Jason Hayes
Balancing ecological, economic, and political realities to promote progress and liberty.


First hits from Obamacare

Mme. Pelosi famously stated a few weeks back that we needed to pass Obamacare before we could find out what was in it. Well, we’ve done that and now we’re finding out that among the first hits Obamacare will inflict is massive losses for American business.

For example, this Heritage Foundation blog post reports that AT&T will take a $1 billion in the first quarter of Obamacare’s existence.

AT&T, the biggest U.S. telephone company, announced that it would take a $1 billion charge against earnings thanks to tax changes buried in the 2,300+ page bill. $1 billion. That is a full third of AT&T’s $3 billion earnings for the fourth quarter of 2009.

The tax charges stem from changes Obamacare makes to the tax treatment of prescription-drug benefits for retirees. Companies used to be able to deduct part of their costs for providing drug benefits to their retirees, but Obamacare cancels that deduction.

This Bloomberg article notes that the total hit to American business could be $14 billion. 3M is looking at a $90 million hit. Verizon refused to comment, but said in an internal memo that Obamacare “may have significant implications for both retirees and employers.”

We’re still sitting at around 10% unemployment, so I’m sure that all those people who are looking for work will be happy to know that Obama and Pelosi have just sewered their chances of finding work for who knows how much longer. Simple fact of life #27, when businesses are losing money hand over fist and taking huge tax hits from “progressive” legislation and regulation, they don’t hire new employees.

And then, as if that wasn’t enough good news, Obama himself admitted that the bill was going to cost more than he had expected or admitted. “We are still going to have adjustments that have to be made to further reduce costs.”

Have to love this guy’s chutzpah. Force your ideological nightmare on the taxpayers of the country, regardless of costs. Lie, cheat, steal, twist arms, pay people off, threaten … do whatever it takes to get it through. And then, when you’re forced to admit that you had no clue it would cost this much, promise those stuck with the bill that you’ll tinker around the edges to see if you can get them a few bucks off.