage through the Obamacare exchanges. Retirees fear that they will not get the level of coverage they are used to, and that the options will be bewildering.
2. Delta Air Lines In a letter to employees, Delta Air Lines revealed that the company’s health-care costs will rise about $100 million next year alone, in large part because of Obamacare. The airline said that in addition to several other changes, it would have to drop its specially crafted insurance plans for pilots because the “Cadillac tax” on luxurious health plans has made them too expensive.
3. UPS Fifteen thousand employees’ spouses will no longer be able to use UPS’s health-care plan because they have access to coverage elsewhere. The “costs associated with the Affordable Care Act have made it increasingly difficult to continue providing the same level of health care benefits to our employees at an affordable cost,” the delivery giant said in a company memo. The move is expected to save the company $60 million next year.
4. Caterpillar Inc. In the law’s first year, the machinery manufacturer estimated before its passage, Obamacare would add more than $100 million in health-care costs. “We can ill afford cost increases that place us at a disadvantage versus our global competitors,” a Caterpillar executive wrote lawmakers, saying that the law would not meet the goal of providing good, inexpensive health care for all Americans.
5. SeaWorld SeaWorld used to let part-time employees work up to 32 hours per week, but the company is dropping the limit to 28 hours to keep them under the 30-hour threshold at which it would be required to provide health insurance under Obamacare. More than 80 percent of the company’s thousands of employees are part-time and/or seasonal.
6. Stryker Corp. Stryker Corp., a Michigan medical-device manufacturer, laid off about 1,000 employees earlier this year due to the Affordable Care Act’s 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices. The company estimated that the tax would cost it approximately $100 million next year. “Stryker remains significantly concerned with the upcoming medical device excise tax and its negative impact on jobs and innovation and will continue to work with Congress to try to repeal the tax,” said the company’s CEO.
7. Welch Allyn The manufacturer announced that it will have to cut approximately 10 percent of its 2,750 employees, 275 in all, because of the medical-device tax. The company also plans to consolidate manufacturing centers, moving some operations from Beaverton, Ore., to its facility in Skaneateles Falls, N.Y.
8. Smith & Nephew The British company informed nearly 100 employees at its Massachusetts and Tennessee facilities that they would be laid off “in order to absorb [the] cost burden” of the tax on medical devices.
9. Cleveland Clinic, Ohio One of the world’s best-known hospitals announced in September that it would slash jobs and up to 6 percent of its annual $6 billion budget in anticipation of costs associated with Obamacare’s implementation. A spokeswoman for the clinic announced that approximately $330 million would be cut, but she did not say how many of the 44,000 employees the clinic would let go. The Cleveland Clinic is Cleveland’s largest employer and the second-largest employer in Ohio.
10. Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, North Carolina Last November, the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, in Winston-Salem, announced that 950 full-time-equivalent positions would have to be eliminated in order to make up costs from the health-care law.
11. Orlando Health, Florida In that same month, the Orlando Health hospital system announced the biggest staff reduction in its almost century-long history, as part of a “broader effort” to manage the effects of Obamacare, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Orlando Health will cut as many as 400 jobs across the system, in areas ranging from administrative departments to children’s hospitals.
12. Louisiana State University Hospitals In the same article, the Sentinel noted that LSU hospitals would cut nearly 1,495 positions in order to save $150 million, apparently because of expected reductions in Medicare and Medicaid payments.
13. Delaware Hospice Due to new interpretations of the rules for reimbursing for hospice services, Delaware Hospice, the Ocean State’s only not-for-profit hospice provider, had to let 52 employees go earlier this year. “It’s really health-care reform in action,” a spokeswoman said. “This is affecting hospices across the country. We’re working through dramatic changes in terms of the hospice-care benefits.”
14. Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, Connecticut The New London hospital announced earlier this month that Medicare cuts programmed into Obamacare had led to the firing of 33 employees. “L+M and other hospitals are contending with massive structural changes that are happening very rapidly,” the hospital’s president and CEO said.
15. Clifton Springs Hospital, New York Fifty-eight non-clinical employees were let go from Clifton Springs Hospital in Rochester as the hospital prepared for the changes spurred by the Affordable Care Act. “No one really knows what the impact will be because it really is a very new way for reimbursing for health care,” the hospital’s CEO told a local news station. “So I think everyone is trying to prepare for a change, and a change with less revenue.”
16. Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, New Hampshire The state’s only insurer approved to offer plans on the health-insurance exchanges in New Hampshire has cut the number of hospitals that will participate in the plan from 26 to 14 in order to reach “affordable premium levels,” according to the New Hampshire Union Leader.
17. Mexican American Opportunity Foundation, California The nonprofit, which looks after 1,100 pre-K children at its eight Southern California child-care centers, has had to reduce the hours of dozens of employees who used to work 30 to 40 hours per week. “We’re fearful it’s going to be hard to negotiate health care in any contract,” one local labor leader said. “Overall [Obamacare] is a positive step, but on a micro level it’s not all roses.”
18. Carnegie Museum, Pennsylvania A Pittsburgh news station reports that the Carnegie Museum “reluctantly” scaled back the hours of 48 of its 600 part-time employees to less than 30 hours a week to sidestep the mandate to provide health-care coverage.
19. Fort Smith Area Agency on Aging, Arkansas The nonprofit revealed that all of its health aides and drivers will work a maximum of 28 hours a week, and that the plan it would offer to its remaining full-time employees would be “bare bones.” To make up for additional Obamacare costs, the organization is asking employees to take steps to save money, such as changing vehicle oil after 5,000 miles rather than 3,000.
20. Emory Healthcare, Georgia A news station in Atlanta reports that Emory Healthcare, the state’s largest health-care system, will lay off more than 100 employees, in part because of Obamacare.
21. CoverTN, Tennessee Thousands of Tennesseans will lose their coverage under the state’s health-insurance program because it does not meet Affordable Care Act standards for yearly expenditure caps. CoverTN, which was used mainly by small businesses, had a $25,000 yearly benefits limit. “It was all I had,” one Nashville small-business owner said.
State and Local Governments
22. State of Virginia In February the General Assembly affirmed Governor Bob McDonnell’s decision to limit the state’s part-time employees to 29 hours per week.
23. Township of Middletown, New Jersey Middletown has also cut the hours of 25 part-time public employees. “Any of those expenses [for insurance] are going to be passed along to the taxpayers, and so in order to avoid having to do that, we chose to modify the work hours,” said the township’s administrator.
24. Brevard County, Florida Brevard County’s insurance director told a local television station that the county’s 300-plus part-time employees will be “capped at something less than 30” hours to save the county about $10,000 per employee in health insurance.
25. Township of Berkeley, New Jersey The Sandy-hit Jersey Shore town said it will “take a hard line” in union negotiations in limiting part-time employees’ hours, because additional health-care costs “are out of the question.” “If it came down to shaving hours to save substantial dollars, that’s something that would have to be considered,” the township administrator said.
26. Chesterfield County, Virginia An administrator with this southern Virginia county told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that “several hundred” part-time employees could have their hours cut back to 28. Most of the employees affected would be from the Department of Mental Health Support Services.
27. City of Lynchburg, Virginia About 40 percent of the city’s part-time work force saw cuts to their weekly hours to ensure that their totals come in below the 30-hour threshold, according to the local News & Advance. The city’s human-resources director said some departments do not have the financial resources to add employees or raise wages to make up for the lost work time.
28. City of Mason, Ohio Cut hours for 200 part-time workers or take a $3.4 million hit: That was the decision the southwestern Ohio city faced when it started weighing Obamacare’s impact. It opted for the former. Part-timers had regularly worked more than 30 hours, but the city manager told the JournalNews that their weekly workload has been reduced to 20 hours.
29. Township of Toms River, New Jersey Government workers in Toms River pushing the 30-hour threshold will be bumped down to “below 25” to ensure that they are considered part-time employees, according to the Asbury Park Press. “I think this was not very well thought out,” the township’s business manager said of the Affordable Care Act. “There was this fallacy that the law provisions didn’t apply to municipal government. It sure does.”
30. Lee County, Iowa Lee County “could be out a lot of money,” a local newspaper reported a supervisor saying, if the county doesn’t stick to its new policy of holding part-time workers to 28 hours.
31. City of Faribault, Minnesota Employees working 30 to 38 hours per week with the Minnesota city will be bumped down to part-time status to avoid penalties and costs associated with the mandate.
32. Kansas Turnpike Authority Three eight-hour shifts per week: That’s the new maximum schedule for part-time toll collectors in Kansas. While the state’s turnpike authority previously had part-time employees who worked more than 30 hours a week, a new policy will limit them to the new schedule.
33. University of Virginia Because of an additional $7.3 million in health-care costs next year, the University of Virginia alerted some of its employees that it will no longer offer health insurance to their spouses.
