As the President prepares to deliver his State of the Union speech tonight he will discuss issues facing millions of Americans such as unemployment, education and economic opportunity. However, what will be missing is the admission that the President’s signature policy achievement is forcing Americans to lose their jobs, work fewer hours and have their wages cut. At a Ways and Means Committee hearing today on ObamaCare’s 30-hour rule, testimony demonstrated that ObamaCare is hitting the most vulnerable Americans the hardest.
According to a Hoover Institution study, 2.6 million Americans making under $30,000 are at risk of having their hours and wages cut as a result of ObamaCare’s 30-hour rule. Of that:
- 60 percent are between the ages of 19 and 34 – making the 30-hour rule particularly damaging for younger American workers.
- 90 percent do not have a college degree.
- 63 percent are women.
- Over 600,000 workers in the retail trade, 225,000 workers in the education industry, and 589,000 workers in restaurants, are at risk of having their hours and wages cut.
Echoing the testimony of the small business owners and others, Members of the Ways and Means Committee shared how ObamaCare is hurting job creation and reducing wages around the country:
Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI): “A faculty member at a community college in my district wrote to me recently and said, ‘I hold two part time positions…Today, I was informed I cannot continue to do both jobs; because of Obamacare laws. Beginning in August I will no longer be advising and will lose approximately 1/3 of my income. Last year I bought a house, a house I now fear I will no longer be able to afford.’”
Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX): “Jillian, a college student in her early twenties, has worked part time at a local grocery store to help pay for her school expenses. For many years, Jillian clocked between 30 to 40 hours a week until suddenly she was cut to between 15 to 18 hours a week. Jillian was shocked and she approached her manager. His answer was loud and clear – the cuts are due to ObamaCare. The so called ‘30-hour rule’ imposed by ObamaCare forced this employer, like many others across the country to cut workers’ hours – harming the lower income workers we were told this law would help.
“Let’s say Jillian worked 30 hours a week and because of ObamaCare was cut to an 18 hour work week – that’s a loss of 12 working hours! Having worked at the grocery store for a long time, Jillian was up to $9 an hour. This meant she was losing $108 a week. Worse, that adds up to more than $430 each month! That is $430 out of Jillian’s pocket that was to go for college – textbooks, gas, groceries, and other living expenses.”
Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH) shared a story from one constituent who wrote, “My son-in-law (age 25) was offered a full time position with a retail company in Wilmington, Ohio…after approximately four months on the job, his employer cut his hours to less than 30 hours a week…He lost his apartment and had to move in with family. He has looked extensively and can’t locate full time work with another employer due to fear of Obamacare.”
Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA): “Barbara Wilson works for The Arc of Mercer County, Pennsylvania — a phenomenal organization that assists people with developmental disabilities. Barbara is a part-time employee who used to work 30 to 35 hours per week. Her employer recently informed her and her co-workers that all part-time employees will be having their hours cut to around just 20 hours per week because of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate. Barbara tells me that she was ‘shocked’ when she heard this news. Because of her hours being cut, she says she will no longer be able to afford the cost of living.”
Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH): “Claudia from Cleveland wrote in concerned over losing her employer-sponsored health coverage. After previously being laid off from a full-time job, she accepted a part-time job at JCPenny’s that offered her affordable health insurance. However, her employer has now stopped offering insurance for part-time employees due to Obamacare.”