Tonawanda News


May 29, 2013

DUVALL: Obamacare isn't perfect -- but what is?

Tonawanda News — The other day I was talking with a friend of mine who I would characterize as a fairly moderate, not-very-political person. She was expressing doubts about Obamacare based on her experience with it at her job.

Her main complaint — one I’ve heard from others before — is the mandate for employers to provide health insurance to all full-time workers will force companies to rely more on part-time workers to avoid the added cost.

Her place of employment relies heavily on young people, generally college students. During the school year they’re part time but in the summer many are traditionally bumped up to a full work week. This summer, her bosses were given a mandate from their corporate superiors to keep all part-time workers below 30 hours and instead rely on the senior employees who are already enrolled in the company’s health insurance to make up the difference.

It’s certainly one of the law’s unintended consequence. Corporations, by nature, act in a way that maximizes profits while minimizing expenses. It’s cheaper to pay a few hours of overtime to a third of the workforce than it is to pay for health insurance for nearly all of it.

The end result is most of her young coworkers don’t get their own insurance — though for traditional college students, they’re now able to remain on their parents’ plans until well after they would graduate at age 21 — and if their parents can’t afford it there are government subsidies available that make it affordable. 

And everyone who does get health insurance is miserable because they’re working all the time.

It’s understandable why someone’s personal interaction with a sweeping piece of federal legislation is an easy way to judge its merits. Tell someone in the 10th hour at the office for the fifth straight day about the nuances of health care policy and you’re likely to get a stapler thrown at your head.

Text Only
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On lines blurred, crossed and nonexistent It strikes me more and more how blurry the lines have gotten in all facets of our world, large and small.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tucker, Barbara.jpg TUCKER: Oh, the joys of Sound Off Never thought the words "Thank goodness for Sound Off" would ever be printed here.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo