Archive for Sunday, May 26, 2013

Turnpike toll collectors to see changes in how many hours they work because of ACA, officials say

May 26, 2013


— Toll collectors on the Kansas Turnpike are going to see some changes in how many hours they work because of the Affordable Care Act, officials said.

The ACA requires that employees who average 30 or more hours per week must have employer-provided health care coverage.

But the Kansas Turnpike Authority does not provide coverage for part-time employees, some of whom work more than 30 hours per week.

So, those collectors will have their work hours decreased.

"We plan to remain consistent with our long-term policy of not providing coverage for part time KTA employees," a KTA memo to toll collectors said earlier this month. "In order to achieve that goal and remain consistent with the law, we will need to limit the number of hours that part time collectors work each week."

The part-time collectors will be scheduled for a maximum of three eight-hour shifts per week.

KTA has 131 full-time toll collectors and 93 part-time collectors, according to Mike Johnston, president and chief executive officer of the KTA. Johnston said he didn't know how many toll collectors will see a change in their hours.

Since the 236-mile turnpike that runs from Kansas City, Kan., to the Oklahoma border south of Wichita is a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week operation, the change in policy will have a ripple effect.

Some part-time collectors, "whose willingness to work a variety of shifts has been very limited," may be "required to improve their availability," the memo said.

Some full-time employees may be required to work more shifts than their standard schedule and some toll districts may have to hire additional part-time help.

"There is nothing nefarious going on. We are taking steps administratively that would make certain that we continue not to provide benefits to part-time people," Johnston said.

The requirement to offer health insurance to employees working 30 hours a week or more applies to employers with 50 or more full-time workers.


toe 4 years, 1 month ago

One good thing about ACA is it will speed automation. Go Obamacare.

windjammer 4 years, 1 month ago

Have you forgot who changed a perfectly run KTA.

KS 4 years, 1 month ago

Just the tip of the iceberg. The dumb government should already know that every time they put in a new law or rule, there will be somebody to figure a way around it. The Government needs to stay out of our lives. It will happen more and more. I understand that even the unions are upset with Obama on this law. I see where they want it either repealed or drastically changed. I think we will see some things happen.

windjammer 4 years, 1 month ago

Obama had nothing to do with the KTA. Have you ever heard of a guy named Brownback?

Mike1949 4 years, 1 month ago

You understand unions are upset? They have adult reading comprehension classes, I suggest you take a few classes! Brownback, not Obama!

John Hamm 4 years, 1 month ago

No, Mike. The Unions supported BO = ACA = ObamaCare from day one. Now they find there's a good chance their benefits are going to pot and they are unhappy! I just don't understand how anyone can confuse BO with Brownback. Brownback had absolutely nothing to do with ACA. But I guess Liberals have to blame somebody since The Leader can do no wrong in their eyes.

weatherguy48 4 years, 1 month ago

"There is nothing nefarious going on. We are taking steps administratively that would make certain that we continue not to provide benefits to part-time people," Johnston said.

'Part-time people'? Are you serious? Did this guy seriously just say that? How did this guy somehow meander his way into the position that he is in without learning how to speak respectfully about other humans?

Because Jesus cross-dressing Christ, I'm almost speechless.

We have part time employees here, some of them used to working 30 or more hours per week. They budget for that, some of them may have even made important decisions based on that wage. Now though, they get their hours cut because their employer decided that 'part time people' are not worth offering the benefits of a medical plan.

Meanwhile, the existing 'full-time people' are working more hours, just to cover for the worthless part-time people that the agency doesn't want to provide insurance for. The full time people, already with benefits, will make even more money while the people without insurance will lose more money.

Does anyone else see how wrong this is?

Stuart Sweeney 4 years, 1 month ago

I see alot wrong with it and it is the basic concept of providing every person with diginity and respect.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 1 month ago

weatherguy48 - In one sentence in admonish someone for not speaking to people with respect and in the very next sentence you use the term "Jesus cross-dressing Christ". Now I'm not a Christian, but I can see how a Christian might take offense to that particular choice of words. Practice what you preach, much? Not.

tomatogrower 4 years, 1 month ago

Those are just words. The Republican party is about action that demeans and does not reward hard workers. Actions speak louder than words, didn't your mother ever tell you that?

