Buried amidst the wall-to-wall coverage of pressing national issues like Michael Sam’s coming out party and Chris Christie’s traffic jam, the Obama Administration has announced that it will be delaying and weakening the employer mandate once again. Politico notes that this will be a boon to unscrupulous small business owners who now have more time to scale back their workers’ hours without it being too obvious under a process called “self-attestation.” Imagine if we could all self-attest our personal income taxes!
Even more bizarrely, President Obama seems to be pleased with himself to note that volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel will not be included in the employer mandate. Imagine that: people who have dedicated their lives to protecting the health and safety of others will now be cast into the non-functional federal exchanges where, if they’re very patient and very lucky, they can qualify for Medicare or government subsidies.
The perversity of all this seems to elude the commentators in the mainstream media outlets. Obama’s party relies on the leadership of labor and public sector unions to provide vast funding and organizational support. On the other hand, the greatest achievements of the labor movement over the last century were the 40-hour work week and the guarantee of health benefits for employees. Now we watch as Obama’s policies are dismantling these mainstays of the middle class.
While liberals lament the growth of income inequality, ObamaCare is driving the haves and have-nots even further apart. At the top, salaried employees with good benefits will manage to absorb the ever-increasing costs of health care. At the bottom, blue collar and service workers will see their hours cut, their income reduced, and worst of all, will be forced to rely more and more on the government. This should come as no surprise from the president who never tires of saying that every American should have a college education instead of recognizing the dignity of good old fashioned hard work.
The words of Ecclesiastes come to mind: “There is nothing better for mortals than to rejoice in their work; for this is their lot.” America is defined by our work ethic and the pride that we take in a job well done. ObamaCare turns this on its head. Instead of rejoicing in our work, we are penalized by our government for having a steady job. The Catechism tells us that one of the sins which cries out to Heaven for vengeance is injustice to the wage earner. What can be more unjust than depriving hundreds of thousands of workers of the ability to simply do their jobs?
Meanwhile, the Obama Administration is not backing down one bit on their vicious persecution of Christian employers who object to the HHS contraceptive, abortifacient, and sterilization mandate. The Little Sisters of the Poor will find no relief from ObamaCare’s onerous mandates, but employers who don’t want to provide insurance for all of their employers will get a break. Of course, in the liberal media, this capricious and dastardly abuse of the law is just a “tweak” that will help us “get this right in the long term,” except the long term future of ObamaCare is like pushing a snowball uphill; the harder you push, the heavier and more difficult it gets.
Those who labor at this Sisyphean task will find the cost of health care an increasingly unbearable and impossible burden. Another verse from Ecclesiastes sums up life in the Age of Obama perfectly: “What profit have workers from their toil?” Honest work is a gift from God and it is a virtue to sacrifice one’s income for the good of others. It is quite another matter to have one’s livelihood snatched away as a result of technocratic arrogance and bureaucratic incompetence. Hardworking Americans deserve better.