The ADA, Obamacare, Health Insurance, and Job Killing

You know what the biggest threat to America is right now? The one thing that could push us into massive unemployment?

Apparently it’s healthy people.

20 years ago, it was disabled people. If you made every business build (with a corporate welfare subsidy in the form of tax breaks and tax credits) ramps and such for “those people”, then suddenly you’re going to close down every business. Yep, that happened.

Okay, no it didn’t. Now it’s a lot more common (but not common enough) to see disabled people work.

The next step for disabled people is universal coverage. Obamacare ain’t that. But it’s closer than we’ll be without it. A huge reason a lot of disabled people stay away from work is that they have complex health care needs – and most first jobs don’t provide insurance. I know there are all sorts of programs that, if you do them perfectly, will solve this, but at the end of the day people want assurance that their medical needs can be taken care of. Life is valued more than work. Go figure.

Of course most of the people who want to see Obamacare go down in flames aren’t dealing with that. They’re worried about “rationing” (in otherwords, if we treat the medical needs of everyone, then the better-off among us won’t get medical care, supposedly – of course there is no evidence that’s true, and usually the people talking rationing aren’t looking at whether or not everyone is getting care today; hint: we ration today, just on the basis of money). And they are worried about the possibility they might have to buy one birth control pill (because we apparently want abortion instead of pregnancy prevention so we can rant that we’re pro-life and any woman who has had sex but doesn’t want a kid is a slut who deserves punishment). And we’re worried about non-existant death panels.

Then they’re worried about job loss. People are going to have to lay off workers, they say.

Let me tell you something about most businesses: they don’t keep extra workers around for the hell of it. Most don’t run or operate as charities. They have exactly the number of workers they need to fill the demand for the product (or less). But they don’t have more. If they do, you know what they do? They do lay offs. Even successful businesses don’t provide guaranteed employment for life, if a position is no longer needed. And if that person is making the business more money than the business would make without them, they stay employed. After all, if you don’t have extra employees, getting rid of an employee means two things: overtime (which is typically even more expensive then the employee you got rid of) or not selling as much stuff as you would otherwise sell. And most businesses like selling stuff.

When a business owner talks about how his business is “already struggling” and that Obamacare will force layoffs by pushing him over the edge, ask why he hasn’t addressed the struggling business. Ask if he’s rehiring for positions after people leave. If he is, he doesn’t have more employees than he thinks he needs (you wouldn’t pay out money you don’t have to if you are struggling). But if he has plenty of employees to lay off on day one of an employer mandate, he’s badly managing a business and putting everyone’s jobs on the line with his poor management. This is particularly true if he’s not actively trying to shrink his current workforce – which can be seen by figuring out if he’s hiring new employees to replace ones that left.

If he is making money, then this is whining about not being able to pay as much of a less than livable wage anymore – he’s going to have to get closer to the point where his employees can afford to live.

But the simple fact is that employers don’t have extra employees. Maybe after Obamacare’s employer mandate goes into effect, we’ll see some employers lay people off. But I’ll give you a hint: that would have happened anyway, as they were not needed in the eyes of the leadership. It’s bad resource planning, by leadership – they purchased more manpower than they could afford or need. And Obamacare gives them a convenient excuse to use rather than just plain greed. Don’t let a bad manager get away with blaming Obama rather than taking responsibility.

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