The Herald Bulletin
---- — Tom Hinkle (July 21) predicts dire effects of the Affordable Care Act on the economy, writing of "massive cuts in hours already taking place," and "Obamacare is going to ruin the economy." But facts prove otherwise.
Companies with over 50 employees must provide full-time employees with health care. Hinkle says this will drive companies out of business. But a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found more than 94 percent of such companies already provide health care that meets ACA standards.
The Center for Economic and Policy Research concluded, "If some numbers of firms actually are limiting or reducing employment to stay below the 50-worker cutoff, then the impact would be too small to be noticed in the economy as a whole."
As for "massive cuts in hours," the ACA provided that employment in 2013 would be the basis for penalties in 2014. So one would assume that the number of employees working just under 30 hours a week would increase. But when the CEPR examined the number of workers working 26-29 hours during the first four months of 2013, the number decreased. In any case, this makes up only 0.6 percent of the work force.
The Congressional Budget Office projects the ACA would enable 700,000 workers to retire early or work fewer hours because they can get affordable health care not tied to employment. This would open up jobs and possibly even reduce the unemployment rate.
Factcheck.org labeled the job-killing claim for Obamacare a "Whopper;" Politifact judged it false.