KANSAS CITY -- Missouri Senator Roy Blunt is touring businesses that he says may cut jobs because of the implementation of health care reform. A linen supply company says the federal Affordable Care Act will cost it more than $200,000 a year, money the company says it can't afford to spend.
Superior Linen & Supply provides clean linen to doctors' offices and hospitals. One of its biggest clients is Liberty Hospital, which just recently announced $20 million in cuts because of lower government payments that are part of health care reform.
Liberty Hospital already has asked Superior to cut its costs, meaning this small business is doing the same amount of work for less money. And while the firm brings in less, it's being forced to pay more for health coverage for its 70 workers.
The president of Superior says a $3,000 per worker annual penalty or $400 per month in premium increases is unaffordable and punitive.
Sen. Roy Blunt says it's an example of how more businesses will be forced to cut hours, resulting in more part-time jobs, to get around the health care law requirements.
"I think there's no question that there's great incentives in the President's health care plan not to hire," Blunt said. "They're incentives not to hire, they're incentives not to transition part-time people to full-time jobs. In fact, there are big incentives if there is a full-time job that becomes vacant to replace it with a couple of part-time people."
Company President Bill Kartsonis told Blunt he believes small family businesses like his are being punished for providing entry-level jobs for unskilled workers. Superior does provide some health care coverage after workers have been on the job for a year, but Kartsonis says the coverage the law requires is too expensive.
Supporters of health care reform tell FOX 4 News that it's more important that people receive the care they need and aren't forced to choose between buying groceries or medicine.