Cue Mitch McConnell, who said this on the Senate floor Tuesday, calling for—what else—repeal.
“According to data just released by the Labor Department, retailers appear to be cutting worker hours at a rate unseen in more than 30 years.Note that McConnell is quoting not the Department of Labor, but Investor's Business Daily when he says cutting worker hours is all about Obamacare. But that's not really the whole story. Here's WonkBlog's health care expert, Sarah Kliff.
“Investor’s Business Daily had this to say of the decline:
“’[It] doesn't appear related to the economy, which has been consistently mediocre. Instead, all evidence points to the coming launch of Obamacare, which the retail industry has warned would cause just such a result.’
“So this is just the latest in a string of bad news related to the rollout of Obamacare. Just the latest reason the law needs to be repealed.
We haven’t seen many employers move forward with such a change. A recent survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis found that 4 percent of companies it surveyed had moved to a larger, part-time workforce in response to the Affordable Care Act.He uses the example of a restaurant, where having skilled full-time staff that doesn't have to leave mid-shift of busy nights is a smart business move. There's also the fact that having to hire more part-time employees creates real hassles for business owners; it's a burden on the administrative end with a lot more paperwork and supervisory demands, more training, more forms to fill out, more people to manage. That's a trade-off that business owners who aren't just trying to make a political statement about Obamacare are carefully weighing. That and the fact that keeping the best employees around by giving them good benefits, including health insurance, has always been good business.
If part-time workers offer an easy way to dodge an expensive mandate, why haven’t more employers jumped on board? I asked Christopher Ryan, a vice president of strategic services at ADP, to help explain. He spends a lot of time talking to companies about this issue and says it mostly boils down to a trade-off between having a skilled workforce and reducing benefit costs.
So is Mitch McConnell once again full of shit? Of course he is. But that's not going to stop him or any other Republican from twisting the facts on Obamacare. Why would he stop doing that now? But what has to happen this time around, however, is that Democrats have to start forcefully countering those lies.