As ObamaCare slithered it’s way through Congress, it was predicted that increased costs would cause layoffs, business failures, and doctors to leave medicine entirely. While those things are likely to happen, we also have to acknowledge that the MSM will not be doing it’s job (as usual) in terms of reporting these negative consequences of “progressive” policies. If they cover them at all, business, not the administration will be blamed.
So, as usual, it will be up to the alternative media to let the world know what is really happening. This post is my first effort towards this end.
The WSJ has an article today yesterday about what corporations are already preparing to pay for ObamaCare.
This wholesale destruction of wealth and capital came with more than ample warning. Turning over every couch cushion to make their new entitlement look affordable under Beltway accounting rules, Democrats decided to raise taxes on companies that do the public service of offering prescription drug benefits to their retirees instead of dumping them into Medicare. We and others warned this would lead to AT&T-like results, but like so many other ObamaCare objections Democrats waved them off as self-serving or “political.”
That it’s “political” is laughable. It’s also ironic given that the Democrats politicize absolutely everything.
Perhaps that explains why the Administration is now so touchy. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke took to the White House blog to write that while ObamaCare is great for business, “In the last few days, though, we have seen a couple of companies imply that reform will raise costs for them.” In a Thursday interview on CNBC, Mr. Locke said “for them to come out, I think is premature and irresponsible.”
Er, businesses have an obligation to prepare for additional expenses. It is only “premature and irresponsible” because it shows that administration, and ObamaCare, in a negative light.
Meanwhile, Henry Waxman and House Democrats announced yesterday that they will haul these companies in for an April 21 hearing because their judgment “appears to conflict with independent analyses, which show that the new law will expand coverage and bring down costs.”
In other words, shoot the messenger. Black-letter financial accounting rules require that corporations immediately restate their earnings to reflect the present value of their long-term health liabilities, including a higher tax burden. Should these companies have played chicken with the Securities and Exchange Commission to avoid this politically inconvenient reality? Democrats don’t like what their bill is doing in the real world, so they now want to intimidate CEOs into keeping quiet.
And that’s what they will try to do; drag people to testify before Congress, and call them liars. Of course, rather that do their actual jobs, the MSM will parrot their Democratic talking points and castigate the CEOs on the news every night.
On top of AT&T’s $1 billion, the writedown wave so far includes Deere & Co., $150 million; Caterpillar, $100 million; AK Steel, $31 million; 3M, $90 million; and Valero Energy, up to $20 million. Verizon has also warned its employees about its new higher health-care costs, and there will be many more in the coming days and weeks.(Emphasis mine)
As Joe Biden might put it, this is a big, er, deal for shareholders and the economy. The consulting firm Towers Watson estimates that the total hit this year will reach nearly $14 billion, unless corporations cut retiree drug benefits when their labor contracts let them.
This is the interesting part. If industry has to cut benefits, the Democrats get at least two things; one is a crisis if people have less coverage. Now, that will be because of ObamaCare, but the corporations will be blamed. Second, they get to bash Capitalism some more. “THE EVIL CORPORATIONS ARE CUTTING OFF HEATH CARE TO MAINTAIN THEIR PROFITS!!!” And what is the end result? A public option will be “needed” to address the “crisis” that the Democrats themselves have created. Then, once the public option performs its function, we’ll have a single payer plan.
Meanwhile, John DiStaso of the New Hampshire Union Leader reported this week that ObamaCare could cost the Granite State’s major ski resorts as much as $1 million in fines, because they hire large numbers of seasonal workers without offering health benefits. “The choices are pretty clear, either increase prices or cut costs, which could mean hiring fewer workers next winter,” he wrote.
Fewer workers? That one will be harder to track, as places aren’t going to necessarily announce that they’re going to not hire as many people, but there will be anecdotal reports.
Well, there you have it. I’m going to post any information that I receive regarding layoffs or cuts in benefits due to ObamaCare. I’d encourage any other bloggers to do the same. Remember, it’s up to us. The MSM is playing for the other team.