Claims that Obamacare includes “death panels” sparked the ire of supporters of the law, who called the claim outrageous, but now - as Obamacare turns 2 years old -- the Congressional Budget Office admits the law itself is going to kill the jobs of 800,000 Americans.
At a recent House Budget Committee hearing, CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf confirmed as much, saying that indeed indeed “there would be a reduction of 800,000 workers.
UBS Research predicted the “death panel” impact of Obamacare on jobs last fall, issuing a report (“Great Suppression II) in September 2011, saying that the medical insurance law is “aguably the biggest impediment to hiring (particularly hiring of less skilled workers).”
Obamacare also is straining state and federal budgets and because it raises the cost of labor, “healthcare reform systematically discourages hiring, especially of low-wage workers whose mandated benefits are high relative to their wages,” UBS said.
As Obamacare turns 2 years old, the evidence of its job-killing effect has been piling up.
Here are a few examples:
In March 2010, medical device maker Medtronic warned that new Obamacare taxes on its products could force it to lay off a thousand workers. That warning stared to come true a year later when Medtronic cut about 2,100 jobs.
In January 2011, Abbott Laboratories, maker of the rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira, announced it was cutting about 1,900 jobs. According to the Bloomberg report, Abbott said the job cuts were “in response to changes in the health- care industry, including U.S. health-care reform and the challenging regulatory environment.”
In November of 2011, Stryker Corp announced it would cut about 1,000 jobs, due to an impending Obamacare tax on medical devices. Stryker's products include artificial hips and knees.
Also cutting jobs due to the Obamacare tax: Covidien, which makes surgical instruments. And Orthopedics device maker Zimmer Holdings announced layoffs at its Warsaw, Indiana, headquarters and elsewhere throughout the company.
In February, BlueCross CEO Stephen MacMillan told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that the company was “already starting to think about actions that offset that additional tax,” which he said would cost the company an additional $150 million.
It isn't just medical device makers.
American Republic Insurance announced last October that it would be getting out of the individual major medical insurance business, resulting in 110 jobs being eliminated.
“It's a fairly predictable consequence of the regulation,” Michael Abbott, CEO of American Republic's parent company, told the Des Moines Register.
Meanwhile, the new 10 percent tax Obamcare levied on indoor tanning salons is being called a “death sentence” for many small salons already hurt by the recession and three years of lackluster economic growth.
“Whether or not you think people should be sun-tanning, the government is picking winners and losers by using the tax code to punish businesses,” said John Overstreet, executive director of the Indoor Tanning Association, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune last December.
Another report, on WBTW-TV, mentioned the tax is estimated to threaten nearly 9,000 jobs by driving salons out of business.
Higher prices, fewer jobs, and that unconstitutional and unpopular mandate.
No wonder more than half the country wants Obamacare repealed. Will the Supreme Court, which is scheduled to hear arguments on the law's mandate provision next week be up to the task?