Dave Trabert 4 years, 1 month ago

Their hours are being cut because of Obamacare and intrusive government.

bad_dog 4 years, 1 month ago

Funny how the insurance industry requires an employee to be actively at work for only 30 hours per week in order to qualify for group insurance benefits. The insurance industry considers such employees eligible for insurance coverage. So do their employers. Seems to me the Kansas government is the party shirking their responsibility here. So their hours are being cut because Kansas' intrusive government as it currently stands doesn't want these employees to have health insurance.

bad_dog 4 years, 1 month ago

It's also quite intriguing this change occurred following the forced merger of the KTA & KDOT. Talk about intrusive government; the current regime is the most intrusive I can recall in the more than 4 decades I've resided here.

KS 4 years, 1 month ago

I don't think you read the article very close. The KTA was very clear, ""We plan to remain consistent with our long-term policy of not providing coverage for part time KTA employees," a KTA memo to toll collectors said earlier this month. "In order to achieve that goal and remain consistent with the law, we will need to limit the number of hours that part time collectors work each week." This has NOTHING to do with Brownback. Get with life, folks.

deec 4 years, 1 month ago

If it is a long term policy, then clearly it has nothing to do with ACA, either.

chootspa 4 years, 1 month ago

Their hours are being cut because the intrusive state government decided to raid the money in the KTA. The money that could have gone to health care benefits will now go to further line the pockets of some of the billionaires that pay you to come on this board and post vapid comments like that one, Dave.

windjammer 4 years, 1 month ago

Did Obama turn the KTA over to the KDOT?

oldexbeat 4 years, 1 month ago

No, their hours are being cut to prove a point by brownbackistan and ALEC/Koch LLC. -- ie. we will get rid of that black guy in the White House, no matter how many Kansans have to pay for our attempt to do so -- oh wait, he won. Dave, get over it. He won. We need better health system. You offer nothing.

globehead 4 years, 1 month ago

"Their hours are being cut because of Obamacare and intrusive government." ??? They are working, taxpaying, contributing citizens of this state. They work in revenue enhancing jobs. They work for a current administration who disrespects them and shows no concern for their well being; The Bible thumping thugs who wear their religion on their sleeves but don't have a clue how to practice it. It's an idea which was probably initiated by a political Stink Tank, like the Kansas Policy Institute.

progressive_thinker 4 years, 1 month ago

Hours are being cut because of KTA management decision, not because of the Affordable Care Act. The truth is that the cost of providing health insurance for these 93 part time employees could easily be accommodated in the net profits [listed as the increase in net assets] that are routinely seen by the KTA. An increase of toll revenue of less than one half of one percent would similarly cover this cost.

The KTA could, but has chosen not to, reduce their head count by making more employees full time thus further reducing their liability for providing health insurance.

The fact is that the KTA has chosen to continue to cling to the longstanding corporate practice of passing the cost of their employees health care onto the insured public.

John Hamm 4 years, 1 month ago

There's absolutely no disrespect in that. They are part-time people. You might want to reread the article - The KTA has never offered health-care to part-time people and doesn't intend to start just because ObamaCare requires it. What's wrong with this is how poorly ObamaCare is designed, how quickly it was passed without rigorous inspection and how people such as you try to blame something other than the root cause of the problem.

question4u 4 years, 1 month ago

These government regulations are ruining everything. If it weren't for the government interfering in our lives we'd be free to send our 10-year-olds to work in coal mines without respirators for 30 cents an hour for twelve-hour shifts and six-day work weeks. But no, we have to have child labor laws, a minimum wage, safety requirements, and a 40-hour work week. Just think of all the profits that businesses could make if they weren't forced to treat their employees like human beings.

This ACA thing is just a minor obstacle on Kansas's road to third-world status, though. Businesses can always cut the hours of part-time employees to make sure that they don't get health care. Kansas isn't going to let any federal laws force it to improve conditions for workers. That would undo the hard work of Brownback and the Legislature to increase the taxes that Kansas workers pay.

