Dems admit CEOs were right to report losses from Obamacare 

Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee admitted that CEOs who reported billions in losses due to Obamacare were required to state those losses after all. What the Democrats didn’t admit, on the other hand, was that the companies were being incentivized to drop their insurance for employees.

Led by Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., Democrats opened an investigation, demanding that AT&T, Caterpillar, John Deere, and Verizon supply documentation of their accounting. They did so, and according to a summary of the investigation from the staff of the committee, “The companies acted properly and inaccordance with accounting standards in submitting filings to the SEC in March and April.”

But the accounting shows the consequence of Obamacare — employers dropping coverage. A Verizon analysis suggests that “To avoid additional costs and regulations, employers may consider exiting the employer health market and send employees” to state-run insurance exchanges, where people can buy insurance.”

AT&T isn’t far behind either. From the New York Times:

Documents provided to Congress by AT&T indicate that its medical costs in 2009 were $4.7 billion, divided about equally between active employees and retirees — far more than it would pay in penalties if it did not provide coverage.

AT&T, which took a $995 million charge to reflect the impact of the health care overhaul, said it would be “evaluating prospective changes to the active and retiree health care benefits offered by the company.”

Meanwhile, Waxman and Stupak offered this fig leaf:

“Companies like AT&T, Verizon and a range of stakeholder associations are hopeful that the benefits of the new law will outweigh the costs,” Mr. Waxman and Mr. Stupak said in a memorandum to committee members. “But they cannot quantify the benefits until the law is implemented.”

In other words, we have to enforce the bill before we can find out what’s in it.

About The Author

J.P. Freire

J.P. Freire is the associate editor of commentary. Previously he was the managing editor of the American Spectator. Freire was named journalist of the year for 2009 by the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). You can follow him on Twitter here. Besides the Spectator, Freire's work has appeared in... more
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