By Mark Davis MD, Special for USDR
Democracy took a wrong turn when the Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act (PPACA), commonly known as Obamacare, came online in March of 2010. Few had read this voluminous document prior to its passage, even fewer understood the pain it would inflict soon after. By virtue of this law’s intricate algorithms failure could be its only final outcome. As time moved on from its passage into law a new array of taxes and levies were brought to bear on businesses, insurance companies and those affected by the changes in both. Companies with fifty or more employees were mandated to provide health insurance to their employees. Through a convoluted formula certain levels of health coverage were required to be met or the wrath of the IRS would soon be felt. More revealing businesses would be able to circumvent this mandate if hours of their workers were reduced below thirty per week. With the swipe of a pen the private sector had their balance sheets usurped by government entities under the guise of a health care umbrella.
In preparation for the oncoming fiscal tidal wave a multiplicity of businesses began paring back there non-salaried workers hours to less than 30. This action would place these employees under the threshold requirement to provide health coverage. Regal Cinemas sent a memo to its staff, early in 2013, with a blatant message noting their change in hours were directly due to the health insurance provisions of Obamacare. Many managers resigned others simply worked with the schedule provided by Regal Corporate. From Pizza chains to wholesale outlets innumerable employees were experiencing the consequences from a legislation that never should have been enacted into law. Contrary to the positive face government officials place on PPACA, its insidious affects are making their way throughout the business community. Employees in minimum wage jobs will be especially hard hit. How many people will ultimately lose their jobs has been sketched out by another bureaucracy.
Congressional Budget Office (CBO) was established as a federal agency within the jurisdiction of the legislative branch of government. Its noble mission statement required this administrative entity to be objective, nonpartisan and timely with its economic forecasts. Recent history displays these goals have come into question concerning Obamacare. Their projections indicate over 2 million full time job equivalents will be lost in the next few years as a direct result of the progressives overreach into health care. Transparency is not this agency’s strong point. Calculation of these job losses may not take into consideration the gamut of new taxes forced on the business world. Welch Allyn, a company that manufactures medical diagnostic equipment, announced in the latter part of 2012 it would lay-off 10% of its workforce over a three year period, in response to the pending medical device tax it would confront in the near future. Dana Holding Corporation, Stryker, Boston Scientific, Metronics and many others cite this same tax for the expansive layoffs they plan. Could the CBO be underestimating the workforce reductions as they underestimated the costs of PPACA? Omens suggest the CBO’s predictions are baseless and more bad news is coming.
Democrat leaders in both houses of Congress continue to spin Obamacare as America’s destiny, the numbers reveal the antithesis. Job creation has been very sluggish over the last several years as the tentacles of this leviathan intersperse throughout the business community. Unable to plan for the future, many companies are sitting on the sidelines waiting for the next twist or turn in a law which has obstructed their ability to expand. Unemployment statistics do not reflect the tens of millions who have curtailed searching for work. Reports from the franchise industry provide an indication of the problems created by this legislation. With the imposition of penalties on businesses not offering health insurance and or appropriate coverage, as defined by Obamacare, many medium to large concerns are not hiring or worse they are moving ahead with layoffs. The hospitality, restaurant and leisure industries, especially those who employ more than fifty people, see bleak futures ahead. They require many hands to be successful, yet work on a very fine profit margin. A future full of red ink is the collective realization of many who have read the proverbial writing on the wall which our legislators refuse acknowledge.
Unions, once major supporters of President Obama’s health fiasco, now feel exploited. Health insurance premiums for their members have seen exponential increases. Promised subsidies have not materialized. Worse coverage has changed to the detriment of millions under union contracts. Low salaried workers could be forced off their plans onto insurance exchanges providing less coverage than they have now or worse lose their jobs. Union bosses have made their feelings clearly known to Obama who so far has been mute to their complaints. Why? Because he no longer needs their support, therefore he has thrown them under the literal bus as he has done to the rest of the country.
Obamacare is a prescription for job loss, no doubt. Constructed around a core of ideas to control all segments of the economy, health care delivery was the least concern of its architects. Enmeshed within its draconian structure are the ingredients to tilt bottom lines towards red ink, potentially placing at risk millions of jobs. Oblivious to these facts the President believes his legacy legislation is the best thing since the invention of the wheel without recognizing the true cost to the nation, its soul.
Mark Davis MD is an author, journalist and media consultant. Dr. Davis is President of Healthnets Review Services and Davis Book Reviews. His latest book is Obamacare: Dead on Arrival, A Prescription for Disaster. For consults, interviews and seminars please contact him at the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org or his company www.healthnetsreviewservices.com