Obamacare call center employees not offered health care benefits

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: Obamacare, call center, health insurance

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(NaturalNews) News reports of late have declared that, despite it being passed nearly three years ago, Americans are "still confused" over Obamacare and its myriad of regulations, requirements and provisions.

Confused yes, but increasingly angry as well.

Why? Because as the time draws near for most of the law's remaining provisions to kick in, the roaches who created this monstrosity are scurrying for the darkness in a bid to distance themselves from the law they helped draft and pass. Their actions are creating an unprecedented environment of utter hypocrisy that would make even the most cynical, seasoned political observer wince.

Hypocrisy, surrounded by irony and submerged in obfuscation and denial

To wit:

-- Remember a few months back when reports surfaced that members of Congress were negotiating in secret to develop a way to exempt themselves and their aides from the ravages of Obamacare? Politico broke the story:

The talks - which involve Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), the Obama administration and other top lawmakers - are extraordinarily sensitive, with both sides acutely aware of the potential for political fallout from giving carve-outs from the hugely controversial law to 535 lawmakers and thousands of their aides. Discussions have stretched out for months, sources said.

Lawmakers quickly backed away from those revelations, but they never refuted the crux of the story and, in fact, defended efforts to exempt themselves and their staffs.

-- One of the most daunting provisions of Obamacare is that enforcement of its various penalties and sanctions will be carried out in large part by the hated Internal Revenue Service - to the point where the law requires adding 16,000 new agents to the IRS to ensure your compliance. Only, as reports in recent days have revealed, that agency's own union announced it wanted no part of the law either. Per The Washington Examiner:

National Treasury Employees Union officials are urging members to write their congressional representatives in opposition to receiving coverage through President Obama's health care law.

The union leaders are providing members with a form letter to send to the congressmen that says "I am very concerned about legislation that has been introduced by Congressman Dave Camp to push federal employees out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and into the insurance exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act."

That IRS union members, whose ranks would be charged with Obamacare enforcement, want out is the pinnacle of irony.

-- The president and his supporters have all regularly denied reports that Obamacare is a job killer and is affecting full-time employment especially. But recent polls of businesses have confirmed as much.

"We were startled because we know that employers were concerned about the Affordable Care Act and the effects it would have on their business, but we didn't realize the extent they were concerned, or that the businesses were being proactive to make sure the effects of the ACA actually were minimized," said attorney Steven Friedman of Littler Mendelson, in an interview with CNBC, commenting on the results of a survey his firm commissioned through Gallup.

"If the small businesses' fears are reasonable, then it could mean that the small business sector grows slower than what economic conditions otherwise would indicate. And small businesses have been a growth engine in the economy," he said.

Not full time and you'll, um, need to pay for your own health insurance

Now we find that even call centers set up to handle questions about the complex law are are hiring largely part-time employees and will offer them no health insurance benefits. Per the Contra Costa Times in California:

Earlier this year, Contra Costa County won the right to run a health care call center, where workers will answer questions to help implement the president's Affordable Care Act. Area politicians called the 200-plus jobs it would bring to the region an economic coup.

Now, with two months to go before the Concord operation opens to serve the public, information has surfaced that about half the jobs are part-time, with no health benefits -- a stinging disappointment to workers and local politicians who believed the positions would be full-time.

That's because, according to the paper, when the jobs were first posted they were posted as full-time positions.

One worker, who talked to the newspaper on condition of anonymity, summed up the hypocrisy thusly: "What's really ironic is working for a call center and trying to help people get health care, but we can't afford it ourselves."

To add insult to injury, workers who were initially employed under the guise of being full-time were later told after they were re-designated as part timers that they would have to come up with the money to pay for their own health insurance: $600 to $1,200 a month for a single worker and between $1,400 to $2,900 a month for an employee with a family.

The employees will make between $15.33 and $18.63 an hour.


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