William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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OBAMACARE COSTS ROILING BUSINESSES – AT 7:42 A.M. ET:   And guess who'll pay the price?  From the Financial Times:

US retailers and restaurants chains that employ millions of low-wage workers are considering cutting working hours or paying fines rather than enrolling employees in health insurance plans under Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare law.

Employers are concerned that the law increases the cost of insuring employees on existing plans, partly by broadening the range of benefits. It also requires companies to insure some employees not previously covered.

David Dillon, chief executive of the Kroger supermarket chain, told the Financial Times that some companies might opt to pay a government-mandated penalty for not providing insurance because it was cheaper than the cost of coverage.

Nigel Travis, head of Dunkin’ Brands, said his doughnut chain was lobbying to change the definition of “full-time” employees eligible for coverage from those working at least 30 hours a week to 40 hours a week.
Some restaurants, including Wendy’s and Taco Bell franchises, have explored slashing worker hours so fewer employees qualify for health insurance, arguing that they cannot afford the additional healthcare costs. Other businesses are deliberately keeping headcounts below 50.

Mr Dillon said Kroger intended to continue covering all full-time employees but maintained that parts of the law were “simply not workable”.

COMMENT:  I guess Nancy Pelosi didn't ask Mr. Dillon's advice before passing Obamacare.  I mean, why ask someone in the real world?

We're seeing reports almost daily of the impact of Obamacare.  Many young people will find sticker shock when they try to enter the system.  People with pre-existing conditions may not find the going that easy when they try to get insurance, despite supposed "safeguards" in the law to protect them against rejection. 

And some workers may actually lose their insurance, especially if employers reshape their work forces to avoid some of the provisions of Obamacare.

Great going.  Welcome to the third world.

February 19, 2013