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Obamacare encore

"Obamacare encore" Continued...

Leaders of other top unions, including the heads of the Teamsters and the United Food and Commercial Workers International also wrote a letter in July. It warned that the new law will “shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits, but destroy the foundation of the 40-hour workweek that is the backbone of the American middle class.” These organizations, which at one time lobbied and rallied for Obamacare, said the law had “perverse incentives” and “nightmare scenarios.”

Their fears may stem from companies like the fast-food chain White Castle, which announced at the end of July that it may start only hiring part-time workers to keep insurance costs down. Or from moves made by companies like Dunkin’ Donuts, which earlier this year pushed to increase the number of hours that must be worked for an employee to be considered a full-time worker. Obamacare carries employer insurance mandates that kick-in when a business hits a certain number of full-time employees. A recent survey by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce revealed that half of small businesses in the poll said they were adding more part time workers and reducing hours to avoid the mandate and its penalties.

Not to be out done by Republican arguments, the White House is spending about $700 million in public money on a national marketing campaign to tout Obamacare. Obama, who made a rare visit to Capitol Hill last Wednesday to encourage Democrats to stay firm behind healthcare law as they head home to see their constituents, is slated to appear on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Tuesday.

“People can expect a barrage of advertisements,” said Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo. “[Obama’s] picking the pockets of the American people for advertising dollars.”

As the Obamacare and budget fight left Washington and headed to cities across America, Cruz admitted that his group is the underdog and needs a month as passionate as the August recess of 2010 if lawmakers are to return to Capitol Hill bold enough to defund the law.

“Right now we don’t have the votes. We’re not even close,” Cruz said Thursday while talking to college students in Washington for a conference on political activism. “We don’t have the votes in the Senate. We don’t have the votes in the House.”

Edward Lee Pitts
Edward Lee Pitts

Lee teaches journalism at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, and is the associate dean of the World Journalism Institute.


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