Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Cost of 'Free' Health Care

ObamaCare sure is looking expensive.
AT&T on Friday said it will record a $1 billion non-cash expense in the first quarter related to the newly passed health-care law, joining a growing list of large U.S. companies.

The AT&T write-down is the largest reported so far. Caterpillar this week recorded a $100 million charge in the first quarter and Deere & Co. said it will report a one-time $150 million expense. See previous story on industries that say warn health reform will cost them.

Among its many changes, the new health-care law eliminated a tax deduction that companies used to cut the cost of drug-benefit programs for retired workers. President Obama signed the massive health-care overhaul into law earlier this week in a big victory for ruling Democrats.

Yet companies that still offer retiree drug benefits, mostly older industrial concerns or those with unionized employees, say the end of the deduction could force them to alter their benefit plans. In other words, they might curtail or even cancel them.

"As a result of this legislation, including the additional tax burden, AT&T will be evaluating prospective changes to the active and retiree health care benefits offered by the company," AT&T said in a filing with the government on Friday.
So the upshot is many retirees are potentially going to lose their employer provided prescription benefits and be put into the Medicare system. At exactly the same time, the Democrats are cutting $500 billion out of Medicare to help pay for ObamaCare. In other words, they are increasing demand and cutting supply of health care services

Can you say trainwreck? I knew you could.

Seems to me that the Democrats see the elderly and infirm as a "shovel-ready" project.

And this is only the beginning.

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