The ACA: Washington’s Assault on American Labor

Medical Symbol

Medical Symbol

Obama’s so-called “Affordable Care Act” (BKA Obamacare) is devastating to many working class Americans.  Unfortunately, the unions we pay to represent us, are not speaking up about this since they have become tools of the Democratic Party.  The Democratic Party along with some Republican accomplices have betrayed labor, but labor would rather betray the rank and file then break the chains that keep them beholden to their political masters.

I am one of Obamacare’s victims.  This is my story.  If I am the only victim, then it’s no big deal…. but I have a feeling I have lots of company.  I have never read about this in the mainstream media, but this is the truth.

As a part-time college professor, I have been teaching at two institutions to earn a decent income.  I have been able to use that money to buy my own insurance.  Since the law passed my premiums have increased significantly with no significant new benefits.  But that is the least of my problems.

The ACA requires employers to buy health insurance for any employees who work three-fourths of full time or more.   So many employees are having their hours slashed by employers who don’t wish to face penalties for giving their employees too many (sic)  hours.  Most people would expect this to force employers to restrict their part-time employees to 29 hours per week, since most people think of 40 hours as full-time.  Such an intervention is bad enough, in principle, and a person struggling to make ends meet in the current depression may not be able to afford any loss in income.  Nonetheless, the reality is even more outrageous.

According to the ACA college faculty who teach over 11.5 hours per week are categorized as three-fourths full time.  No, that’s not a typo.  According to bureaucrats, the law says eleven and one half hours are three-fourths full time!  Since my regular course load involved two six hour classes (12 hours total) per week, my hours have been nearly cut in half at one of the places where I teach.  Fortunately, the union local at the other college refused to cave in and I still have all of my hours there.

If I can’t find additional work in the next couple weeks, I may be faced with bankruptcy. Meanwhile I have had to forgo Christmas shopping in preparation for this impending financial crisis.

The rank and file need to stand up and tell their unions to withhold endorsements from any candidates who supported the ACA or any part of it’s implementation.  Workers of the USA unite!  We have plenty to loose.


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2 Responses to “The ACA: Washington’s Assault on American Labor”

  1. Ernie Whiteside Says:

    I am somewhat disappointing by this article because while I am NOT an Obamacare apologist or supporter, I do expect the facts to be reported honestly by those who support or oppose it. As an active member of the Democratic Party, I can authoritatively say from firsthand experience that the labor union exercise influence on the Party and NOT the other way around.

    The Democratic Party is labor friendly because most of its membership is … labor friendly. Isn’t that what you would expect; the Party reflects its membership.

    I have read the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and it defines a full-time job as being 30 hours or more per week.. Apparently, teaching 12 CR requires the professor to work 30 or more hours per week? Representing this as 12 hours is misleading and I regularly say, “If you have to tell a lie to tell the truth, it isn’t the truth.”

    Insurance rates are NOT going up because of Obama care. Cheap “junk insurance” has always been a problem and these policies are no longer available. The rates for comparable so-called quality insurance policies have been going up year-on-year for decades and have NOT risen as much with the implementation of Obamacare as they did prior to Obamacare.

    Probably nothing has been more consistent in recent decades that for employers to avoid fairly compensating their employees. Some employers are reducing employee hours to avoid the fair cost of employment..

    This should have been a foreseeable, if unintended, consequence of the ACA and is just one of the reasons I am NOT an ACA supporter.But shouldn’t you blame your employer for being a terrible employer instead of blaming Obamacare? And if you are going to blame the unions, shouldn’t you focus on the failure of unions to help you secure fair compensation instead of blaming them for supporting Obamacare?

    Just in case you haven’t notice, labor unions are NOT big supporters of Obamacare and never have been. The big insurance companies have been lobbying for this since the Nixon years. It is a subsidy to the insurance industry whose customer base was shrinking with the reduction of working class incomes. It is a vehicle to eliminate or reduce competition in the industry. And it reduces marketing and sales costs for insurance companies.

    You might think that the Republicans opposed this tooth and nail but all they opposed where the provisions that actually required insurance companies to provide insurance in exchange for the big, fat subsidies they are getting.

    Progressive Democrats, National Nurses and many physicians oppose Obamacare because they support healthcare as a human right, much the same way that civilized people in ALL of the developed and many less developed nations of the world do.

    I support principled objections to the ACA but I really get miffed by misleading, uninformed, deceptive and even dishonest arguments.

    • scottyboman Says:

      Ernie Whiteside. I know you are not an Obamacare apologist, but it is you who is misinformed here. I stand by my statements based directly on personal experience. I am not calling you dishonest, so don’t do that to me.

      Perhaps you read all of this:

      But the fact of the matter is, that my employers at two community colleges (Macomb Community College and Wayne County Community College District) and both of the AFT locals I belong to at those institutions agree that the law specifies either 11.5 or 12 hours as being three-fourths full time for community college professors. They claim part of the interpretation is left to the IRS.

      The notion that “Apparently, teaching 12 CR requires the professor to work 30 or more hours per week?” Justifies reducing the income of workers by forcing a cut in hours is ludicrous. We are paid by our contact hours, not “required hours to work.” So the effect is limiting our pay per employer to less then our pay for 12 hours of work, not 30. Furthermore, the idea of cheating part-time professors out of hours based on work required outside class is discriminatory at best.

      If we applied this principle to fast food workers, we would need to count the time needed to wash their uniforms, the need to shower after work (having been a FF employee I always left work smelling like the grease dumpster), the time needed to drive too and from work and so on. Then there is the main point that they are paid for time spent on the clock at the restaurant, not all of the time spent preparing for, or recovering from work. The only rational basis for counting hours is to base them on the hours one is paid for.

      Then there is the matter of rates. You posted, “Insurance rates are NOT going up because of Obama care. Cheap “junk insurance” has always been a problem and these policies are no longer available.” First of all, even at face value your second sentence refutes the first one. When you state, “…and these policies are no longer available.” You beg the question “Why aren’t they available?” and the answer is that the Federal government has used the bludgeon of the threat of force to make them unlawful through the ACA! So insurance rates HAVE gone up as a result of Obamacare and your statement supports this. Simply labeling affordable policies as “junk insurance” and a “problem” doesn’t change this. If you believe people belong to themselves, and not an omnipotent Federal government, then you must let the consumer decide what is or is not junk, and oppose any effort by the Federal government to use the bludgeon of force to take away their choices.

      Speaking of my own policies, I was informed that the rates WERE going up due to ACA, and if the old version was “junk” then its replacement was even junkier. I had a policy with a $5000 deductible that was $155 a month go up to $273 a month. The changes included the removal of my right to chose my own physician and the deductible going up to $6500!

      Of course all of this would be moot if we had Congresspeople who realized their office was limited by the US Constitution, rather than the mob of usurpers we have in there today. Their Constitutional authority simply doesn’t include forcing people to buy things they don’t wan’t and micromanaging health insurance.

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