Dan Liljenquist: Negative impact: the Affordable Care Act, pensions and hourly workers

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  • Liberty For All Cedar, UT
    March 8, 2014 2:37 p.m.

    The ACA went after the wrong problem. Everyone has access to free health health at any local emergency room, we take our children there for our flu shots, colds or any other issue. The free care has already been funded by property taxes and higher insurance premiums paid by the nations rich, the 1%. Why fix what ain't broke, but may need just a simple tweak?

    My issue is with the long wait times in the ER, expecting a child to sit still for 2 hours with a cold is ridiculous. We need more staff in the ER.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    March 3, 2014 4:03 p.m.

    Salt Lake City, UT
    My wife is a school teacher; she says it's hard to get substitutes because of the hours-worked per week limitation.


    $8.75 and having a College Bachelor's Degree makes it a joke as well.

    BTW -- my 17 year old daughter in High School working at Kohl's P/T makes more than that,
    without a High School OR College degrees.

    And Republicans are OK with this?

  • Cato the Elder Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 3, 2014 2:13 p.m.

    The market crash explanation of 2008 makes no sense. The market is currently way above that point. Anyone that didn't panic and held on is now way ahead. Unless the retirement system did something incredibly stupdid and amateurish like sell at the bottom, the pension reforms were unnecessary. Or at the very least had other causes besides the 2008 events.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    March 1, 2014 11:13 a.m.

    My wife is a school teacher; she says it's hard to get substitutes because of the hours-worked per week limitation. The school districts' budgets are limited; they depend on part-time employees to make the dollars go further; its as simple as that. ACA has negatively impacted the school district's part-time employees.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Feb. 28, 2014 9:18 a.m.

    You know Joe I thought of responding to you yesterday, but your rant needed to sit and marinate.

    I didn't anywhere say anyone was a liar, that was your job. I filled in what I believe to be the details of the mans story. When you do that the picture looks much different than the storyteller told.

    To Libs, many businesses may and probably are using the ACA as an excuse to reduce hours. However many businesses prior to the ACA had a category of employee who was not eligible for benefits. The category was determined by hours worked and normally had a cut off of 30 to 31 hours.

    Because the companies still don't want to provide benefits hours were cut to 29. Not a huge deal. However if the company used method of pay as the differentiator (hours worked vs. salary) now you potentially have to pay benefits to employees you never intended to pay benefits to.

    All that's happened is the law has clarified who is eligible for benefits and who is not. If you work over 30 hours regardless of your exempt or non exempt status you get health insurance benefits.

  • freedomingood provo, Utah
    Feb. 28, 2014 8:23 a.m.

    Single payer like medicare for everyone was the liberal idea. Not being able to get that passed Obama copied Romney care that was invented by the conservative Heritage Foundation. But you already knew this, you just forget immediately whenever you want to blame liberals for a less than perfect health care system.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Feb. 28, 2014 6:18 a.m.

    Dan acting like he's the "champion of public employees" and that he actually wants to stand up for their pensions is hilarious.

    As a legislator, Dan never missed any opportunity to hurt public employees. Apparently he feels like we have short memories. I won't forget.

    I blame ruthless people like Dan for this, not the ACA. Just how much money is enough? When will we begin to treat people as people and not as commodities to be exploited?

  • Joe Schmoe Orem, UT
    Feb. 28, 2014 1:18 a.m.

    None of this has anything to do with the poor widow who worked as a school teacher so many years and is now collecting a well deserved pension. The money was put aside for her so that she could live a decent retirement. That is why she took the low paying teacher job in the first place. She knew at least if she could help out our children for 30 years, day after day, the pension fund would help her maintain a stable existence.

    The fact that this writer is trying to tie in her pension with Obamacare is a complete joke. What a complete misuse of the press. I would be ashamed at having written that.

  • Sven Morgan, UT
    Feb. 28, 2014 12:37 a.m.

    Sven said:

    "* The CBO Report from 2/4/2014 projected that Obamacare will reduce the number of hours Americans work by the equivalent of 2.5 million full-time jobs..."

    Clarification: The time-frame for these projected loses is over the next ten years.

    Only Liberals would celebrate people going to part-time work. This is the price we pay for twice electing a Community Agitator, who has never worked a day in his life.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 28, 2014 12:16 a.m.

