Monday, March 29, 2010

Companies Admit DemCare Will Cause Severe Pain

DemCare is so awesomely awesome that companies are now starting to publicize just how much pain it's going to cause.

Caterpillar Inc. said the health-care overhaul legislation being considered by the U.S. House would increase the company’s health-care costs by more than $100 million in the first year alone.
John Deere

Farm equipment maker [John] Deere expects after-tax expenses to rise by $150 million this year as a result of the health care reform law President Barack Obama signed this week.

Most of the higher expense will come in Deere’s [DE 60.94 0.45 (+0.74%) ] second quarter, the company said on Thursday. The expense was not included in the company’s earlier 2010 forecast, which called for net income of about $1.3 billion. …

“AT&T Inc. will take a $1 billion non-cash charge in the first quarter” the Associated Press reported today. And by “take a non-cash charge” what they really mean is that President Barack Obama’s health spending plan just ate $1 billion out of AT&T’s bottom line. And that’s to pay for just one of the tax hikes wrought by Obamacare.
Let's pause at the moment to examine this a bit more:

AT&T is just one of many companies that subsidize Medicare drug coverage for their retirees. The new health law slaps a tax on those subsidies, effective next year. In addition to costing the communications giant a cool billion, the tax is likely to cost workers and retirees a cherished benefit. AP notes that, because of the legislation, AT&T is now “looking into changing the health care benefits it offers to active and retired workers.”

So much for the promise about being able to keep the health care you have!

Awesome, right? But that's not all...
“3M Company Today That It Expects To Record A One-Time Non-Cash Charge Of $85 To $90 Million After Tax… Resulting From The Recently Enacted Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act.” “3M Company said today that it expects to record a one-time non-cash charge of $85 to $90 million after tax, or approximately 12 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2010, resulting from the recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including modifications made in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 passed by Congress on March 25, 2010. The charge is due to a reduction in the value of the company’s deferred tax asset as a result of a change to the tax treatment of Medicare Part D reimbursements.”

“AK Steel Holding Corp., The Third Largest U.S. Steelmaker By Sales, Said It Will Record A Non-Cash Charge Of About $31 Million Resulting From The Health-Care Overhaul Signed Into Law By President Barack Obama.”
Here's what this means, via Hot Air:
Some may say, Well, great! It pays for ObamaCare. It also takes the cash that would have fueled expansion, new job creation, and retirement income and sticks it into the hands of government bureaucrats. It will massively bleed the economy at a point in time where we desperately need the private sector to invest in itself and create new jobs and new opportunities.
But that's not even the best part. Get a load of this:

This past week several big companies, including Caterpillar, Verizon, and AT&T, announced that ObamaCare would cost them millions of dollars this year. To pay for it they variously suggested layoffs and benefits reductions. Analysts suggest that the total first-quarter hit to S&P 500 firms will be $4.5 billion.

Well, Democrats can't stand to have their precious economy-destroying healthcare program criticized in its very first week, so they've announced an "investigation" into the claims. Late yesterday, the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation sent letters to the CEOs of AT&T, Caterpillar, Deere & Co, and Verizon asking them to appear for a hearing on their claims. In the letters, Waxman and Stupak ask for company documents including accounting analyses and the internal emails of all "senior company officials" related to the projected costs of ObamaCare. How serious are they? The letter actually defines "senior company officials."

Power Line has a copy of one of the letters.

Not content with their victory, Democrats won't rest until they've beaten down anyone who points out the devastation caused by their anti-prosperity policies. This will be as much of an "investigation" as the Democrats' demonization of oil company CEOs last summer or Toyota execs more recently.

Byron York has much more here. Bottom line:

In coming days, Republicans are likely to emphasize the costs, both financial and human, of the new law. In an interview Thursday, Rep. Tom Price, head of the House Republican Study Committee, said his party's first priority will be to "identify as often as possible the detrimental and remarkably consequential effects of this bill on communities." Price specifically pointed to the Caterpillar and Deere announcements as examples of what GOP lawmakers will cite as the adverse effects of the law. (At the time Price spoke, AT&T had not yet announced its decision.)

Given that, it's no wonder Democrats are planning an aggressive campaign against the businesses involved. Elections are coming up, and Democratic leaders are in no mood to hear discouraging words about what they regard as their signature achievement.

Now, let me take you back to January of this year. Remember the furor on the part of Democrats when the Supreme Court allowed businesses and corporations to put out political ads?

It's clear what the Democratic line of attack is going to be this year: all populism all the time. Wall Street, banks, corporations, and disfavored industries like health insurers, petroleum are going to get a hell of a battering while Democrats founder trying to buy votes by pretending to be the best palls of Middle America.


[The] core of Citizens United [is]: you have a right to speech, you have a right to associate with others, and you don't give up your right to speech when you choose to associate. The Constitution does not give to Congress the power to pick favored speakers and disfavored speakers. In fact, the First Amendment specifically prohibits such anti-democratic laws.

Democrats, however, place more importance on speech bans than countering speech they don't like. The democratic (small 'd') response to speech you disagree with is more speech. For Democrats, more political speech is to be avoided. For Democrats, too much political participation is bad for democracy. For Democrats, a lone man or woman speaking up for themselves is fine, but a group speaking up for itself is "corruption."

And, of course, 'group' means businesses and corporations. Now that these businesses -- and there's every reason to think many more will do so in the coming months -- are coming out to clearly say that their financial troubles are directly related to DemCare, do we understand why the Dems threw such a hissy fit about them suddenly being able to actively run campaign ads against those who are destroying them?


Ironically, through all of this, Barack Obama was remarkably honest about one thing:

Bingo. And that's the problem.

There's my two cents.

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