The latest ObamaCare casualty: Wegmans grocery employees
At least they aren’t losing their jobs, like so many others in this ObamaCare-ravaged job market, but it looks like the part-time employees of Wegmans grocery stores will be losing their previously excellent health care, per U.S. News & World Report:
Several Wegmans employees say the grocery chain is cutting health insurance benefits for its part-time employees, as a result of provisions in the Affordable Care Act.
Wegmans has previously been applauded for its health benefits, and has consistently made the list of Fortune magazine’s list of the top companies to work for. Wegmans has been praised for voluntarily offering health insurance to part-time employees, The Buffalo News reported. By law, an employer is obligated to offer health insurance only to full-time employees who work 30 or more hours each week, or 130 hours each month.
Many Wegmans employees said the change in eligibility requirements was related to the Affordable Care Act, a controversial 2010 healthcare overhaul dubbed “Obamacare” that requires employers to provide “affordable” health insurance if they have more than 50 full-time workers. If they don’t they could facethousands of dollars in hefty penalty fees, though the implementation of this provision was recently postponed until the end of 2015.
“If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away, no matter what.” – Barack Obama, July 2009.
“As a private company, we don’t share specifics of our employee benefits programs,” the company said in a statement, according to The Buffalo News. “It’s a given that health care reform will result in some changes to our benefits program, but it will not change our commitment to meeting the needs of our employees.”
But part-time employees may benefit from the change because they are not eligible for health care insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act if they receive insurance from their employers, The Buffalo News reported.
Brian Murphy, a partner at an insurance brokerage firm in Buffalo, told The Buffalo News that subsidized health insurance can have a lower out-of-pocket cost for the employee.
“It’s a win-win. The employee gets subsidized coverage, and the employer gets to lower costs,” Murphy told The Buffalo News.
Oh, yeah, it’s got “win” written all over it. Unicorns will gallop across the sky and rain subsidies down upon the employees, so they have enough money to buy Obama’s lousy overpriced insurance. And let’s remember that the unicorns will be distributing their subsidies on the honor system, because Obama disabled the fraud protections, so he can pretend the notorious public exchanges will be kinda sorta working on their launch date. That shouldn’t be a problem, because gigantic welfare programs are never saddled with insane levels of fraud, are they?
As for the people who are losing their jobs due to ObamaCare, well…
Because part-time employees’ hours are included in the calculation of full-time equivalents, some companies may also cut part-time hours or increase their hiring of temporary employees as a way to evade the benefit payments.
Wal-Mart, for example, increased its number of temporary staff to 10 percent of its employees this year, according to a recent Reuters survey of 52 Wal-Mart stores. Previously, temporary staff at Wal-Mart accounted for 1 percent to 2 percent.
But Wal-Mart spokesman David Tovar said the increase in temporary workers is a way for the company to ensure it is “staffed appropriately” during busy nights and weekends, without having to hire full-time workers, Reuters reported.
A tenfold increase in the use of temporary employees? Sounds great. Enjoy your ObamaCare, folks. Oh, and a little reminder to those Wegmans employees and Wal-Mart temps: His Majesty has not decided to use his autocratic powers to postpone the individual mandate, so while your employer has been given a reprieve, you will still be fined… er, taxed… no, wait, fined… if you fail to buy government-approved health insurance.
Interesting how every new ObamaCare story features more people tumbling into those public exchanges, isn’t it? The singularity grows steadily towards collapse.