More fallout from the passage of ObamaCare

Posted by: ST on March 29, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Since the passage of ObamaCare, businesses have started speaking out on how hard they will be hit by the costs associated with implementing the healthcare “reform” plan. As a result of them daring to alert their employees – and the public – as to what they can expect in the coming months due to the passage of this trillion dollar bill, House Democrats plan to punish these companies via a hearing to take place next month:

It’s been a banner week for Democrats: ObamaCare passed Congress in its final form on Thursday night, and the returns are already rolling in. Yesterday AT&T announced that it will be forced to make a $1 billion writedown due solely to the health bill, in what has become a wave of such corporate losses.

This wholesale destruction of wealth and capital came with more than ample warning. Turning over every couch cushion to make their new entitlement look affordable under Beltway accounting rules, Democrats decided to raise taxes on companies that do the public service of offering prescription drug benefits to their retirees instead of dumping them into Medicare. We and others warned this would lead to AT&T-like results, but like so many other ObamaCare objections Democrats waved them off as self-serving or “political.”

Perhaps that explains why the Administration is now so touchy. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke took to the White House blog to write that while ObamaCare is great for business, “In the last few days, though, we have seen a couple of companies imply that reform will raise costs for them.” In a Thursday interview on CNBC, Mr. Locke said “for them to come out, I think is premature and irresponsible.”

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.

Yep. Byron York has more (via ST reader Mwalimu Daudi):

Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, has summoned some of the nation’s top executives to Capitol Hill to defend their assessment that the new national health care reform law will cost their companies hundreds of millions of dollars in health insurance expenses. Waxman is also demanding that the executives give lawmakers internal company documents related to health care finances — a move one committee Republican describes as “an attempt to intimidate and silence opponents of the Democrats’ flawed health care reform legislation.”

[…]

So Waxman has ordered the executives to explain themselves at an April 21 hearing before the Energy and Commerce Committee’s investigative subcommittee. That subcommittee just happens to be chaired by Rep. Bart Stupak, the Michigan Democrat who held out his vote on health care reform until a few hours before final passage on March 21, giving the bill’s opponents the unfounded hope that he might vote against it.

Waxman’s demands came Friday in letters to several executives. “After the president signed the health care reform bill into law, your company announced that provisions in the law could adversely affect your ability to provide health insurance,” Waxman wrote to Randall Stephenson, chairman and CEO of AT&T. A few hours before Waxman sent his letter, AT&T announced it will take a $1 billion charge against earnings because of the tax provision in the new health bill. AT&T also said it will be “evaluating prospective changes” to its health care benefits for all workers.

[…]

Waxman’s request could prove particularly troubling for the companies. The executives will undoubtedly view such documents as confidential, but if they fail to give Waxman everything he wants, they run the risk of subpoenas and threats from the chairman. And all as punishment for making a business decision in light of a new tax situation.

And for anyone out there naive enough to believe that the Democrats are doing this in an honest at finding out whether or not they should amend ObamaCare in any way so as not to adversely affect businesses, think again. The hearings, as Jim Hoft suggests, will be nothing more than show trials much in the same way the much-hailed ObamaCare “Summit” was nothing more than a vain, farcical, empty attempt by our celebrity President and Democrat party “leaders” to try and convince the American people that they truly were interested in GOP ideas and wanted to act in a “bipartisan fashion.”

The hearings will be used in an attempt to embarass the companies in question by trying to make them look “selfish” for noting what implementing ObamaCare will do to their bottom line and furthermore, you can bank on “lawmakers” implying or outright suggesting that the assertions by some companies that they will have to pass the rising costs on to the employee are “immoral” and “unconscionable.” Much like ObamaCare, the hearings will be a waste of taxpayer time and money. Why? Because their sole purpose will be to show that Democrats are “right” on this issue and to hell with the facts and to hell with the impact on both the little man and the big man.

Last word from Jim Hoft:

These democrats in Washington are nothing but thugs. They’ll try anything to keep the truth from coming out about their disastrous legislation.

Yep – bbbut it’s “for your own good” even though you don’t realize it yet, so …

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9 Responses to “More fallout from the passage of ObamaCare”

Comments

  1. Rose says:

    More “Chicago Style” Poltics! Bullies is what they are!

  2. Great White Rat says:

    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.

    So these companies have a choice:

    Ignore the law and do not restate your financial position. The result will be an SEC investigation and criminal prosecution.

    –OR–

    Comply with the law and be dragged in front of Comrade Waxman’s Politburo.

    All this proves is that the statists forgot about the SEC rules when they passed this monstrosity, and now they’re trying to cover for themselves with the usual Alinskyite tactics: demonizing and hate.

