The PJ Tatler

Obamacare Costs Trader Joe's Part-Time Workers Their Health Coverage

The Huffington Post (!) reports on another company that’s just doing it wrong (according to liberals).

After extending health care coverage to many of its part-time employees for years, Trader Joe’s has told workers who log fewer than 30 hours a week that they will need to find insurance on the Obamacare exchanges next year, according to a confidential memo from the grocer’s chief executive.

In the memo to staff dated Aug. 30, Trader Joe’s CEO Dan Bane said the company will cut part-timers a check for $500 in January and help guide them toward finding a new plan under the Affordable Care Act. The company will continue to offer health coverage to workers who carry 30 hours or more on average.

The law mandates that companies with 50 employees or more offer coverage to such full-time employees, though the Obama administration has chosen to delay that rule for a year.

Trader Joe’s has won kudos for offering its health care, dental and vision plans to part-time workers at a reasonable price — a rarity in an industry known for low pay and scant benefits. But with low-wage workers eligible for tax subsidies to buy health insurance next year, the company has apparently calculated that offering medical coverage to part-timers who work 18 hours or more is no longer worth the cost.

Those “subsidies” are paid for by workers who still have full-time jobs, in the form of taxes. The subsidies are a transfer of wealth. They are also an incentive for companies to drop coverage and drive up dependence on the subsidies and the government-run insurance exchanges.

Like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s markets are on the upscale side of things and cater to the foodie set. That’s not me being snarky, as I’m a Whole Foods customer and will be a Trader Joe’s customer once they land in Austin later this month. Both are great stores that offer insane variety and high quality. Trader Joe’s prices tend to be lower than Whole Foods’.

The fact that these two trendy markets are behind the Obamacare 8-ball ought to awaken some of the president’s supporters to the reality that his signature legislation is a hot mess. It won’t, but it ought to. Whole Foods was among the first to warn America that Obamacare would be a job destroya, but the lefties responded not with chin strokes and calm reconsideration, but with protests. Those hippie pickets made me a Whole Foods man, by the way.