POTUS Blames Staples for Corporate Resistance to Obamacare

President Obama singled out office supply giant Staples Inc. as undercutting his healthcare reform law and said large corporations should not use the health insurance issue as an excuse for cutting wages, the news website BuzzFeed reported.

Staples did it

  • “It’s one thing when you’ve got a mom-and-pop store who can’t afford to provide paid sick leave or health insurance or minimum wage to workers  but when I hear large corporations that make billions of dollars in profits trying to blame our interest in providing health insurance as an excuse for cutting back workers’ wages, shame on them,” Obama said in an interview with BuzzFeed.
  • The Affordable Care Act requires companies with more than 50 employees to pay for health insurance for people who work 30 hours a week or more. Reuters has reported that some businesses are keeping staffing numbers below 50 or cutting the work week to less than 30 hours to avoid providing employee health insurance.
  • Staples, the No. 1 U.S. office supplies retailer, has told its employees not to work more than 25 hours per week, according to a recent Buzzfeed report.
  • But Obama’s characterization of the company did not sit well with the company that provides thousands of jobs to Americans.
  • “Unfortunately, the president appears not to have all the facts,” Mark Cautela Sr., the Public Relations Manager for Staples said in a statement to Breitbart News. “The initial story was misleading as our policy regarding part-time employees is more than a decade old. It predates the Affordable Care Act by several years.”
  • According to the survey by the American Health Policy Institute, the cost of the new healthcare law for large companies ranges from $4,800 to $5,900 per employee, in addition to the millions of dollars in overhead costs. The healthcare law adds mandates and fees and other regulatory burdens that will cost employers anywhere from $163 million and $200 million in 2016, four percent more than what they are currently paying. By 2023, that increase will jump to eight percent.
  • According to a survey by Morgan Stanley, premium rates have risen substantially. Firms renewing small group insurance in 2014 saw an 11 percent premium hike. For firms with coverage through BlueCross, the premium increase was almost 16 percent.
  • Premium increases were much higher in some states than others. Premiums for small group policies renewing in 2014 increased 66 percent in Pennsylvania, 37 percent in California and 34 percent in Indiana. Washington saw premiums rise by an astounding 588 percent.
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