Obamacare is facing a ton of backlash from conservatives, but businesses aren't too keen on the plan either. And as Jon Stewart put it on last night's Daily Show, the problem boils down to our country's independent spirit. "Americans like freedom, and we don't like being told what to do, whether by a king or the government. And that's why things like seatbelt laws or having to get rid of slaves were met with so much resistance," Stewart said. "Well guess what? Now they're coming for your health care."
Of course, there are two ways for businesses to get around the Obamacare requirement — they can pay a $2,000 penalty (as opposed to the roughly $10,000 a year it costs a business to provide healthcare coverage) or they can cut their full-time staff to part-time. Either way, employers are saving themselves a few grand per employee, and telling their employees to, in Stewart's words, "to go f*** themselves."
No one knows more about exploiting employees than the Daily Show's resident deranged millionaire John Hodgman. When asked about employers gaming the healthcare system, Hodgman called them amateurs. "Reducing work hours, cutting employee roles, I mean these idiots are still playing mandatory overtime for work on weekends," Hodgman replied. How do you get out of paying weekend overtime? Change the calendar.
Besides, how do you offer maternity leave if you pay overtime, Hodgman countered. "You offer maternity leave?" Stewart asked. "Sure I do," Hodgman said. "If someone gets pregnant, they can leave."
But really, the key to Hodgman's cost cutting plan is to employ children. While it's illegal to hire child laborers, it's okay to hire child actors. "Yes, I'm making a movie. It's a heartwarming story of a bunch of misfit kids who come together under the leadership of a grumpy but lovable coach to form an underdog shirtwaist factory," Hodgman said. "I've been filming for seven years, 16 hours a day." Businesses sure could learn a thing or two from this guy.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.