    "By all measures, the 2008/2009 market crash has had a devastating impact on Utah’s public finances..."

    And, Dan, who created that crash? Answer: the Wall Street banks which aggressively marketed bogus mortgage backed securities world wide even though they knew such were bogus. These same banks were rescued with capital infusions from the Congress and a virtually free line of credit from the Fed. It seems to me that these banks should be sued by the state of Utah Retirement Fund to get a "capital infusion" from them to the Utah State Retirement Fund.

    Dan, you need to strip from your three piece suit and see who the villains are in this mess. You need to see the big picture.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 28, 2014 12:08 a.m.

    The ACA is the result of trying to provide health care for our citizens and at the same time leave intact the highly profitable insurance business. The problem is: we can't do both. So whom to blame? Obama, even though he tried to do something to allow access to health care for those desperately needing it? The Republicans, who have stalled every attempt at health care reform? The Democrats, who didn't have the guts to stand up to the insurance business? The answer is all of them.

    The ONLY answer is socialized health care. Health care is properly a public good. No more half measures. In the future you will have the option to vote socialist. Do so!

  • Sven Morgan, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 10:47 p.m.

    Obamacare is an unmitigated disaster. It was built on lies and deception.


    * Obama and the Dems lied about the cost of Obamacare: They told us the cost would be $900 billion; actual price $2.6 trillion

    * Obama lied to the American people about being able to keep your health insurance if you liked it

    * The CBO Report from 2/4/2014 projected that Obamacare will reduce the number of hours Americans work by the equivalent of 2.5 million full-time jobs. Factor this with our current real unemployment of over 14%. But not to worry, the Dems say this is a good thing.

    “this was one of the goals: to give people life, a healthy life, liberty to pursue their happiness. And that liberty is to not be job-locked, but to follow their passion.” -Nancy Pelosi

    * Let’s not forget the 5% of Americans who lost their health insurance coverage under the “Individual Mandate” portion of ACA. Those who were able to sign up for Obamacare, now have higher premiums and deductibles. They don’t qualify for the subsidies under the ACA.

    Hope and Change!

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 9:03 p.m.

    First, the Republican charade, then the Democrat charade, then the blame the other party charade (with the blah blah blah of the pristine character of each party's leaders) and on and on and on the story goes? Both party's leaders are controlling and corrupt and the followers are fools to put it mildly.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Feb. 27, 2014 6:10 p.m.

    Baloney. Organizations that are capping employee hours are simply using ACA as an excuse to beat up their employees. It would be nice if workers had some leverage to demand that employers stop this charade, but they have none...especially in Utah.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 5:46 p.m.

    Didn't you just love Dan's response --

    So sad,
    Too bad...

    Blame Obama and the ACA,
    but this man's job is on the STATE level.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 4:41 p.m.

    Republicans playing with employee contributions are to be solely blamed for the loss of pension funds. Can't blame that one on BO.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 4:26 p.m.

    one old man: The GOP had several ideas how to solve the health insurance problems. Liberals didn't want to hear any of them. It's your own fault "you never heard it".

    For your other point...I guess if all the conservatives would just turn into progressive liberals, all the country's problems would disappear. Right? Too bad that isn't how this country works.

    To take the other side...Had the liberal machine simply joined in and worked to help make energy independence a top goal, we would be already weaned off foreign oil. Instead they kowtowed to the environmental groups.

    Had the liberal machine simply joined in and worked to make a national flat tax, then the economy would be booming and everyone more prosperous. Insead they kowtowed to the whole "income inequality and redistribution" crowd and the Obama economy remains in the dumpster.

    ...and on, and on....

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 3:22 p.m.

    If there is one thing Dan has proven, during his time as a legislator, it is that he did not care one bit about pensions and hourly employees. Look at his record, each and every year he attempted to take away the benefits of State employees, all while he never gave them a pay raise even though they are underpaid compared to industry standards.
    Can't take anything this guy says seriously.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 2:49 p.m.

    Yes. Had the conservative machine simply joined in and worked to help make ACA a successful bill and law, it would fill a vital niche for all Americans. Instead, they kowtowed to the insurance industry, the GOP, and all those who wanted to make sure we didn't have a Black president any longer than one term.

    If the GOP ever had a better idea, we never heard it.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 1:03 p.m.