34. Community College of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania The Pittsburgh-area community college informed about 400 part-time employees that they would see a reduction in their hours starting in January of this year to comply with Obamacare regulations. The school had to make this change a year before the law went into effect because Obamacare stipulates that the federal government must look back one year to determine an employee’s status.
35. St. Petersburg College, Florida To avoid paying an additional $777,000 per year, St. Petersburg College told 250 adjunct professors that their hours would be cut back for upcoming terms. “I never thought it would impact me directly,” a math teacher told NBC News Investigations. “I was stunned when I got the email. . . . I love teaching at St. Pete College, but that is a significant cut.”
36. Hillsborough Community College, Florida Hillsborough Community College may have to cut the hours of nearly 10 percent of its part-time work force, according to the Tampa Tribune. By keeping those employees under 30 hours per week, the college can avoid an additional $863,500 in total costs for health plans.
37. Hamilton Township School District, New Jersey Substitute teachers will see their time in the classroom limited to four workdays per week, the cap set in place in June by the school district . The “strict limits” went into effect at the beginning of this school year. According to a report by the Trenton Times, other nearby districts also could consider similar provisions.
38. Purdue University, Indiana Despite “pretty radical changes” to the university’s health-care plans for its roughly 27,000 employees, Purdue University still won’t be able to skirt $2.8 million in additional costs brought on by the Affordable Care Act.
39. Oneida Special School District, Tennessee Most of the non-certified personnel in the Oneida Special School District, such as teacher assistants, janitors, and cafeteria workers, will not be allowed to work more than 29 hours a week.
40. Central Michigan University Some of the 5,700 students hired as employees by Central Michigan University will be barred from working more than 25 hours a week. While students have said the new limits “will sting a little bit” and make it “increasingly harder” to pay for various expenses, CMU’s human-resources vice president told a local news station that the move would “align us with other schools” making similar adjustments. Without the limits, CMU would have to pay as much as a $5 million penalty for not offering student workers health-care coverage.
41. University of North Alabama Graduate-student workers at this school in Florence, Ala., will be barred from working more than 29 hours a week.
42. Arizona State University Associate faculty members will be limited to teaching six credit hours, or two classes, per semester as part of an effort to more clearly define full-time versus part-time faculty, according to the Arizona Republic. “It’s like getting a punch in the stomach,” said one religious-studies teacher. “For some people it’s a major financial setback.”
43. Ivy Tech Community College, Indiana Ivy Tech Community College, where 60 percent of the professors work part-time, will limit its part-time professors to less than 30 hours per week.
44. Maricopa Community Colleges, Arizona The Phoenix community-college system notified almost 700 adjunct professors and 600 other part-time workers of a new policy that will prevent them from working more than 30 hours a week. An adjunct professor said the changes would affect his personal finances, and he warned that “this is going to come back to bite us” because instructors won’t be able to fill in for one another due to the cap on hours.
45. Granite School District, Utah Facing at least $14 million in additional health-care costs, the Salt Lake City–area school district, which operates 92 schools, reduced the hours of as many as 1,200 part-time workers. In a letter, the district warned that employees who violate the 29-hour limit for part-time work could be terminated.
46. Alpine School District, Utah “I would have to look for another job, or we would lose our house,” a school-bus driver told Provo’s Daily Herald after the school district said hourly employees could no longer work more than 27.5 hours per week. “If they cut our hours to 27, we will be up the creek,” another driver said.
47. Fort Wayne Community Schools, Indiana In May, 610 part-time teaching aides and cafeteria workers were informed by the Fort Wayne Community Schools that their hours would be cut to keep FWCS from having to provide health insurance to those employees. “It’s something that almost all employers with part-time employees are trying to resolve,” a district administrator said.
48. Papillion–La Vista School District, Nebraska The Affordable Care Act would have added $2.5 million in new health-care costs — or $3.4 million in penalties — to the Papillion–La Vista school district if 281 part-time employees’ hours had not been limited to fewer than 30 a week.
49. University of Akron, Ohio Already facing a budget deficit, the University of Akron will ask 230 of its part-time faculty members to accept a cut to their work hours to avoid having to provide health insurance.
50. Youngstown State University, Ohio The university warned part-time faculty members that they will be fired if they surpass the new 29-hour-per-week restriction. “If you exceed the maximum hours, YSU will not employ you the following year,” the school said in an e-mail. “We will have no recourse.”
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