The White House may have enlisted celebrities (and a handful of Planned Parenthood locations) to help sell Obamacare, but the public has had no trouble buying into the idea that businesses owe their employees health insurance, regardless of the cost. A full year ago, Obama supporters threatened a boycott of the Papa John’s pizza chain after its CEO told shareholders it would pass along the cost of implementing Obamacare to consumers.
Just about any mention of paying the costs of Obamacare, whether through a implementing a surcharge (Denny’s), a hiring freeze (Applebee’s) or cutting hours (Olive Garden, Papa John’s), results in a call for a boycott. Is that why fashion retailer Forever 21 is insisting that its decision to cut full-time employees’ hours to 29.5 a week (just under the Affordable Care Act’s 30-hour threshold) has nothing to do with ducking the Obamacare mandate?
Fox's Michelle Malkin invents conspiracy theory that Forever 21 was intimidated into silence on Obamacare http://t.co/70SDcaEzCY
— Media Matters (@mmfa) August 19, 2013
— Derek Hunter (@derekahunter) August 19, 2013
— christiane thie (@cthie) August 19, 2013
Even reliably liberal outlets like MSNBC and The Huffington Post are flirting with that conspiracy, reporting that the retailer is “embroiled in an Obamacare minefield” whether it wants to admit it or not. But why would Forever 21 feel intimated about announcing it was cutting hours to avoid the Obamacare mandate?
No, you’ve got it all wrong! A company spokesperson wrote on Facebook that the cutbacks were based on projected store sales and are “completely independent of the Affordable Care Act.”
— ? Faruk Ateş (Supernova) (@KuraFire) August 19, 2013
— Sharon Carbine (@SharonCarbine) August 19, 2013
@Forever21 I will boycott your stores until you stop decreasing employee's hrs and layoffs
— MjRaptors (@MjRaptors) August 19, 2013
— Salem for Obama (@Salem4Obama) August 19, 2013
— VoteJoeBiden (@carmelmanion) August 19, 2013
@washingtonpost Boycott "FOREVER 21" ASAP!
— Liz Beth (@TheLizbeth10) August 19, 2013
Forever 21 cut hours to 29.5 just under the 30 mark to insure employees. Boycott http://t.co/YKV29HCCyI
— HollisCenter (@HollisCenterME) August 19, 2013
— Henri Pierpoint (@LeftHandLacey) August 18, 2013
Even the White House’s anti-bullying czar seems to have subscribed to Michelle Malkin’s crazy conspiracy theory that health insurance is the issue here.
Single. Payer. Now.
“Forever 21 demoting all non-management full time employees 2 avoid paying healthcare benefits. pic.twitter.com/HVSSPElmhf”
— Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) August 18, 2013
Everything has glitches at first, right?