Just remember, health care for currently uninsured Kansans: bad; increased sales tax, cut in standard deduction, elimination of earned income credit, reduced retirement benefits for state employees, no raises in six years for state employees: good. Or, to make it even simpler, just follow the Kansas Legislature's (i.e., Kansas Chamber of Commerce's) golden rule: do unto workers whatever you like, as long as it's not to their benefit.

Stuart Sweeney 4 years, 1 month ago

Government regulations are not ruining everything. Government regulations come about when people and business's fail to do what they should do in the first place!

rtwngr 4 years, 1 month ago

The AFCA is about redistribution of wealth. It has never worked. It will never work.

chootspa 4 years ago

The American Football Coaches Association?

costello 4 years, 1 month ago

My son looked into applying for a part-time job with the KTA. They have a rule, though, that they don't hire smokers - or anyone who's spouse smokes. So, it's okay for an employer to intrude into its employee's personal life - even though, apparently, they're not providing health insurance coverage? Why do we put up with this crap? I'm not a smoker, but I wouldn't work for an employer with such a rule.

KS 4 years, 1 month ago

I agree on the NO SMOKING part. It would not look good for a toll taker to be taking a smoke break at the toll booth. Common sense. Quit smoking and save a ton of money. You want the job, play by the rules. Why is that so hard? What a mentality we have in this country today. I would not want to work for a company that allows smoke breaks for some and no breaks for others. Smoking is soooo stupid. Looking at a person that smoked for years. Best decision that I ever made to quit.

costello 4 years ago

This isn't a rule about smoke breaks. This is a rule where the employer tells the employee what he or she (and his or her spouse) can do when they're not at work. I do have a problem with that.

When my son pointed this rule out to me a couple of weeks ago, my reaction was that I wouldn't work for them because they seem to treat their employees with distain. I'm a grown up, and I don't need my employer telling me what I can or can't do when I'm not at work.

This article confirms my suspicion that the KTA doesn't care about their employees.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 1 month ago

You can't blame this on the ACA. This was the KTA's Choice on how to RESPOND to the ACA. The KTA had a Choice. The part time workers did not. It is pure politics to blame The Affordable Care Act. IT CAN work if it is allowed to. But we know so many have already DECIDED NOT to let it work.Then, THEY can explain why people that NEED Health Care CAN'T Get IT. THEY can Explain the OBSTRUCTIONISM of A LAW that was meant to benefit everyone and was upheld by The SCOTUS. Shame on the KTA for putting Full time personnel's health needs over that of Part time Personnel. This is AMERICA. All who need healthcare should have AFFORDABLE access.

Brock Masters 4 years, 1 month ago

Well under the ACA won't they have access? They will be able to buy it and have it subsidized - right?

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 1 month ago

If the KTA doesn't provide it then,Yes they can buy insurance from a private company. How much insurance can you afford on a part time job? What are the premiums going to be for single or family coverage? Will they be in a Group that will give them a group Discount? If they don't make enough to buy insurance, will they be subsidized? Where will the subsidies come from? Taxes?

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

Yes, the generous subsidies come from taxes.

And, the "exchanges" that are to be established essentially offer everybody the chance to get into a group plan, with corresponding premiums.

According to the last research I did, people making up to 4x the poverty level will qualify for some sort of subsidy.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 1 month ago

Speaking from personal experience, even in the State Insurance Plan we use, My spouse pays 4x what I pay for the same Health coverage simply because her FTE quotient is.8(part-time) and not 1.0(full time) like mine. And I looked into combining the two of us and it was more expensive than what we are doing now(2 single policies). I know the part time KTA people are probably in the same situation.

Liberty275 4 years, 1 month ago

LOL. The real question is how do you pay for insurance working 24 hours a week instead of 33.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 1 month ago

My Point, Exactly. A part time employee is already making less yet they pay a higher premium for not being full time. The answer to the second part is that it is awful hard to pay for anything with a job that gives that few hours at that little pay, especially families with children.

chootspa 4 years, 1 month ago

If Brownback weren't too stupid to take it, they likely would have qualified for expanded medicaid coverage, too.

