The Wall Street Journal shows us that the price of “affordable” health care is a reduced standard of living:
The Affordable Care Act requires large employers to offer a minimum level of health insurance to employees who work 30 hours a week or more starting in 2014, or face a penalty. The mandate is a particular challenge for colleges and universities, which increasingly rely on adjuncts to help keep costs down as states have scaled back funding for higher education.
A handful of schools, including Community College of Allegheny County in Pennsylvania and Youngstown State University in Ohio, have curbed the number of classes that adjuncts can teach in the current spring semester to limit the schools’ exposure to the health-insurance requirement.
The scaled back hours and pay for adjunct professors is part of a larger trend in a wide variety of industries. Faced with lower thresholds that require new benefits, employers from universities to fast food restaurants face three options: pay-up, pay-out, or tap-out. In other words, they can increase their health care spending, be fined for not increasing such spending, or cap the hours and pay of otherwise eligible workers to avoid the spending and the fines.
Unfortunately for workers, capping hours and pay reduces their standard of living. But don’t worry. In 2014, Obamacare mandates that every state will have a fully functioning health insurance exchange where newly impoverished workers can get “affordable” health care – some even with government (i.e. taxpayer) subsidies – so it’s a safe bet that all will be well when the feds are in charge of at least 25 separate state programs. Right…