Obamacare's Directive 10-289

Monday night Megyn Kelly and guest Marc Thiessen discussed a rule which states that in order to be eligible for the one year mandate delay (which applies to companies with 50-99 employees) a larger employer “must not reduce the size of its workforce or the overall hours of service of its employees in order to satisfy the workforce size condition…”

A Fox News story adds “Treasury officials said Monday that larger businesses will be
told to ‘certify’ that they are not shedding full-time workers simply to
avoid the mandate.” This certification will be made under penalty of

The actual rule, which appears on page 124 is a bit more nuanced. It says “A reduction in workforce size or overall hours of service for bona fide business reasons will not be considered to have been made in order to satisfy the workforce size condition.” In other words, a company can still fire people for cause or even because the market has slumped.

However, that still leaves employers having to swear that Obamacare itself is not a “bona fide” business reason for cutting staff. Why should they have to do so? Given that the White House has already declared Obamacare a hardship for people who’ve had insurance policies cancelled and implicitly a hardship for companies with 50-99 employees, why not for businesses with 100 employees?

As you can see in the clip below, Marc Thiessen called the new rule “Orwellian” since employers now have to justify staffing decisions to “big brother.” Over at Hot Air, Ed Morrissey jokingly referred to the new regulations as the “Treasury Inquisition” (a reference to the old Monty Python skit). I had a slightly different association when I heard about it. The new rule reminded me of Directive 10-289 from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.

If you’ve read the novel you may recall that at some point the wheels are coming off the economy so swiftly that the ruling class decides what is needed is an economic freeze. Directive 10-289 has 8 points. Point one reads “All workers, wage earners and employees of any kind
whatsoever shall henceforth be attached to their jobs and shall not
leave nor be dismissed nor change employment, under penalty of a term in

Of course the Obama administration isn’t requiring that people stay in their jobs only that they not be fired to avoid Obamacare. Still, the requirement seems like a desperate ploy to avoid a future talking point. If the administration really believed that wasn’t going to happen, this new rule wouldn’t be necessary.


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