KS 4 years, 1 month ago

Subsidized? Get real. We have a dilemma coming. Kansas, which is among many states that will not have an exchange and the Fed's are required by Obamacare to have the Fed exchanges in place by January 1, 2014. Problem is that Queen Kathy has announced that the Federal Exchanges are not going to be ready until Jan 1, 2015 or 2016 at the earliest. Who is going to violate the Fed Law now? My bet is that within the next year and one half, we will see a ton of changes to Obamacare; maybe even a repeal.

chootspa 4 years ago

It was horrible horrible news over in California, where rates came in much lower than expected. Horrible news for the people who keep wishing the law will fail, that is.

Brock Masters 4 years, 1 month ago

Critical - you're right. Anytime the government passes a new tax the people and business will try to figure out how to minimize its impact on them. We all do it.

tomatogrower 4 years, 1 month ago

I have health insurance, I'm not going to pay any tax. Why don't you go out and get health insurance and quit sponging off of those of us who are responsible?

Brock Masters 4 years, 1 month ago

tomato, rather snarky and ignorant comment. I have insurance so I am not sponging off anyone.

Second, a business has two choices provide health insurance or face taxes. The KTA is not providing health insurance now, they don't want to provide it and therefore are taking steps to avoid additional tax.

Liberty275 4 years, 1 month ago

Since insurance-on-demand with no regard for pre-existing conditions is becoming the law of the land, it's cheaper to pay cash to the doctor for a year of prescriptions and if you get really ill, then you get insurance and make everyone else pay for your $100,000 bypass. If the system is designed to be gamed, then you game the system.

This is going to save us more than $8000/yr in health insurance.

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

An unfortunate unintended consequence of this stuff.

So much for personal responsibility, though, huh?

Liberty275 4 years, 1 month ago

I am personally responsible for spending less of my money. }-)

oldexbeat 4 years, 1 month ago

right, stop being poor. get over it. and stop building hospitals with public funds, too. No public money for any health care. Dead children at the side of the ER will be interesting. Will the government have to bury them ? Or do you just let the dogs eat them ? And birds.

Brock Masters 4 years, 1 month ago

What hospitals have been built with public funds?

oldexbeat 4 years ago

KU Med Center would be one. Mass General Hospital, another one. Etc.

oldexbeat 4 years ago

And I bet that Lawrence Memorial started out with public money. Correct me if wrong.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 1 month ago

coverage of those with pre-existing conditions is one of the guaranteed benefits of the affordable care act. may not benefit everyone literally but should benefit those that need health care and can not afford it now. as long as health care is a capitalist endeavor(for profit) in this country, premiums will continue to rise and more will be priced out of healthcare altogether. we need to do away with poverty or make healthcare affordable for everyone. which do you think is a more reasonable goal?

skull 4 years, 1 month ago

How could the KTA possibly afford to cover them? Tolls only rise about once a month or so. They've probably only doubled in the last decade. I would hate to think that some of my $2 it costs for a twenty mile drive to KC would be used to provide someone with health insurance.

skull 4 years, 1 month ago

I don't have all day to drive around in the country, some of us have stuff to do. I'll pay up, why can't the KTA?

lhenry69 4 years, 1 month ago

Can't you see ! ! It always comes down on the less fortunate, be it hours to work or whatever, the upper crust don't think they deserve medical benefits even tho they work all the off hours weekends and holidays so the full ;timers can have them days off to be with family....but don't give anything to the part - timers no no no....don't want to do that they can get along without that....

I'm retired and have insurance worked hard to have it....also worked those god awful hours at night away from my kids activities etc.....

Can't anyone think of the unfortunate for once.....Browny and obamamawamma won't

Randy Leonard 4 years, 1 month ago

Universal single payer healthcare like the civilized world has.

parrothead8 4 years, 1 month ago

It's quite simple: the KTA doesn't care enough about their employees to help them remain healthy, which would thereby keep the KTA's overall costs down long-term. Kansas will pay more over the long haul because of this decision.

James Roper 4 years, 1 month ago

It's too bad that the writer only spoke with officials, rather than someone affected -- and I offered. The phrasings of the missives coming from the KTA are awful, all designed to blame Affordable Care, rather than their careful response to the federal law.

