Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told a gathering in Iowa City that the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, is pushing people into part-time jobs.
“We have built in some unfortunate incentives that discourage full-time employment,” said the former secretary of state who has backed the Obamacare law.
Hillary Clinton speaking at an event with Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, not pictured, in Omaha. (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Conservatives and critics of the Obamacare law have long asserted that requiring employers to provide insurance for all full-time employees would push some workers into part-time positions.
The employer mandate takes effect next month.
In addition to blaming Obamacare, Clinton also said the Family and Medical Leave Act signed into law by her husband, President Bill Clinton, shares some blame for so many part-time jobs as well.
During a town hall meeting Wednesday, a woman in the audience asked, “I just want to know why there is discrimination against the part-time workers when so many companies are going to part-time when it comes to FMLA?”
Clinton cited both laws.
“Well, that’s why they are going to part-time. That, and also, the Affordable Care Act,” Clinton said. “You know, we've got to change that because we have built in some unfortunate incentives that discourage full-time employment. A lot of employers believe if you don’t work 40-hours a week you don’t get benefits and that includes you don’t get health care benefits; that might include you’re not eligible for the family medical leave; you’re not eligible for paid sick days.”
The Congressional Budget Office projects that the employer mandates will costs businesses $167 billion from 2016 to 2025.
“There is a disincentive in our system that we need to deal with and I really worry about it because there is a trend to try and move more and more people into part-time work; and how many of you are part-time workers?” Clinton added. “And sometimes you want to work part-time, it fits into your family, it fits into your life obligations but sometimes you want to work full-time but you can’t get a full-time job. So, I want to look at all the employment rules.”