Destroying the 40-hour-work week and business expansion – it is only the beginning of Obamacare’s ruinous effects on employees and employers. Add this year’s soaring healthcare costs and new taxes, which force companies to downsize even more, and you have a job market that makes finding employment as scarce as getting affordable coverage. That doesn’t provide much hope for James, a software engineer from Texas who is unemployed.
“I recently completed an MBA with a student loan I am faithfully paying back. But nonetheless, I have not found a job, and while I am willing to work for minimum wage doing almost anything, those jobs too have become scarce,” he explained.
In order to survive financially, James had to become creative in generating income.
“I went out and mowed lawns – at times it was all I could find, but it was something. You think a software engineer with two master’s degrees, a bachelor’s degree and years of experience, and all I can do is mow lawns. Come on,” exclaimed James.
Yet, in a hobbled economy, sometimes it’s all you can do, especially when laws like Obamacare hinder potential growth. In October, the Federal Reserve Beige Book revealed just how much the new healthcare law is having an effect on jobs.
“The Beige Book “summarizes comments [the Fed] received from business and other contacts” in each of the 12 Federal Reserve Districts. The October 16 Beige Book mentions the Affordable Care Act and its regulations 10 times—and each time, the districts report it has hurt employers, increased costs, and/or depressed hiring. Look at what businesses are reporting about the Affordable Care Act…
Atlanta Fed. “Employers continued to report hiring hesitancy related to changes in healthcare regulation and fiscal policy uncertainty…”
Richmond Fed. “Many contacts also commented on reluctance to expand due to uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act; some employers cut hours or employees.”
“I see the effect of Obamacare as a 2-edged sword: First, if I can find a job at all, it’s going to be a part-time gig because of the need companies and firms have to cut back on employee hours. Second, even though I am barely making it with what little odd jobs I can find, I still have to carve out a way to pay for a mandatory insurance policy,” stated James.
Through the generosity of family members, James did purchase a cheap, reasonable plan for $230 a month; however, in order to keep the plan beyond 2014, he will have to pay triple that amount.
“I got a letter about a month ago from Humana, giving me an option – in order to comply with Obamacare, I would have to start paying the new rate, which is approximately $700, or I could keep the plan for now, but in November, I would have to comply and pay the $700,” he said.
When asked what he will do, James commented, “The way I see it: for the most expensive procedures that I would need, I can private pay for a lot cheaper than $700 a month.”
Like many who are searching for alternatives, James mentioned he will take a serious look at the medical cost-sharing programs available, especially since his new premium will not be financially feasible.
For a person who has seen his share of hardship, James has remained grounded, attributing his faith and his family’s continual support as a source of strength. He hopes this egregious law is repealed, noting ”Obamacare is keeping me unemployed and threatens to put me ever deeper in debt!”