Most recent example: "Effective immediately part time {sic} employees will not be permitted to trade shifts. This is due to the Affordable Care Act. Thank you in advance for your understanding." {verbatim} I'm pretty sure there is nothing written down in Obamacare stating that I can't swap shifts with another collector.

They seem pretty eager to blame the Act, rather than take credit for their own very-well-lawyered response to the Act.

A more cynical, or worldly, person might feel as though the KTA were trying to convince part-timers that, "Hey, some black guy just stole all your money!". And your healthcare. Not me, of course. I have now seen and experienced what an honorable and august institution the KTA has become...perhaps especially under its new leadership.

Brock Masters 4 years, 1 month ago

I would guess shift changing is no longer allowed due to the possibility of it causing an employee to exceed 30 hours.

Don't like it then find another job. You're not forced to work there. Or move to a state with whom you are more politically aligned and has the programs you like.

I don't say this in a pokey way, but I am pointing out why we should all work to support state rights. If one state doesn't meet your needs then you can move to escape. With a national government you're stuck with the policies of the government with no relief.

oldexbeat 4 years, 1 month ago

States rights -- to prevent legal abortion; to prevent marriage equality; to prevent equal treatment under the law -- and in the good old days, to prevent blacks from voting or going to state universities -- states rights sure were great for old white guys -- guess that you're somewhat correct -- time to move all the money out of Kansas to a rational state, such as Colorado. Good idea. And for rational tourists to skip through Kansas. Do Not Spend Money in Brownbackistan...

Brock Masters 4 years, 1 month ago

There you go, you have a choice. Move to Colorado if you want but with a national government you won't have that choice. Power is fleeting and while today the federal government and SCOTUS may lead in one direction it can change.

It is sad that you can't discuss an issue without attacking a group. Keep in mind, it was whites that died during the civil war for blacks to be free, it was a white person that started the NAACP and it was white republicans that advanced civil rights.

Discussions are much more constructive when you leave you hatred out of it.

globehead 4 years, 1 month ago

No more stuck with the national government than with the state government. By your formula, one could move to another country. The relief is exactly the same. The ticket just cost a bit more. One could move easily to Canada which is a lot like the U.S but with brains, or they could move to a country which is more a reflection of what Kansas is becoming. Zimbabwe come immediately to mind.

verity 4 years ago

"Don't like it then find another job."

Where? McDonald's?

I'm sorry, Fred, but that is a snarky answer and not worthy of you, certainly not in this economy.

James Roper 4 years, 1 month ago

Or, fred_mertz, one can act as a citizen and participate in changing and improving a place that they love. I like my job; I like where I live. I dislike the general hostility to workers here and now in Kansas, but that can change. Besides, this country is Balkanized enough.

Brock Masters 4 years, 1 month ago

Of course if you want to change it you can try. But moving someplace that fits your wants and needs better is an option.

Since you were complaining about your job I assumed you didn't like it. My bad.

Tony Kisner 4 years, 1 month ago

By eliminating the toll the KTA could save a lot of money. Like I-80 in Nebraska.

Brock Masters 4 years, 1 month ago

I thought the original plan was to eliminate the toll years ago. Another government lie like a temporary sales tax increase.

windjammer 4 years, 1 month ago

I-80 is one of the worst maintained interstates in the system.

KS 4 years, 1 month ago

And how will the road be paid for? Please tell me you guys did not go to KU!

skull 4 years, 1 month ago

The same way every other highway in the state is paid for.

tomatogrower 4 years, 1 month ago

But they are paid for with taxes, and Brownback has cut a bunch of taxes. You can't have your nice highways and not pay for them. Get a clue.

skull 4 years, 1 month ago

I don't pay taxes...I'm just a liberal moocher.

cowboy 4 years, 1 month ago

""There is nothing nefarious going on. We are taking steps administratively that would make certain that we continue not to provide benefits to part-time people," Johnston said.

We have to make sure we continue to be a sub-par employer..... we only banked 30 million in operating profits 2011 , to insure every one of those 90 part time employees would have cost us a little over a million at a high rate or about 3% of our slush fund and we just can't have that in Kansas by God. that money is for the governor to come raid to give to Koch Industries , not for dang employee benefits.

