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I just want to put this out there, my message in two dimensional bottle to all our legislators out there...

Can you PLEASE not make NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES or HOURS WORKED a metric for which businesses need to comply with a law? How hard would that be?

Can't you use "Total revenue" or "square footage of the building" or "Net Profits" or "Business Type" or "Employer's Salary" or some metric like that INSTEAD?

Because here's the thing....whenever anything to do with the employee is a metric, employers will always configure their employee situation in such a way as to avoid compliance with the spirit of the law.

For example: Businessses only need to comply with the Family Medical Leave Act for employees working 25 hours or more. Their work-around: Only use part-timers.

See how that works?

Or this: Businesses with 50 or more employees need to provide medical insurance. Why does it have to be based on NUMBER of employees where a business might not hire that 50th employee just to keep from having to comply with coverage....why not total REVENUE? Why not base it on employer compensation? Something an employer won't reduce just to be a jerk. If you yourself are the owner and you're pulling in 2 million bucks a year for yourself, you're sure as shit required to insure you're employees. How about THAT for a metric?

I get the thought process behind these types of laws...they want to give wiggle room for small employers and mom and pop shops that literally cannot offer full benefits without going under. So lawmakers create a metric for which businesses are big, and which businesses are small. FINE. But that metric can be ANYTHING. It doesn't have to have anything to do with the employees.

The point is...employers are going to gravitate toward cutting corners on that which will get them out of compliance with a law that costs them money. When lawmakers make EMPLOYEES and their HOURS the metric, they're guaranteeing the employees get smacked with the corner-cutting.

Stop DOING that, lawmakers. Just stoppit.

Originally posted to Muskegon Critic on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 08:30 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Funny how that works. (9+ / 0-)

    But, since employer provided healthcare is the lynchpin of our "uniquely American" system (uniquely crappy, under performing, and expensive) it seems hard to figure out another metric aside from the actual employees.

    Another constant irony in our employer provided healthcare system is how much the employers really don't want to provide healthcare in the first place. And then combine that with insurance companies who only make money if they DON'T provide services and then add into that legislative types who draft laws designed to make drugs more, not less expensive, and add into that no cost controls or containment and you have the perfect storm of a dysfunctional healthcare system.

    It's like someone somewhere offered a prize for designing the worst possible system of healthcare imaginable. And the insular, ignorant public accepts it because any other better system would smack of "Socialism", Sarah Palin told them we would have death panels and have to eat cabbage soup and wear babushkas and heavy shoes and wait four years to have a wart removed

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 09:11:02 AM PST

  •  I'm hoping that employers scheme this so much (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dfarrah, CwV, Bisbonian, TiaRachel, HeyMikey

    that the federal government winds up having to provide a public option insurance, like Medicare for all, that would eliminate the need for private insurance.  If enough employers get out / stay out of the insurance providing game, there will be so many millions still uninsured that there would be the market for an insurance program and with part-time employees not able to meet premiums unless there's a significant subsidy, someone is going to run the numbers and decide that it's cheaper to offer a public insurance option.  Sure, the numbers have already been run, but starting in 2014 I predict it will become plainly obvious when we see just how many people the ACA leaves behind.

    •  30 million people will remain uncovered (7+ / 0-)

      after full implementation of the ACA. Sure that's better than 50 million uncovered now, but if you're one of the 30 million who will still fall through the cracks due to affordability even with subsidies and caps, then it's small comfort.

      The ACA is basically a stop-gap jerryrigged system which will have to be improved upon and tweaked constantly. Step #1 will be re-introducing the public option, because costs will continue to spiral out of control without it. We need a government entity who can act as a single payer and negotiate reimbursements with the providers kind of like, kind of like, what's that big government program that recipients from both the right and left are so fond off that they wave placards about leaving it alone? Starts with an M? Medi . . . Medi . . Medicare! That's it! Yeah we need something just exactly like Medicare to be a public option. Here's a radical idea - why not make Medicare the public option?

      And for your reading pleasure, this guy sums it up nicelyMarty Kaplan: Being American Is Bad For Your Health

      You probably already know that America spends more on health care than any other country. That was one of the few facts to survive the political food fight pretending to be a serious national debate about the Affordable Care Act.

      But the airwaves also thrummed with so many sound bites from so many jingoistic know-nothings claiming that America has the best health care system in the world that today, most people don't realize how shockingly damaging it is to your wellness and longevity to be born in the U.S.A.

