Monday, September 29, 2014

ObamaCare Vs. Home Care

This is from Jed Graham at Investor's Business Daily:
Virginia Kennon is the rock who has lifted up her family's spirits in difficult times. 
Until this month, she worked 54-hour weeks caring for her sister with cerebral palsy and her ailing 85-year-old mother. 
For Kennon, this $8-an-hour job has been a labor of love, as it would be for no one else, and in that sense she is irreplaceable. But lately she's feared that she might have to be replaced. 
Kennon's employer in Deming, N.M., recently began notifying caregivers that it's capping their hours at 29 per week, just below the 30-hour threshold at which ObamaCare requires companies to make affordable coverage available to most full-time workers or else pay a fine. ... 
Government data suggest that home care workers have been hit especially hard amid new [Obamacare] regulations. The average workweek clocked by non supervisors has sunk from 28 hours per week to a record-low 26.7 hours since the start of 2013. 
It's no coincidence that IBD's list of 450 employers who have systematically cut work hours to avoid ObamaCare employer mandate liability includes more than a few companies engaged in caring for the elderly and disabled. 
These are just examples that have been documented, but the real list is likely far, far longer: A group of assisted living centers in North Carolina; a Home Instead senior care franchise in Michigan; the Friendship Community group home, Firstaff Nursing Services and Lori's Angels home care, all in Pennsylvania; the Area Agency on Aging of Western Arkansas, which cut hours for 500 home health aides and drivers to 28 per week; and the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of El Paso. 
El Paso's ex-Democratic Mayor Joe Wardy told IBD last year that as CEO of financially troubled VNA, he was compelled to cut hours for 330 caregivers working 30 or more hours a week "because there is no margin in the reimbursement (from Medicaid) for any type of benefits."
The consequences, he said, were "disastrous" for employees, patients and the nonprofit itself, which has since closed. ...