This was reported a week ago:
Under the president’s new amnesty, businesses will have a $3,000-per-employee incentive to hire illegal immigrants over native-born workers because of a quirk of Obamacare.
President Obama’s temporary amnesty, which lasts three years, declares up to 5 million illegal immigrants to be lawfully in the country and eligible for work permits, but it still deems them ineligible for public benefits such as buying insurance on Obamacare’s health exchanges.
Under the Affordable Care Act, that means businesses who hire them won’t have to pay a penalty for not providing them health coverage — making them $3,000 more attractive than a similar native-born worker, whom the business by law would have to cover.
But the story gained legs today, as Jeh Johnson was grilled about it in Congress:
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in congressional testimony today that the Affordable Care Act–also known as Obamacare–will not apply to illegal aliens who are allowed to stay and work in the United States as a result of President Obama’s executive action.
“Mr. Secretary, is it true that the illegal immigrants who are granted amnesty will not need to comply with the Affordable Care Act?” Rep. Lou Barlett (R-Pa.) asked Johnson at a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration.
“Those who are candidates for and are accepted into the Deferred Action Program will not be eligible for comprehensive health care, ACA,” Johnson responded.
Barletta then asked: “So therefore, an employer may have a decision to make: Do I keep the American worker and provide health insurance or pay a $3,000 fine or do I get rid of the American worker and hire someone who I do not have to provide health insurance, and I won’t get fined. Is that a possibility?”
“I don’t see it that way,” Johnson said.
“You don’t think any employers will see it that way?” Barletta asked.
“I don’t think I see it that way. No. No, sir,” Johnson said.
Even the lefty hacks at PolitiFact can’t deny it — they just have Tim Jost and other lefties who are in Obama’s pocket, claiming that it is Very Unlikely that businesses would take this step, simply because it might save them thousands of dollars:
Although this might save some money, it could cause problems for the business, said Timothy Jost, a health law professor at Washington and Lee University. Offering benefits comes with its own tax advantages, and it helps businesses attract talent and reduce absenteeism due to health issues.
Perhaps more restricting is the fact that these businesses could only employ illegal immigrants — no citizens — for this to work. That’s because the business is subject to a fine if even only one employee gets a subsidy.
In that case, the company would have to pay the employer mandate fine: $3,000 multiplied by the number of employees. (The tally would include all workers, even illegal immigrants.)
“The trigger for the employer mandate is that at least one of their full-time workers obtains a marketplace subsidy — so the only way an employer could be sure would be to only hire permitted illegal immigrants,” said Margaret Riley, a health law professor at the University of Virginia. “That seems pretty unlikely.”
The employer mandate is unpopular among many, not just conservatives, so arguing that the employer mandate incentivizes hiring illegal immigrants over citizens is effective politically, Riley said. But it would be too risky for a business to take these steps and “pull off such a stunt.”
“It is offered more as another argument against the employer mandate than as something that employers might actually try,” she said.
Each illegal employed is one less employee who might run off and get a subsidy that would slam the business with a fine. The more illegals you employ, the less your risk of the fine. The assertion that “businesses could only employ illegal immigrants — no citizens — for this to work” (that “only” is misplaced, editors; did you never learn proper English?) is completely wrong.
But since when was factual incorrectness an obstacle to lefty assertions in Big Media?