Texan politicos are once again debating the gender pay gap, as this year’s gubernatorial candidates question whether Texas law effectively protects women from pay discrimination.

While most of the discussion has centered on a proposed bill modeled after the Lilly Ledbetter Act-a federal law that extended the length of time workers could file a wage discrimination lawsuit-Erica Grieder at Texas Monthly made an astute observation on how recent interventions into the market could exacerbate the apparent pay gap.

Specifically, she notes that Obamacare discourages certain types of hourly work and that this could widen the pay gap as women take time off to be with their families.  

Take a look.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median earnings for women who work full-time are just 77 percent of the median earnings for men who do the same. But a number of factors are at work here. Men are more likely to work continuously rather than taking time out of the labor force to care for young children, for example, and women are underrepresented in a number of highly paid industries.

…In January, when the Congressional Budget Office reported that the implementation of the Affordable Care Act would provide a disincentive for certain hourly workers to continue working, the White House welcomed it as evidence that under the new law “individuals will be empowered to make choices about their lives and livelihoods,” including “choosing to spend more time with their families.” Men can certainly make that choice, but women are more likely to do so, and the net effect would be to exacerbate the wage gap.