Johnston = Heck of a Job Brownie

weeslicket 4 years, 1 month ago

bad behavior on the part of the employer here. surprising how many on this threat support this employer and their bad behavior.

didn't our governor just recently take control of the KTA? surprising how many have supported the bad behavior of the kansas government.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 1 month ago

Absolutely,Wee. Once again the workers have to take up the slack for everything. No one in management or administration gives up anything. Some one will probably give themselves a bonus for thinking this up. And they wonder why moral has gone down and the Highly Qualified Pool of Applicants is not as big as it used to be!

tomatogrower 4 years, 1 month ago

He probably took control, because the KTA was getting ready to provide insurance for their part-timers. Can't have that. They are just peons, and should be treated as such.

Lisa Medsker 4 years, 1 month ago

That was my thought, too. This isn't a "new" thing. Most places I have worked since 1989 have offered benefits, including healthcare, to their full-time employees. Then, they wouldn't hire anybody as full time. 29.5 hours was the best they would offer, then work you as many hours as they wanted to. They could do this because your official "status" was part-time. Or, they would hire people as "temps" with full-time benefits, to be activated after a 90-day "probationary period". On day 89, most would lose their jobs, only to be hired right back the following week. Why does everybody think this is happening because of the ACA?

tomatogrower 4 years, 1 month ago

Exactly, this has been a business model to short change workers for quite some time now. Then they wonder why their workers don't work really hard for them, and probably walk away with a few office supplies or tools. Workers in the US for the most part are treated like dirt, and it's time for them to wake up and form a new union if they don't like the old ones. These CEO's did not build a business on their own.
A business owner who came up with the idea and invested their money should earn more money, but if they treat the workers like dirt, the workers should shut the arrogant jerk down. But too many workers think they have no power. And a business owner who risks little of their own money by getting local governments to subsidize their business, should earn less money. Don't talk to me about risk if the investment is protected by tax monies.

tomatogrower 4 years, 1 month ago

Hmmmm, KTA, a successful privatization which Republicans supposedly support, taken over by Brownback to raid their nest egg, so that it doesn't look like the tax cuts to the wealthy have hurt Kansas, AND he gets to use it to oppose the president too. He must be celebrating. Trouble is, Brownie, Kansas aren't as dumb as you think. A whole lot of Republican voters I've talked to are sick of you too. Why not start packing now.

KS 4 years, 1 month ago

The KTA was NEVER a private corporation. It has been run well, but NEVER private. If it was, you should be able to buy stock in it. Check it out.

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

There are many private corporations that don't provide stock options to the public.

It's not necessary to be publicly owned to be a corporation, as far as I know.

tomatogrower 4 years, 1 month ago

Actually we are all wrong. The turnpike was built by private bond holders. The state wanted to keep the KTA separate, so their debt was not considered a state debt. Now that they have a surplus, though, the state wants to show that they have more money than they actually have, at least until the election. Check out this site, and quit whining. I'd say the turnpike was a success, until Brownie and his kind came along. It will fall apart now.

tomatogrower 4 years, 1 month ago

The KTA was self sufficient, meaning it ran from the fees that people pay to drive it. There are other roads, so all of these fees are voluntary, yet people whine about it. They don't want to pay taxes and they don't want to pay fees for a toll road. Do they think the highway fairies come out and build and repair the highways for free? I'll bet you do, KS. You don't even know that corporations don't have to be publicly traded. This isn't like your parents letting you live in their basement, we really do have to pay for these things. It's called growing up and taking the responsibility. If you don't like go off into a wilderness somewhere and stay off our highways. Thank you.

bad_dog 4 years, 1 month ago

I don't believe you can buy stock in a closely held corporation. Check it out.

Tomato 4 years, 1 month ago

Look, any time you impose costs on an employer over a certain number of hours, they're going to find a way to skirt that.

Heck, I used to work part-time as part of a food-service union in Canada, and the contract they had with the employer said they had to offer a variety of benefits to employees working 30 hours or more. Guess that they did? They managed to schedule people for 29.5 hours.

And if that person picked up hours from another employee, they were reprimanded and the next week they were scheduled for fewer hours so that they could never work for more than 30 hours long enough to qualify for benefits.

