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.
The Contra Costa County supervisor whose district includes the call center called the whole hiring process — which attracted about 7,000 applicants — a “comedy of errors.”
Ha. Ha. Ha. But wait! It gets ‘better.’ Apparently the employees took this job on the understanding that it was full-time work. At least according to one anonymous employee, who says that they were told of their new status after they took the job – yeah, when you hear stuff like that? That’s when you save yourself some trouble and just up and quit right then and there. Why? Because inevitably things like this happen.
Those who became part-time were told they would have to pay full freight on their health plans, ranging from $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. That is a steep bill for employees with part-time jobs paying from $15.33 to $18.63 an hour.
Let’s see. If the numbers quoted in the article are correct (big ‘if’)… well. 29 hours a week – a lot of these jobs go away, by the way; the part time hours cover extended hours for the call center, which will only be temporarily in place – at $18.63 comes out to, at best, $540.37 a week. Turn that into monthly, and that’s just over $2,161 a month. That’s not so… oh, wait! Almost forgot: taxes. I’m just going to go by my usual rule of thumb and assume that Uncle Sam and all of his younger sons take their usual one-third. That works out to… do doot do… just under $1,448 a month. And the person with a job has to pay for his own health care, starting next year. Individual mandate, remember?
:Looks at average wage:
:Looks at range for single workers:
:Looks at range for family coverage:
Orphans preferred, I’m thinking.
PS: I wonder if SEIU was planning to still brag about this one. Oh, yeah, this is a union shop. Why do you think that the county government didn’t just make the whole darn thing part time, and not pay for anybody’s health care?
PPS: Yes, I know: they’re promising that there’s going to be affordable plans and subsidies and whatnot. They also promised that you could keep your doctor and your plan if you were happy with it, that costs would go down, and that passing Obamacare would not have the same practical effect on the Democratic Congressional caucuses as an outbreak of typhus would have in 1874. How did all of those promises turn out, again?