Millennials: Clear Obamacare Train Wreck from our Tracks

  • Distressed young adult green shirt

What a difference four years can make. The enthusiasm among the youth that carried the President to victory is now waning as millennials learn what “hope and change” really means. While some attribute this fading fervor to their lack of loyalty to organized institutions like political parties, it seems the President’s policies, particularly Obamacare, aren’t helping foster the once close ties.

Many students, who have relied on part-time university jobs to pay for college, are now seeing their hours dramatically cut due the healthcare law’s new “full-time” definition. Ashley – a student at a university in Texas – is one of them.

“I’ve been at my job for a year and a half now. I make $7.25 an hour,” stated Ashley, who works in the college’s criminal justice department. “Before [Obamacare], it was really good because we were allowed to work up to 39 hours. I would typically work 27 hours a week, having 50-something hours per paycheck. Then Obamacare came, and the university said you’re not allowed to work over 20 hours a week.”

Even though this was not welcoming news, Ashley thought she would be able to manage under the new work stipulation. What she didn’t anticipate was how restrictive it would be.

“Before when I missed a day of work due to a school function, I could make it up by working an extra event [the following week]. Now, I can’t make up those hours. It is strictly 20 hours a week. If I miss a day, I lose those hours, and I really take a hit,” she explained.

The university has hired more students to distribute the workload, ensuring no one goes over the 20-hour threshold. Ashley is now forced to compete for hours. “With classes and office hours, I don’t have very many options to reach my full 20 hours, because times don’t correlate. There are also two other students who work there. So, I now get about 16-18 hours a week.”

Less hours, less money, less economic freedom for Ashley – all because of Obamacare.

“This last time I got paid it was around $230. My half of the rent was due, which was $200. I also had to pay dues for the sorority I’m a part of, which was another $125. I ran out of money. I called my mom and said, ‘I hate to ask you, but I don’t have any money for food.’ My mom had to buy my groceries until I got paid again,” she shared. “I feel so much more restricted now, because I can’t make up hours when I miss, I can’t fluctuate my time with classes. It puts a strain on all the students. My best friend has the same job as me. She is now working two jobs to make ends meet.”

While Ashley is very grateful for her parents’ assistance, she is frustrated that she now has to rely on them financially.

“I’m 21 years old, and I don’t like being supported by my parents. I love them to death, and I’m so thankful for everything that they do for me, but they are struggling too. It’s not their job,” said Ashley.

Opportunities for younger people to thrive, grow and gain more freedom are being stymied by a law that’s forcing them to purchase unaffordable insurance.

“For me and my friends who are going through this, it is very frustrating,” she noted.

While a defunct economy, yielding little opportunity for future generations, has dampened the outlook, there’s still hope. It’s not found in a president’s empty cliché, but in students like Ashley, who desire to pursue the American dream.

Washington needs to clear the train wreck of Obamacare out of their way.


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