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Te-Erika Patterson Headshot

How Wage Workers Will Survive the Side Effects of ObamaCare

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The scope of American health care will change completely once President Obama's Affordable Care Act is implemented. The premise of the new law will require employers to provide health insurance for their full-time employees.

Workers who have previously been unable to afford healthcare are applauding this effort while on the opposite end of the spectrum, businesses and corporations struggling to regain their composure in the wake of this country's recession are seeking creative ways to offset the costs of this new initiative.

According to FoxNews.com, Florida restaurateur John Metz, who owns and operates more than 40 restaurants across three states, is planning to reduce the hours of his employees while adding a 5 percent surcharge to the bills of the customers who frequent his restaurant.

Although the Affordable Care Act will impact a variety of businesses, those in the customer service industry will feel its effects most notably. For workers who depend on hourly wages, this may force them to seek additional employment causing them to spend less time at home with their families adding to the stress of those living at or just above the level of poverty.

What can we do to prepare for these changes?

We, the workers of the service industry who have become dependent on trading the hours of our day for wages must not be caught off guard by this transition. To prepare for this change I suggest that we:

  • Minimize our lifestyles by learning to live on less income right now.
  • Cut back on expenses, beginning with entertainment. Ex: Instead of spending money on alcohol at bars, buy a bottle and relax at home.
  • Trade unhealthy habits like smoking and drug use for self-care like exercise and sports, which in turn may allow for additional income once mastered by participating in competitions or teaching courses to others.
  • Develop a skill that allows a stream of income outside of working for wages. Ex: Cutting hair, babysitting, lawn care, recycling.
  • Learn to view wage work as supplemental income instead of primary income by becoming entrepreneurs.

We live in a world where self preservation is not only an instinct, it is key. Corporations will strategize to protect their best interests and so should you. Developing the mentality to move away from government assistance and dependence is the key factor in surviving during these new transitions.