In last night’s GOP Presidential debate the moderator from Politico asked Michele Bachmann to identify one specific regulation that negatively affected her small business or any small business. Not missing a beat she said Obamacare, the most hated governmental program according to the Republican contenders.
Bachmann said that the Affordable Care Act (the actual name for the healthcare reform) was killing jobs and she told a story of a restaurant owner with 60 employees. According to Bachmann, this restaurant owner was planning to lay off 10 employees and he even told one 17 year old wanting a summer job that he was looking to let workers go not hire more.
But Bachmann didn’t explain why the restaurant owner wanted to let 10 workers go because if she had, the audience would learn that small businesses with less than 50 employees don’t have to offer health insurance under “Obamacare”. That would expose the lie about “job-killing regulation” because about 96% of all businesses in this country have fewer than 50 employees. And 97% of the remaining businesses already offer health insurance.
If a regulation doesn’t go into effect until 2014 and doesn’t pertain to a business, then it can’t influence the hiring decisions unless, of course, the business owner has been told over and over by partisans to be afraid what the regulation will do to them.
That’s what has been going on even before the passage of the Affordable Care Act—lies and fear mongering.
So here is the truth, Mr. Restaurant Owner. The 50 employee number is for full-time equivalent workers. I’m betting that your restaurant is largely made up of part-time workers and thus doesn’t have 50 full-time workers under the regulation—a regulation that won’t go into effect until 2014 anyway. Go ahead and hire that 17 year old. In fact, you might consider hiring Bachmann. She’ll need something else to do very soon.