Eric Cantor to Obama: Restore Wages, Ditch Obamacare

Eric Cantor / AP

Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) said that Obamacare is the source of the wage crisis the president is attempting to address with a steep minimum wage increase.

"In 2013, President Obama supported a $9 minimum wage. This year, he proposed a $10.10 minimum wage, which at the federal level turns out to be an increase roughly equal to the amount of wages a minimum wage employee would lose if they had their hours cut by 25 percent, as is happening under one provision of Obamacare," he said in a blog post on Thursday.

Companies are cutting hours in order to avoid providing expensive health insurance to their employees, leaving workers with less take-home pay. Cantor highlighted the plight of substitute teachers and fry cooks who have seen their wages decline thanks to Obamacare.

"Rather than restore wages and hours lost by working middle-class Americans due to Obamacare, Democrats are hiding these losses behind a false debate about the minimum wage," he wrote.

The op-ed follows a February fact check that Cantor performed on Obama’s claims that the 40 percent minimum wage bill would offset Obamacare losses. A current minimum wage employee working 40 hours per week would earn just $2.50 less than a worker makining $10.10 per hour and working 29 hours per week, according to Cantor’s analysis.

  • Because of Obamacare’s regulations, an hourly worker’s hours can be reduced by as much as 25 percent to get below the 30 hour threshold.
  • In 2013, President Obama proposed a $9/hour minimum wage ($261/week @ 29 hours).Coincidentally this year, he upped his proposal to an amount that just replaces the money robbed from hourly worker’s paychecks by Obamacare.
  • Yet, 21 states already have a minimum wage higher than $7.25. An hourly worker in Washington may be celebrating the Seahawks win, but he isn’t celebrating Obamacare gutting his pay by $102.52/week.

The minimum wage could take its own toll on employment, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, which has found that the 40 percent minimum wage hike could eliminate up to 1 million jobs, while driving up the deficit by at least $5 billion.

"In response to lost jobs, hours, and wages due to Obamacare, President Obama is proposing cutting more hours, and more jobs," Cantor said. "The madness has to stop."

The House will debate a proposed bill to restore wage cuts suffered by workers because of Obamacare next week, according to the post.