Not long after ObamaCare passed, several large companies announced that the then new law would cause their costs to increase to a great degree. Here is my coverage of this fact from April of 2010…
If you remember, Henry Waxman promised to force corporate CEOs before his committee to answer for their sins? Their offense? Disclosing that ObamaCare is going to cost businesses billions of dollars.
After the ENRON debacle, reforms were put in place. Among them was a requirement that corporations must disclose any adverse event that affects their bottom line. Many companies did just that-they did what the government requires them to do. Here is some background from the WSJ…
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.
So, these corporations did what was required of them, and Waxman was going to punish them. Here’s more from the same WSJ article.
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.
So, I think Waxman’s plan was to drag these folks in front of the camera, and publicly castigate them for following regulations. Of course, the MSM would have spun it, and the actual facts would have been ignored.
And then…it didn’t happen at all. Here is an excerpt from the Daily Caller.
Key committee chairman Rep. Henry Waxman, California Democrat — whose energetic investigations are loathed by many in Washington — demanded reams of documents to investigate whether the companies were making a political show out of the cost disclosures.
And then … nothing. Waxman at the last minute canceled a hearing to grill executives about the issue.
Publicly, Waxman said the investigation showed the companies’ disclosures were properly filed. But a new report from committee Republicans reveals the documents Waxman obtained included embarrassing evidence that the health-care law could drive up insurance premiums and force employers to dump employees from their health plans.
Uh-oh! It’s bad enough that the corporations were right. It would be worse if the hearings occurred and evidence of people losing insurance and paying higher premiums were to get out. Here’s some more from the Daily Caller.
“Turns out Obamacare means if you like your health plan you can lose it. The president didn’t have to actually strong-arm companies into dumping their employee health insurance because his bill carried financial incentives to virtually guarantee that result,” Energy and Commerce Committee ranking member Rep. Joe Barton, Texas Republican, said.
Most significantly, documents unearthed by the investigation highlight companies that are considering dumping employees from their current health-care plans in the face of new costs from the health-care law. President Obama repeatedly promised his health-care law would let Americans keep their current insurance if they’re happy with it.
A March 3 internal Verizon memo on the impact health-care law said new taxes on insurance companies and health-care equipment manufacturers will be passed onto employers through higher prices.
Facing such increased costs, employers like Verizon “may consider exiting the health-care market and send employees to the exchanges,” the memo says.
Under the law, companies would pay fines for not providing insurance companies coverage. But, the Verizon memo said, the fines would be “modest” compared to providing coverage for employees.
Excuse me for seeming smug, but ISN’T THIS EXACTLY WHAT WE WERE SAYING ALL ALONG? Really, every one of these points were made by Conservatives throughout the debate, and we were uniformly attacked for it. We were lying. We were tools of the insurance industry (I have yet to see a dime from the insurance industry, BTW). We were fear mongering. And now, the MSM will never cover this because we were right, and Obama lied…and lied…and lied.
Then, as we pointed out last Thursday…
Proper healthcare? Currently, the striking workers pay NOTHING for their health care premiums, Verizon does want a concession to have them pay a portion, but we can’t have them do what the vast majority of working Americans already do, can we?
“At its core, the strike is about free health care, especially for retirees — who actually outnumber the active workers.”
Verizon’s unionized employees presently make co-payments, but they don’t pay a share of their health care premiums.
And there we have it…
But apparently, ObamaCare is the man behind the curtain. The striking workers are caught between a rock and a hard place, one is market driven (land line phones are becoming dinosaurs) and the other is government driven (ObamaCare). Surely, that is not a great place to be. Not only is it like being a buggy repairman after the rise of the Model T, but is also like being a buggy repairman after the government places a giant tax on horses.
Another thing to consider is that the CWA supported ObamaCare…
Verizon’s health care plan is what President Obama commonly referred to as a “Cadillac plan” – expensive and luxurious – during his push to get health care legislation through Congress. The new law will levy a 40 percent tax on all health care plans with individual coverage worth more than $10,200 and family coverage worth more than $24,000.
Though the tax will not go into effect until 2018, “Verizon is required to account for this cost now,” according to company literature distributed to employees. “Accordingly, we will need to modify plan designs to avoid the impact of this tax.”
True, both the IBEW and the CWA opposed the Cadillac tax specifically. But its eventual inclusion in the final bill did not stop them from supporting the legislation. “While the unions would like to see the measure stripped in that process,” the Associated Press reported, CWA President Larry Cohen “said he was not prepared to threaten to withdraw the CWA’s support for the overall health care measure if the tax stays in place.”
So, the unions supported the passage of the very law that is at the crux of this matter. They supported ObamaCare, knowing that it would hit their own health care benefits. Then, when the predictable results came to pass, they attack “corporate greed,” rather than target the actual cause of their situation. Once again, the regressives cannot allow reality to interfere with the narrative. And, like all useful idiots, they were hurt by the very system that they supported.
Apparently, they haven’t learned that you can help feed government, but don’t be surprised when it bites off your arm.