This worrisome trend dominated July’s employment figures. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, full-time positions rose by 92,000, but part-time jobs increased by 174,000 — 90 percent more quickly. June’s numbers were even more frightful, with full-timers falling 240,000 as part-timers soared by 360,000.
Thank you, Obamacare!
The term “Affordable Care Act” has become a sick punchline.
Peach State insurance commissioner Ralph Hudgens just announced that Georgia insurers have proposed 2014 premium hikes “up to 198 percent for some individuals.” Meanwhile, seven insurers competed in Georgia’s health exchange until Wednesday, when Aetna and Coventry completely fled. And then there were five.
Maryland expects individual-market premiums to rise in 2014, up to 25 percent. Ohioans are bracing for like hikes averaging 88 percent. Forbes and National Review Online columnist Avik Roy calculates that a typical, non-smoking, 25-year-old California man will see his rates surge between 100 and 123 percent. Coverage will cost a similar 40-year-old 116 percent more next year.
Obamacare will hammer taxpayers, too. The one-year employer-mandate delay, the Congressional Budget Office projects, will cost $12 billion, and some 1 million Americans will lose their employer-based health plans. More shocking: Since Obamacare’s 2010–19 expenses were backloaded (to ease congressional passage), its initial ten-year price tag was $940 billion. Conveniently for Obama, this fell just below the potentially deal-killing $1 trillion threshold. However, CBO’s 2014–23 forecast incorporates four years of actual operations. Thus, in a Smithsonian-grade bait and switch, Obamacare’s latest ten-year estimate is $1.8 trillion — double the original sticker price.
Regarding a similar con job, my old Appalachian Trail hiking partner J. D. Tuccille writes at Reason.com that a call center in Contra Costa, Calif., has opened to answer questions and otherwise help people enroll in Obamacare. In the middle of training, about half of the 2,000 hirees were told one on one that they would not work full time, as promised, but instead would serve part time — without medical benefits. Some of them left other full-time positions only to get stuck with part-time work and without health insurance. That’s one more triumph of Obamacare.
Meanwhile, Obamacare’s popularity slip-slides away. Beneath the headline “CBS News poll finds more Americans than ever want Obamacare repealed,” the network’s Amanda Cochran observed July 24 that 54 percent of adults disapprove of Obamacare while only 36 percent embrace it. A mere 13 percent believe the program will “help me,” while 38 percent think it will “hurt me.”
Amid Obamacare’s smoldering rubble, it is irritating that GOP senators such as North Carolina’s Richard Burr and Oklahoma’s stalwart Tom Coburn spurn this defunding bid. Imagine: If Republicans organized a proper anti-Obamacare parade, a deeply disenchanted public just might march with the GOP.
So long as the employer mandate is frozen until January 1, 2015 (rather than 2014), Republicans should echo Senator Lee’s flawlessly logical argument: “If the administration will not enforce the law as written, then the American people should not be forced to fund it.”
This strategy need not trigger a messy government shutdown. Lee wants to fund the budget, absent Obamacare. The House should consider similar language and make Democrats declare whether or not they still love this monster. Senate Democrats likewise should choose sides.
If this measure reaches Obama’s desk, let him decide: “Do I keep Washington running as is, sans Obamacare money, or will my veto force Congress to keep Obamacare alive, even though everyone sees its rotting fangs and hideous, wart-encrusted hide?”
Come on, Republicans: Make Obama and the Democrats sweat!
— Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor, a nationally syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service, and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University.