Friday, June 28, 2013

What Happens When You Write Too Complex of a Law

It appears that the immigration bill that passed the Senate, like Obamacare, was too complex for the Senate to fully understand.  Multiple news organizations, not all on the right, have pointed out that because the "registered provisional immigrants" (today's illegal aliens) are not eligible for Obamacare, it creates a really perverse incentive.  As John B. Judis at New Republic points out:
It creates an incentive for employers to hire the new immigrants over citizens or green-card holders and to provide neither with health insurance. Under the Affordable Care Act, employers with fewer than 50 workers do not have to buy health insurance for their employees, but businesses with 50 or more workers—which employ about three-quarters of American workers—either have to provide insurance or pay a fine for those workers who buy insurance through the exchanges the act creates. The fine is ordinarily $2,000 but can run as high as $3,000.
Businesses with 50 or more employees that choose to pay a fine rather than provide insurance will not have to pay fines for the RPIs or blue-card holders because they are not eligible for the exchanges. So employers will be able to save from $2,000 to $3,000 a year by hiring a new immigrant over an American citizen. For salaries that hover between $15,000 and $25,000, as they do in many immigrant-heavy industries, that’s no small savings. Even an advocate for low-income immigrants sees the language as a potential problem: “We don’t want them to hire immigrants over citizens because of that loophole,” says Sonal Ambegaokar, who analyzes health policy for the National Immigration Law Center. “We want a level playing field.”
I really think this is just incompetence, not an intentional effort by the Democrats to make sure that today's illegal aliens get jobs so that people who obey laws don't.  But then again, I don't think the Democrats are all that smart.

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