Updates added to the bottom of this post.
It’s been only
three two days since President Obama signed his “landmark” (not-quite-done-yet) legislation and the costs are only now starting to emerge over the White House’s ongoing problem–jobs.
The tally so far (and we’re just getting started) is that the health care legislation will cost two companies one-quarter of a billion dollars this year and a third company about 1,000 jobs:
From the Wall Street Journal:
Even before President Obama signed the bill on Tuesday, Caterpillar said it would cost the company at least $100 million more in the first year alone. Medical device maker Medtronic warned that new taxes on its products could force it to lay off a thousand workers. Now Verizon joins the roll of businesses staring at adverse consequences.
In an email titled “President Obama Signs Health Care Legislation” sent to all employees Tuesday night, the telecom giant warned that “we expect that Verizon’s costs will increase in the short term.” While executive vice president for human resources Marc Reed wrote that “it is difficult at this point to gauge the precise impact of this legislation,” and that ObamaCare does reflect some of the company’s policy priorities, the message to workers was clear: Expect changes for the worse to your health benefits as the direct result of this bill, and maybe as soon as this year. [Emphasis added.]
This is just the beginning. Add John Deere to the list, as well:
Deere & Co has become the second US company to warn of a loss to President Barack Obama’s controversial US healthcare reforms, saying that the legislation will cost it $150m in earnings.
The maker of John Deere tractors said the hit would be taken primarily in the February-to-April quarter, for which analyst had been expected the group to report earnings of about $450m. [Emphasis added.]
The administration is freaking out that this is leaking out in dribs and drabs:
…Gary Locke, the US Commerce Secretary, condemned as “premature and irresponsible” the Caterpillar and Deere statements, saying that some the details of the package were still being ironed out.
“A lot of the regulations on how this will affect big business haven’t even published yet,” Mr Locke told television channel CNBC.
Translation: We don’t to hear bad news because we still need to sell the already-passed legislation to voters before the mid-term elections.
Since many of the workers at the companies cited above are union workers, it might be helpful for their union bosses who pushed ObamaCare so hard to remind them of President-elect Obama’s election night speech: “It can’t happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.”
Now, that’s change you can believe in!
DAY FOUR UPDATE:
It’s been four days, since ObamaCare was signed into law and this is from MarketWatch:
AT&T Inc. said it plans to take a non-cash charge of about $1 billion in the first quarter following the passage of the health-care reform bill earlier this week, according to a filing submitted by the company Friday. The telecommunication giant will also evaluate changes to its health care benefits for employees and retirees.
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