That's the way it goes - if a corporation can do the same work for less with part-time workers, they will.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 1 month ago

That may be one of the reasons why they will not hire smokers. They Know the risks that the job entails. Brake Dust, Clutch Dust, Exhaust fumes,Tire Rubber,etc.Just don't want to be held responsible for what it does to their employees. Smokers DO have a higher chance of developing cancer under these conditions than Non Smokers.

Liberty275 4 years, 1 month ago

With computerized controls and catalytic converters, cars put out very low emissions these days. I haven't put a car on a gas analyzer in 20 years, but I doubt the analyzers I used would even read the low levels of CO and HCs from today's cars.

Carol Bowen 4 years, 1 month ago

If governor Brownback hadn't skimmed off KTAs funds, KTA could have afforded health care for part time employees over thirty hours. Were the part time employees given the option of buying into the insurance group?

These theatrics are premature. The ACA does not kick in until 2014. The ACA Individual Mandate is $96 in 2014. Although, I restate that the KTA could have afforded health insurance for some part time workers if the funds had not been skimmed off.

bearded_gnome 4 years, 1 month ago

  1. to dramatically increase KTA's budget and cover all these part time employees with health insurance, health insurance that's being driven up in price because of the mindless mandates in obamacare, would have meant a drastic increase in KTA fares!

the basic flaw of obamacare is shown: you don't get something for nuthin!

*I warned you guys about obama. he should've been voted out. obamacare still must be rooted out. this is but one of thousands of examples across the country where jobs are being impacted negatively.

and yet, all those 'part time' jobs get counted against the unemployment figure, just to throw off the dim/low-information-voters who support obama.

tomatogrower 4 years, 1 month ago

Oh yeah, those mindless mandates that require the insurance companies to actually use the premiums to pay for their customer's health care, instead of giving the CEO huge bonuses.

skull 4 years, 1 month ago

Hey genius, there've already been drastic increases in KTA fares over the years...with or without Obama, they're going to increase again. It would suck if that 5-10% increase they just had went towards helping their workers.

Jan Faimon 4 years, 1 month ago

Home Depot cut employees' hours back a few months ago,given same reason. How many other employees have been affected locally?

akt2 4 years, 1 month ago

Is there even going to be any customer service available anymore after all these companies cut all these hours? The full time and salaried employees are going to have to pick up a lot of slack. But on the other hand they will have health insurance. Which they will probably need when the added stress kicks in.

Carol Bowen 4 years, 1 month ago

Whoa, Gnome. I meant to suggest that part time employees buy in at full cost. It couldn't be more expensive than independent coverage. Then, there's another thought. KTA could reorganize by eliminating some part time positions and creating a few full time positions.

".., health insurance that's being driven up in price because of the mindless mandates in obamacare, would have meant a drastic increase in KTA fares!"

Have you forgotten over a decade of increased insurance premiums? Some of the increases were over 30%, all long before Obamacare. Businesses were dropping insurance coverage back then.

P.S. if you are not willing to pay an increased toll (assuming such an increase would be necessary), are you not trying to get something for nothing?

tomatogrower 4 years, 1 month ago

I use the turnpike often. It would probably only be a 25 cent increase to help cover these people. I think those of us who are willing to pay a fee for the road can afford the the 25 cents. I mean, there are other highways, if you are too cheap to pay for the road. The original highway was paid for in taxes, but it's upkeep and management is done with fees, not taxes. Why do you think you have a right to drive on it for free?

It's kind of like Papa John's saying they are going to cut hours. All they have to do is raise their pizza prices by 5 lousy cents to pay for the insurance. Are you going to stop eating pizza, because it costs 5 cents more? Tea party people call those on welfare and social security "takers", but it sure sounds like they want something for nothing.

Brock Masters 4 years, 1 month ago

Even if you did away with the tolls you still wouldn't be using it for free. Taxes which we all pay and motor fuel taxes would fund it.

.25 is not much. You're right most probably would pay that. Please share your analysis, number of workers covered by insurance, revenue generated by the increase and the cost of the additional insurance.

progressive_thinker 4 years, 1 month ago

TG: KTA brings in about 90 million in revenue per year, including concessionaire rentals.

