Quote-of-the-day mailing list
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: qotd: Fox News: Obamacare takes food off the table
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2013 10:58:06 -0700
From: Don McCanne <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Quote-of-the-Day <email@example.com>
April 15, 2013
Nation's biggest movie theater chain cuts workweek, blaming ObamaCare
By Perry Chiaramonte
The nation's largest movie theater chain has cut the hours of thousands
of employees, saying in a company memo that ObamaCare requirements are
Regal Entertainment Group, which operates more than 500 theaters in 38
states, last month rolled back shifts for non-salaried workers to 30
hours per week, putting them under the threshold at which employers are
required to provide health insurance. The Nashville-based company said
in a letter to managers that the move was a direct result of ObamaCare.
One Regal theater manager told FoxNews.com the move has sparked a wave
of resignations from full-time managers who have seen their hours cut by
25 percent or more.
The manager told FoxNews.com ObamaCare has had the unintended
consequence of taking food off his table.
"Mandating businesses to offer health care under threat of debilitating
fines does not fix a problem, it creates one," he said. "It fosters a
new business culture where 30 hours is now considered the maximum in
order to avoid paying the high costs associated with this law.
Regal, which operates cinemas under the names Regal Cinemas, Edwards
Theatres and United Artists Theaters and recently purchased Oregon-based
Hollywood Theaters for $191 million, did not respond to repeated
requests for comment from FoxNews.com. The publicly-traded company's
stock has risen nearly 30 percent over the last year.
Comment: It is no surprise that Fox News would frame the 30 hour work
week requirement under the Affordable Care Act as "ObamaCare has had the
unintended consequence of taking food off (the) table."
Regal Entertainment Group is only one of many employers who have decided
to limit part time workers to 30 hours to avoid the requirement of
providing them with health insurance. That does create financial
hardships for lower-income employees. They must either find more part
time work, in which case they still wouldn't be eligible for
employer-sponsored health plans, or they must find a new, full-time job
at a time in which unemployment rates are quite high.
Fox's framing indicates that the problem is the requirement in
"ObamaCare" for larger employers to provide health insurance for their
employees, or face a penalty for not doing so. Fox is right when you
consider that legislation designed to expand health care coverage
instead has the result of causing low-income workers to lose one-fourth
of their work week hours, and still remain uninsured. But is this really
the prime issue?
The problem that needs to be framed properly is the tens of millions in
our nation who have no insurance. How do we cover those people?
Obviously a single payer national health program financed equitably
through progressive taxes would solve the problem, without taking food
off of anyone's table.
Instead, if we look only at the coverage provisions of the Affordable
Care Act, we see an administratively complex, wasteful, fragmented
system of a multitude of varying eligibilities and coverage requirements
that can never ensure that everyone has stable coverage indefinitely. In
fact, it is estimated that after the provisions are in full force, there
will still be 30 million people without any coverage at all (CBO). What
is worse, we will be paying much more than we would have if we were
instead to adopt a single payer, improved Medicare for all.
Until we start doing a better job of framing the problems, we are not
going to come up with the right solutions.