Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

February 14, 2014

Obamacare delay shows it costs jobs

(Continued)

After all, there can be a very thin line between workforce reductions due to “bona fide business reasons” and those due to the economic pressures created by Obamacare. But employers arguing that they reduced their workforces for bona fide reasons, particularly if they are at or near the 99 employee mark, are making themselves vulnerable to harassment by IRS auditors and other officials.

So why would the administration admit that Obamacare is bad for jobs? Perhaps to acknowledge the possibility that the law negatively affects jobs, and to attempt to avoid the negative labor market effects that critics of Obamacare have been warning about all along. Or maybe they figured that the employer community would be so busy celebrating the mandate delay that they wouldn’t notice they were being asked to promise that Obamacare had nothing to do with their basic business decisions.

Most likely, the administration knew that these certifications would allow them to silence the very employers who have been warning, all along, that Obamacare (and its employer mandate in particular) incentivizes employers to cut hours and jobs. Now, it is those employers who have to keep their mouths shut (and argue that any job cuts are for bona fide business reasons) if they are to take advantage of the delay.

In short, the White House is trying to take a potent argument away from Obamacare’s detractors, particularly in an election year. So, the next time a Republican complains that the law is forcing employers to cut jobs or hours, the White House has sworn certifications from some employers saying that’s not the case. It’s a clever political maneuver, but it comes with a very inconvenient confession: that Obamacare is a job killer after all.

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