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Obamacare Causing Cities to Cut Part-Time Workers' Hours

By    |   Thursday, 22 August 2013 10:04 PM

Many cash-strapped cities and counties are cutting the hours of their part-time workers rather than face the possibility of paying huge healthcare costs under Obamacare.

"It’s not something we prefer to do, but the cost of health insurance is significant and would really impact municipal budgets," said Anthony Mercantante, the administrator for Middletown Township, N.J., told The Washington Post .

The township said on Tuesday that it would cut the hours of 25 part-time workers to avoid as much as $775,000 in higher annual healthcare costs, the Post reports.

Editor's Note: ObamaCare Secrets Revealed

Middletown spends about $9 million a year, out of its $65 million budget, on employee health programs, Mercantante said.

"It’s not something we can take on, particularly when we don’t know some of the other ramifications of the Affordable Care Act," he told the Post. "There are far more questions than answers right now."

The decisions to cut employee hours come 16 months before employers, including state and local governments, must offer healthcare coverage to employees who work at least 30 hours a week.

Some local officials told the Post that the cuts were occurring now because of labor contracts that must be negotiated in advance, or because the local governments were worried that employees who worked at least 30 hours in the months leading up to Obamacare's January 2015 implementation date would need to be included in healthcare plans.

Among the other communities taking similar steps, the Post reports, include Bee County, Tex., which has said it would limit its part-time workers to 24 hours a week when its new fiscal year begins on Oct. 1; Brevard County, Fla., where officials were told to plan similar cutbacks before the 2015 deadline; Lynchburg, Va., where hours have been cut for as many as 40 part-time workers; Chesterfield County, just south of Richmond, where officials said earlier this year that the hours of “several hundred” employees would likely be reduced; and Chippewa County, Wis., which will drop 15 part-time workers to save up to $163,000 in annual healthcare costs.

But Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, told the Post that no evidence existed that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was causing employers to add part-time over full-time positions.

“Since the ACA became law, nearly 90 percent of the gain in employment has been in full-time positions," Furman said. "Furthermore, the law is helping make health insurance coverage more affordable, which supports job growth."

Editor's Note: ObamaCare Secrets Revealed

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Many cash-strapped cities and counties are cutting the hours of their part-time workers rather than face the possibility of paying huge healthcare costs under Obamacare. It's not something we prefer to do, but the cost of health insurance is significant and would really...
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2013-04-22
Thursday, 22 August 2013 10:04 PM
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