    The companies did the right thing. Now I hope at least some of the corporate execs have the stones to give Waxman hell in front of the entire committee in plain, simple, language and place the blame for the mess squarely on the Dems and the administration where it belongs. I do not want to see the weak “Respectfully, Congressman…” pap we usually see in these cases.

  3. Sunny says:

    I don’t understand the angyst over the CEOs of these huge companies explaining their position regarding what affect the new Health Care bill will have on their companies. If the new rules really will have a negative affect – they need to get that out there so changes can be made in the laws if necessary. Or, are they just exagerating and trying to scare their employees? They are the ones saying the HC bill will negatively impact their businesses – so show us how and why. Why do you who oppose these hearings support more big corporation control over the citizens of this country? Either put up or shut up. And these are public companies – so the argument that they have documents that should not be available to the public is nonsense. When are Americans going to wake up and realize that these huge corporations are quite capable of taking care of themselves – the same ones who regularly outsource good paying jobs to India, China, Mexico etc. (with a nearly 10% unemployment). And you consider these corporate giants great American citizens??? Remember, corporations are “people”.

  4. ZippyTheWerewolf says:

    Gary Locke calls them irresponsible? Excuse me..but this whole Obamalamadingdong (nice word for what I really want to say which would send me back to confession for a year with a lifetime of penance) set up is not only irresponsible it’s an abomination. Bullies is much too nice a word. More Hitleresque in manner and application.

  5. nina says:

    Of course it’s going to cost more. I wonder what nostralitis is snorting.

  6. Mwalimu Daudi says:

    I think Democrats believed that any ill effects from ObamaCare would be years in the future, and if the GOP was in power would be blamed on them.

    So now Waxman and the Messiah – neither of whom has ever run anything in their lives except their big mouths – will lecture successful business leaders on how to run a business. Kind of reminds me of the way white liberal Democrats used to lecture Clarence Thomas and Condi Rice on how to be black.

    All of this is an effort to divert peoples’ attention from the failures of ObamaCare and how it is already destroying jobs.

  7. Great White Rat says:

    Sunny whimpers:

    I don’t understand the angyst over the CEOs of these huge companies explaining their position regarding what affect the new Health Care bill will have on their companies.

    Just the small detail that if you tell the truth, you become a target for vindictive socialists like Waxman who know nothing of how to run a business, but plenty about how to ruin one.

    If the new rules really will have a negative affect – they need to get that out there so changes can be made in the laws if necessary.

    And it never occurs to you that Congress should have considered the negative effects before passing this garbage bill? Maybe you ought to consider holding your congressman responsible for, say, reading the damn thing before sticking everyone with the price tag, mmmKay?

    Or, are they just exagerating and trying to scare their employees?

    No, these are accounting statements. They have to follow clear, accepted accounting rules, under penalty of law. Unlike, say, Obama who is free to lie through his teeth about the economic impact of this mess.

    They are the ones saying the HC bill will negatively impact their businesses – so show us how and why.

    Ummm…that’s what these statements DID. You really don’t understand what this is about, do you?

    Why do you who oppose these hearings support more big corporation control over the citizens of this country?

    Why do you want more big government control over the citizens? After all, it was one of yours, John Dingell, who said openly that they needed to “control the people” more.

    When are Americans going to wake up and realize that these huge corporations are quite capable of taking care of themselves

    You want a bureaucracy with all the efficiency of the post office, all the common sense and intelligence of the TSA, all the political independence of congress, and all the compassion of the IRS to start to start micromanaging what your doctor can do – and you think other people, the ones who see that as a disaster, to “wake up”? Maybe you should “wise up”.

  8. Patricia says:

    Thanks for taking that apart Great White Rat.
    We really need for the Right to explain these things. Like the Constitution. There needs to be clear teaching on it. There is a little bit of truth and a whole lot of lie about it out there. Had I not taken a law class that explored it (from a conservative view point, thank God) I would have forgotten what it said. The basics of our Republic need to be gone over again and again. I remember an FAA flight examiner say that he corrected a Navy pilot who didn’t want to go over the basics of flight with him before he tested out. The basics need to be gone over every so often so that they don’t get rusty and forgotten. I would like to see Tea Partyers handing out copies of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and someone speaking on a portion of it at each rally. Let’s not just give pep talks. And everyone of us should carry a copy of it in our purses or wallets in order to be able to show it to those who disagree with us. Because they don’t know what it says. Most don’t even know about the Revolutionary War–why it was fought and what was really on the line. Most go by hearsay without any real knowledge because alot of what is taught is incomplete or changed. We need to have the truth available to them. And all of us need to be able to counterpoint their lies. I’m working on educating myself by finding original papers and documents by the early Americans and reading what they really thought, not just accepting what a prof says. It’s been a wonderful journey.