[Guest post by DRJ]
Several large companies including AT&T, John Deere, and Caterpillar recently announced higher anticipated costs because of ObamaCare, but they aren’t the only businesses expecting costs to increase. Seasonal employers like ski resorts — businesses that typically rely on part-time or short-term workers who aren’t covered by health care policies — will also be affected. Take, for instance, New Hampshire:
“The state’s seasonal tourism industry is only now beginning to realize that it could get hammered by the new health care reform law.
The bill signed into law on Tuesday by President Barack Obama fines businesses that do not provide health insurance to full-time employees who work more than 120 days a year. The assessment is $2,000 per employee, which, according to SkiNH lobbyist Bruce Berke and group president Alice Pearce, could mean as much as $1 million in fines to the big ski resorts, some of which hire as many as 500 seasonal workers.
Also affected would be any business that hires on a seasonal basis, and, like most nationally, do not offer health insurance.”
New Hampshire resorts have asked their Senators to try to reinstate the $750/person fines for employees working 150 days as set forth in the original Senate bill, instead of the $2,000/person fines for 120 day workers contained in the reconciliation package:
“SkiNH is asking Sens. Judd Gregg and Jeanne Shaheen to support returning to the original Senate parameters because, Pearce and Berke say, it would have minimal impact on their industry.
Otherwise, Pearce said, it will be up to each ski resort (and presumably, seasonal attractions statewide) to figure out how to handle it. The choices are pretty clear, either increase prices or cut costs, which could mean hiring fewer workers next winter.”
New Hampshire isn’t the only State facing this problem:
“The new provision has ski areas and the hotel and lodging industry nationally concerned.
In Colorado, a Steamboat Springs official said it could cost that resort as much as $2 million a year.”
This sounds bleak for resorts and the leisure industry. Not only is it hard to find people with the money to take vacations, now they also face fines for each worker. I also wonder if ObamaCare applies to cruise lines that sail to and from U.S. ports. With many ships sailing with onboard physicians, do cruise lines provide health insurance for all their workers and, if not, what will this do to their bottom line?