May 7, 2013 4:13PM

Strange Things Are Afoot at the Circle K

The Washington Free Beacon reports:

Circle K Southeast joined a growing list of national companies shifting workers to part-time status this week, in order to avoid paying Obamacare’s mandatory benefits, CBS-WTOC reports.

The alternative is to pay a $2,000 fine per fulltime worker who is not covered, leading Circle K to become the latest in a long line of companies to slice employee hours to avoid increased costs.

Here's the video:

The Free Beacon continues:

Regal Entertainment Group, the largest U.S. theater chain, specifically blamed Obamacare in April when it shifted many of its employees to below the 30-hour threshold to offset Obamacare, as did AAA ParkingNumerous restaurants, hotels and retailers have done or are considering the same.

Long Beach, Calif., located in heavily Democratic Los Angeles County, is cutting back the hours of employees to avoid the penalty, as has the state of Virginia and the city of Dearborn, Mich.

In March, The New York Times noted an “unsettling trend” in the rise of part-time workers during the languishing economic recovery in the U.S.

Earlier this week, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean acknowledged patients will be damaged by the legislation, and longtime advocate Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) said Obamacare could cause premiums to go through the roof Thursday before trying to walk back the remarks.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has also said citizens purchasing new insurance policies for themselves this fall could face rising premiums due to the Affordable Care Act.

Yet the federal government has no authority to impose penalties on these employers in the 33 states that have declined to establish an ObamaCare Exchange. A new lawsuit seeks to prevent the IRS from imposing those illegal penalties.