Using the most expensive route to to provide health insurance, the COBRA rate of $573 per month, it would cost KTA at worst, $639,438 per year to provide all 93 part time employees with fully paid health insurance. This would amount to seven tenths of one percent of revenue at worst.

This amounts to an increase in your drive to Kansas City from East East Lawrence by 1.2 cents. For the biggest commercial vehicle to travel the entire length of the turnpike, the rate would go up about 55 cents.

KTA could also use some of their net profits. In 2011, that alone was nearly 15 million. The $639,438 needed to buy health insurance is only about 4% of that years profits.

KTA could choose to reduce their head count by making more employees full time. This would reduce their liability for health insurance.

The actual cost of the insurance would in reality be less than the amount stated above because insurance would be purchased from the state employees pool. The numbers that I have presented are to illustrate that KTA can easily fund health insurance for their employees, if they should choose to do so.

skull 4 years, 1 month ago

Shhhh...this is why we don't need to teach math anymore, the facts just don't support the political grandstanding.

Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 1 month ago

Best comment by far. Thank you for the effort in giving us these statistics. I think they should be the only ones that really matter. Everyone get out of emotion mind and check out the numbers.

weeslicket 4 years, 1 month ago

i just did a huge freaudian. this is what i intended to post:

bad behavior on the part of the employer here. surprising how many on this thread support this employer and their bad behavior. didn't our governor just recently take control of the KTA? surprising how many have supported the bad behavior of the kansas government.

and this is what i actually posted: bad behavior on the part of the employer here. surprising how many on this threat support this employer and their bad behavior. didn't our governor just recently take control of the KTA? surprising how many have supported the bad behavior of the kansas government.


Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 1 month ago

"threat" vs. "thread". I got it and I knew what you meant. I am sure everyone else did, too. No worries, Wee. ;)

skull 4 years, 1 month ago

Not really that surprising that many Kansans hate workers, they (we) voted for these clowns. We're getting exactly what we voted for, obstructionism and uncompromising hatred of anything near moderation.

skull 4 years, 1 month ago

Funny "article" headline reads like a tabloid, comments even more entertaining.

Carol Bowen 4 years, 1 month ago

Zanti, The ACA is projected to bring down the federal deficit. Repealing it would increase the deficit. See (The Congressional Budget Office)

"People that have insurance via an employer could have their plan dropped as a result of increasing rates. By 2019 (five years into Obamacare), an estimated 12 million people who would have had an offer of employment-based coverage under prior law will lose their offer, the CBO reports."

The statement above is erroneous. The ACA does not affect employees who already have insurance coverage through their employer. Employers were struggling with increasing insurance rates and dropping coverage for their employees long before Obamacare. The dilemma and the focus of this article is the ACA requirement that businesses with more than 50 employees must provide insurance coverage to anyone working 30 or more hours per week.

P.S. Has your insurance coverage been affected?

puddleglum 4 years, 1 month ago

soon the part-timer lazys will have the no rights they deserve. then the other full-time moochers will have to do ALL of the work, and just be thankful to have any job. Once we can abolish all of this government-imposed workers' rights stuff, we can get on to making some more money...its america, after all. greatest country in the world. we have #1 health care and lots of really rich people too. things are great. now we just need to eliminate all these civil liberties that keep the businesses down. businesses=good. employees=moochers. go team usa

George_Braziller 4 years, 1 month ago

Most group policies require that even part-time be covered if they work at or above a specific number of hours per week. A lot of employers get around it by having the employee work 1/2 hour less. I always thought it was a pretty slimy business practice.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 1 month ago

I was listening to a story about French companies some time ago. Apparently France has a system where if a company has 50 or more employees, certain benefits are guaranteed to those employees. What has resulted is that many, many companies have capped their employee numbers at 49. Companies that could expand to 60, 70 or 80, simply don't. The unintended consequences are that unemployment is higher than it could be, productivity is lower and the cost of whatever goods and services the company provides is higher to the consumer.

No one is accusing the French of having American style capitalism. But these sorts of government interventions, even those having the best of intentions, are likely to produce unintended consequences. Like those having an employee working 1/2 hour less than the full time definition.

bad_dog 4 years ago

I've got a finger for...

Oh nevermind.

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