    And why wouldn't anyone with a lick of common sense not want this abomination to go away-and as fast as possible?

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Feb. 27, 2014 1:02 p.m.

    Old Man; Obamacare is failing because of conservatives?....lol

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 12:45 p.m.

    Obamacare is Not BushCare, so you libs cant blame anyone else for the failure.....there is only one failure I see. OBAMA!

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 12:17 p.m.

    The Supreme Court says Obamacare is a tax. Is it any surprise that people are altering their economic behavior in order to avoid paying it? I guess it's a surprise to Obama voters. Everyone else saw this outcome a mile away.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 11:29 a.m.

    More political game-playing as still more loyal conservatives try to find ways to make ACA fail.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 11:16 a.m.

    "...15-year veteran paid at an hourly rate of $12, received a letter from Granite’s human resources department announcing that “in light of new rules for the Utah Retirement System and the Affordable Care Act” all hourly employees would immediately and without exception be capped at 29.5 hours per week...".

    Business owners at any level can cut wages/benefits then blame it on the ACA and get away with it...

    Granite School District is late to the table but is simply following the script...


    When the long awaited/anticipated Republican ACA is implemented...all of these cuts in compensation packages will be re-instated...


  • Still Learning Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 10:29 a.m.

    I work in the SLCSD and I am also an hourly employee. Luckily, I have my social security check coming in, so I am not as bad off as the example Dan gave of his friend in the Granite school district. What makes this cut so disgusting for me is that I am in no way part of the school district's medical care costs. I am on Medicare and have a Medical Advantage plan with Select Health. My costs did not go up for 2014, but 2015 will be a different matter. So, what the ACA did for me was to cut my wages and face me with an eventual extra premium or reduced benefits if Obama does pull money out of the Medical Advantage programs. It will be interesting how many of these painful problems will be addressed in the elections later on this year and in 2016. I was simply screwed because I happen to be in the hourly pool. Thanks to Dan for the explanation. Hope you will send a link to his article to your friends.

    Feb. 27, 2014 8:55 a.m.

    You can blame (alleged) ACA costs on the Feds, but the far-more serious fiasco with the State Retirement System rest squarely with the State Legislature, Dan.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 8:50 a.m.

    I see pragmatistferlife is taking a chapter out of the Harry Reid playbook. Any story that casts Obamacare in a negative light must be a lie! It doesn't matter if you liked your doctor, health insurance plan, or your working hours before this disasterous law took effect. Bureaucrats in Washington D.C. know better than you what is good for you. If you don't like the changes, you have no right to complain. Any complaints are just lies.

    Did I miss anything?

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 8:43 a.m.

    Aren't the pension story and the ACA totally separate of one another? Besides, why aren't you wondering very loudly why a 15 year veteran of the school board, even as a security guard, is only making 12 bucks an hour? That's pathetic. If someone had that kind of seniority as a staff member of a school division back in Alberta he'd be making twice that or more, and have full benefits including pension and health care. And not the namby pamby mess we got with the ACA. Maternity and sick leave, too. Instead of worrying about blaming the ACA for making things worse, consider that they weren't good to begin with.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Feb. 27, 2014 7:46 a.m.

    No one should apologize for the ACA because of stories like this. The villain here is the Granite School District not the ACA. It's obvious the district carved out a specific category of employees to treat differently than other employees (not provide health insurance ).

    My bet also is the other villain is the story teller. Chances are the security guard job is not a full time job and was simply abused by the district. The character in the story probably has insurance through another source (Medicare etc.), and took the security job as a supplement and now has to work a second part time job. Pretty much no harm no foul.

    If this is not true, and the story's character was trying to live on and buy health insurance on $12 and hour shame, shame, on the district.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Feb. 27, 2014 7:02 a.m.

    Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says there is “absolutely no evidence” that the Affordable Care Act will drive down employment, despite a report from the Congressional Budget Office released Feb. 4 predicting fewer people would be working.

    “There is absolutely no evidence, and every economist will tell you this, that there is any job-loss related to the Affordable Care Act,” Sebelius told reporters in Orlando, Fla., on Monday. “Part-time physicians are actually down since 2010, not up. The number of full-time workers continues to increase. I know that’s a popular myth that continues to be repeated but it just is not the case."

    Your government lied to you and is still lying to you America! What are you going to do about it?