Papa Johns, SeaWorld, and UPS are just some of the few companies, among others, that have cut worker’s hours to avoid Obamacare requirements that part-time employees are provided health insurance by their employer. Rather than comply with Obamacare, these businesses hurt employees out of sheer greed or hatred of President Obama’s signature law. But not Disney World.
Disney World is taking a different approach to employee care.
Instead of being cruel to their part-time workers by cutting their hours, the Florida theme park has been inspired by Obamacare to offer them full-time employment so that they can get full health care coverage.
According to Bloomberg, 427 part-time employees are being offered full-time status so that they can qualify for health benefits under the Affordable Care Act.
“The offer was made to staffers who put in more than 1,500 hours in the past year, the threshold at which employers will be required to offer coverage, said Ed Chambers, president of the Service Trades Council, which represents 37,000 at Disney parks in Orlando… “Disney wants to be proactive. Disney is way out in front on this.””
This is the way all businesses should treat their employees. Disney World is already “the happiest place on Earth” for families. Now it’s proving to be one of the happiest places on Earth for people to go to work as well. And Obamacare is the reason why.
But if House Republicans have their way, great stories like this could cease. Because they have a deep hatred of President Obama, the GOP has waged a constant war against the Affordable Care Act. In their desperation to kill the law, Republicans have filed lawsuits challenging the law’s constitutionality, but were defeated after the Supreme Court ruled the law perfectly constitutional. Outraged, House Republicans have continued holding votes to repeal the law on a consistent, and useless, basis. To date, House Republicans have voted to repeal the law nearly 40 times since officially taking control of the chamber in 2011. And on the same day that people could finally start signing up for the health insurance exchanges created by Obamacare, House Republicans shut down the government because the Senate and President Obama refused to delay or kill the law within the budget resolution as the GOP demanded.
So many people tried signing up for Obamacare on Tuesday that there were website issues and delays. Because of the law, health care premiums have dropped from California to New York. In addition, insurance companies can no long drop customers for getting sick and Americans cannot be denied insurance if they have a pre-existing condition. But such positive news has fallen on deaf ears among the rank and file of the Republican Party. They’d rather watch the nation and the federal government burn than give up on their obsession to dismantle the greatest achievement of America’s first African-American President. But as the law becomes increasingly popular and businesses like Disney continue to treat their employees better because of it, Republicans risk committing political suicide if they continue their anti-Obamacare crusade. And that’s assuming the GOP hasn’t already committed political suicide by shutting the government down.
Disney World is setting an example that other companies would be wise to follow.
Feel-good stories such as these raise a company’s profile in the eyes of an American public that values compassion and fairness. It creates a more positive reputation that is sure to generate more customers and profit over the long term. People generally support businesses that take care of their employees because businesses like that tend to have excellent customer care as well. Happier employees makes for happier customers and by giving workers health insurance, Disney is doing both in spite of Republican claims that Obamacare is bad for the country.
ThinkProgress reports that,
“Disney’s decision tracks with a recent survey of chief financial officers at large American firms finding that American companies actually intend to increase their number of full-time employees by almost 2 percent over the next year, despite repeated claims by Obamacare critics that the reform law will create a part-time economy, discourage hiring, or encourage employers to roll back workers’ hours to avoid Obamacare.”
In other words, Republicans are lying when they say Obamacare is harming America.
Although greedy companies like Papa Johns get all the headlines for hurting their workers, the actual truth is that more companies are treating their employees better because of Obamacare than are treating them unfairly because of it.
Instead of screwing over their workers in the name of profit, Disney and other companies are doing the right thing by making sure their employees are taken care of, even if it means advancing part-time workers to full-time employment to make sure they’re covered. Disney is already one of the most hated companies among conservatives. Now you can bet that Disney is even MORE hated by them. And that, like a business taking care of its employees, is a wonderful thing.