Barack Obama and many other liberals have been advocating raising the federal minimum wage to $15/hour. They claim that raising the minimum wage that high would help millions of Americans to make enough money to better support their families.
What they fail to mention that raising the minimum wage to $15/hour would also raise the cost of living for everyone. This would end up nullifying the benefits of the huge raise and actually make it financially harder for many more.
But there is another downside to raising the minimum wage so high. In the long run, it will cost millions of lower income people to lose their health benefits. Take the case of 53 year old Douglas Hunter from Chicago.
Hunter is a grill cook at a McDonald’s. He currently makes $9.25/hour on which he supports himself and his daughter. Their financial struggle is so bad that Hunter ended up sewing his daughter’s prom dress because he couldn’t afford to buy her one. His pay is will increase to $10/hour in July which will help, but is still not nearly enough.
You would think that in Hunter’s case, $15/hour would be a huge help of $866.67 a month before taxes, but you would be wrong. Hunter is a diabetic with a number of medical conditions. Currently, all of his medical needs are being provided by CountyCare because of his limited income.
If his income was raised to $15/hour, it would put him above the income level set by CountyCare, meaning he would lose his medical benefits. Without the coverage he would be forced to pay the $403 a month for his insulins, plus another $330 a month for medications to control his high blood pressure and cholesterol. That’s not counting the cost of his syringes, regular check-ups and eye glasses, all of which he has been receiving free through his CountyCare coverage.
In the long run, Hunter would be financially worse off with the raise to $15/hour than he is at $10/hour. How many others are in similar situations as Douglas Hunter? How many people receiving some form of government assistance will lose that assistance if their income rises due to a $15/hour minimum wage?
Not only will the increased minimum wage hurt millions with their medical coverage, but it could affect many in other ways. People living in HUD housing will see their rent payments go up. People who get assistance with child care, utilities and many other social and government assistance programs stand to lose some or all of their benefits.
Yes, I’m against many government assistance programs because it only keeps the poor poor and takes away the incentive for many to get a job and become responsible citizens. However, raising the minimum wage to $15/hour is not the solution to getting them off of that assistance.
In the long run, raising the minimum wage to $15/hour will hurt millions of lower income families more than it will help them. It will also hurt many middle income families with the consequential increase in the cost of merchandise and practically everything else. It will also force many small business owners to lay off employees or close their business altogether because they can’t afford to pay the increased wages.
A $15/hour minimum wage is a lose-lose-lose situation for millions of Americans and not the cure-all that liberal’s declare.