      “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

      by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 09:50:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Make MedicAID the Public Option (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HeyMikey, ColoTim

        and here's how:
        The exchanges in ACA offer competing plans from 4P insurance companies. If you make too little to afford any of them, there is a subsidy available. That goes up to something like 400% of povertyline (someone correct me if my numbers are wrong).
        What I'd like to see is MedicAid put into the exchanges to take the place of the subsidies. Just open it up to people up to 400% or 500% of the povertyline, possibly with a small premium for those between 200% and 500%.
        It would be much cheaper that subsidizing the 4Ps, it would attract a lot of young people, just starting out in the workforce, who's healthcare needs are minimal, it would form the catastrophic coverage that younger people need, it would expand MedicAid's base a lot, with healthier people.
        By de-stigmatizing MedicAid, a poverty program, and including a wider, more active membership, demand would improve the coverage for all.
        My reason to do that rather than MediCare, is that MediCare is geared to older people, it's a different kind of coverage therefore. What I'd like to see there is to bring the eligibility age down to 50. That would bring somewhat younger, healthier people into that system, helping to stabilize it's finances, too. Getting seniors into the system earlier and emphasizing wellness programs and preventative care, rather than strictly the reactive model, will make for healthier seniors overall.
        In the long run, with MedicAid in the exchanges and MediCare expanding younger, eventually market forces will drive the Insurance leaches out of the business, we will achieve Single Payer in the void they leave behind.
        The health insurance company that I paid ridiculous amounts to for almost no coverage, got out of the Health Insurance business when ACA passed. Seems that sucking out 15% of the premiums for profit and salaries wasn't enough for them.

        If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

        by CwV on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 11:25:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  2009, over & over & over. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ColoTim

        The GOP will continue its efforts to undermine reasonably priced universal care, for a mix of reasons:

        * True, blind adherence to extremist free-market ideology.

        * Desire to funnel money to drug companies, doctors, medical providers, who are big GOP campaign donors.

        * Desire to curry favor with wealthy voters, who can afford the best healthcare options & vote GOP.

        * Gotta have a controversy. If the Dems are for something, GOP reflexively thinks they have to oppose it.

        Thus every effort to expand coverage or reduce costs will be opposed by the GOP. Expect fights EVERY YEAR over tweaking Obamacare, until the day we have true universal coverage.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 11:52:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great Point! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noddy, Bisbonian, CwV

    There are any number of ways to do these things, and any number of ways that they could be structured, that would make these requirements less-easily avoided.  I would suggest a combination  of factors, and meeting 2 or 3 of those metrics would require compliance.  E.G.;  a) at a certain number of employees, you'd have to provide health insurance for all employees, including part-time employees (this would create a reverse incentive than the one currently, where in order to keep below the magic line, the employer would be tempted to give people full time jobs, to keep their number of employees down); b)  or if more than 5 employees receive compensation (including stock options, etc.) of more than
    $249,999 annually, then the company would be required to provide insurance to all employees earning less than that amount; or c)  if the business  makes more than $XXX in gross earnings, same applies; or d) if the business makes more than $XXX in profits, same applies; or e) some combination of meeting two or three of these metrics (and I'm sure others could be included).  That would make a hell of a lot more sense IMO.

    We are the first to look up and know, with absolute certainty, that the sword we ourselves have forged, is real.

    by Jbearlaw on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 10:13:29 AM PST

  •  This is also why there are eighty different (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noddy, Bisbonian, TiaRachel, CwV, HeyMikey

    divisions of the same company All incorporated separately. "Small business" snicker.

    "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 10:32:19 AM PST

  •  I don't know if it's possible (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey

    to create an ungameable system.

    It could theoretically be designed in such a way that gaming the system wouldn't screw over the employees quite so much, though.

  •  If I had the power (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey

    to Front Page this, I so would!

    Tying business size to number of employees and the hours they work is punitive to the employee. Tying it to gross annual income is less punitive to both the company and the employees.

    All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

    by Noddy on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 11:21:06 AM PST

  •  The thing with part timers Vs full time (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, hrvatska

    is a bad glitch. We've already seen the hospitality industry jump on that loophole.
    But in the long run. businesses should not be in the business of insuring their workers health. They won't do a good job at it, they will try to cut every imaginable corner, et cetera.
    As I say, LONG RUN, because we don't have much in place to replace the employer-insured model.
    For now, they ARE required and so, to the diarists point, that is a really sh!tty metric, because it offers a dodge that hurts the employees.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 11:31:50 AM PST

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