On Friday the House passed a spending bill (by a vote of 230 to 189) that would continue funding the government at the annual rate of nearly $1 trillion ($986.3 billion to be exact) but stripped funding for Obamacare. The bill now goes to the Senate where Harry Reid has said it would be DOA… dead on arrival. Several Republican Senators have vowed to filibuster to force a vote. It is doubtful the bill will pass in the Senate and Obama has already said he would veto it anyway. The Obamacare funding will be added back into the bill and sent back to the House where it will be amended again.
In the meantime the House is working on a proposal to raise the debt ceiling but require spending cuts and defunding Obamacare. The bill would remove the spending limit until December 31, 2104 rather than establish a hard ceiling. This may pass the House but it has no chance in the Senate.
The multiple defunding efforts are an attempt to get every Senator and Representative to make several recorded votes showing their position on Obamacare. When the law is implemented and generates backlash from the public once they really find out what is in it the Republicans will be able to point to the repeated Democrat votes and focus the public rage on those candidates in the 2014 and 2016 elections.
Why this matters… Jobs and Fewer Hours
Hundreds of companies are announcing major layoffs, revision to part time employment and kicking millions of workers off company healthcare plans. Instead of every family saving $2500 as Obama claimed when he was promoting the plan the cost of insurance has risen an average of 24% per year over the last three years as insurance companies prepare for the influx of previously uninsurable customers.
Walgreens joined hundreds of other major companies last week in moving 160,000 employees from the corporate plan to a health exchange under Obamacare. Because of the rise in premiums the majority of employees are now going to be forced to choose an exchange plan that covers less. Basically they will be paying the same amount or more for less coverage. They will have more choices under the Aon Hewitt exchange since Walgreens only offered two plans from Wellpoint and UnitedHealth. What we are seeing is the end of corporate healthcare and the beginning of government healthcare and another social program that will escalate deficits forever.
Target announced they will hire 18,000 fewer seasonal workers this holiday season. That is a 20% drop from their normal hiring. Other retailers are expected to do the same. Target said their current employees were begging to work more hours during the holiday season. I guess it is tough to pay bills and raise a family on 29 hours a week. We should get accustomed to our full time economy transitioning to a part time workforce. More than 77% of the new jobs created in 2013 have been part time jobs thanks to Obamacare planning.