photo by Sheri Dixon

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Hey, Look! A Scary Obamacare Article!

There's an article that's going viral out there- it's right here. It's called "100 Unintended Consequences of Obamacare" and it's pretty scary...all the horrible things that will be happening once the ACA (also known as Obamacare...because that's a lot more threatening-sounding, especially if you're still tweaked out because our president is, yanno, black)takes effect.

Let's look at some of these and try to ascertain who is REALLY pulling the rug out from under the common folks.

1. IBM
Earlier this month, the computer giant, once famed for its paternalism, announced it would remove 110,000 of its Medicare-eligible retirees from the company’s health insurance and give them subsidies to purchase coverage through the Obamacare exchanges. Retirees fear that they will not get the level of coverage they are used to, and that the options will be bewildering.

Wow. That's really confusing for those employees. Virginia "Ginny" Raffity is the CEO of IBM. Her salary alone was $16 Million last year. Think she's worried? Think they could've afforded to KEEP THE DAMN INSURANCE THEY HAD???

3. UPS
Fifteen thousand employees’ spouses will no longer be able to use UPS’s health-care plan because they have access to coverage elsewhere. The “costs associated with the Affordable Care Act have made it increasingly difficult to continue providing the same level of health care benefits to our employees at an affordable cost,” the delivery giant said in a company memo. The move is expected to save the company $60 million next year.

UPS's net profit for 2012 was $829 Million. That's net. After all the bills are paid. Net. So, ya. Seriously?

4. Caterpillar Inc.
In the law’s first year, the machinery manufacturer estimated before its passage, Obamacare would add more than $100 million in health-care costs. “We can ill afford cost increases that place us at a disadvantage versus our global competitors,” a Caterpillar executive wrote lawmakers, saying that the law would not meet the goal of providing good, inexpensive health care for all Americans.

I don't know where to start with this- the fact that none of the ACA will affect big businesses till 2015 so they have plenty of time to adjust to it, or the fact that the reason it may 'place them at a disadvantage versus our global competitors' is that most of those other countries HAVE SOCIALIZED NATIONAL HEALTH CARE.

6. Stryker Corp.
Stryker Corp., a Michigan medical-device manufacturer, laid off about 1,000 employees earlier this year due to the Affordable Care Act’s 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices. The company estimated that the tax would cost it approximately $100 million next year. “Stryker remains significantly concerned with the upcoming medical device excise tax and its negative impact on jobs and innovation and will continue to work with Congress to try to repeal the tax,” said the company’s CEO.

Poor little Stryker. Their net income was only $1.27 BILLION. There are a thousand millions in a billion, so 10% of their NET profits will be eat up by the tax. Boo-fucking-hoo. Especially since just last week Stryker bought one of their competitors- Mako Surgical Devices for $1.65 Billion.

9. Cleveland Clinic, Ohio
One of the world’s best-known hospitals announced in September that it would slash jobs and up to 6 percent of its annual $6 billion budget in anticipation of costs associated with Obamacare’s implementation. A spokeswoman for the clinic announced that approximately $330 million would be cut, but she did not say how many of the 44,000 employees the clinic would let go. The Cleveland Clinic is Cleveland’s largest employer and the second-largest employer in Ohio.

SLASH jobs! CUT the budget! Oh, details? We don't have any details. We were just told to say OBAMACARE BAD. And please don't notice that according to Billian's Health Data, "Cleveland Clinic (Ohio) is the highest grossing U.S. hospital by net patient revenue, according to the latest CMS cost report data analyzed." Yep. They're really hurting, ya'll.

16. Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, New Hampshire
The state’s only insurer approved to offer plans on the health-insurance exchanges in New Hampshire has cut the number of hospitals that will participate in the plan from 26 to 14 in order to reach “affordable premium levels,” according to the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Really. So they're only letting the residents of New Hampshire go to the cheap hospitals. They must be a very small company that needs to watch costs. Oh, wait-they are part of Wellpoint Group, whose net profits were $2.84 Billion last year. Think they could let the people of New Hampshire go to any damn hospital they want to?

(Insert a lot of other health care companies and schools here- all vowing to cut hours down to less than considered 'full-time' in order to skate by the new mandate...the mandate to actually provide benefits for the people who work for you for (especially in these cases) little pay and who are trusted with the care of the most vulnerable citizens. So what this is really about is not "OH NOES- we are going to be broke if we have to provide for people who give us (in most cases) more than 40 hours of their lives every week taking care of others!" Actually- that is exactly what it's about- trying to work the system to get around doing the right thing for your employees and still protect their own cushy salaries and bonuses bottom line. Which is a total dick move.)

Now look at the restaurants, who are doing the exact same thing. Big chain restaurants, too- not mom and pop places. We're talking Applebees, Starbucks, Burger King- these are NOT small businesses. McDonald's opines that they HAVE to cut hours and avoid supplying health care because the ACA would otherwise cost them $420 Million per year. Yanno, they sell over 550 million Big Macs every year. Raise the cost of a Big Mac 75 cents and do the right thing, you assholes.

And finally, lets look at 'small businesses' this one (and it's actually listed under the 'Small Local Business' category- go look)-

88. AAA Parking, Georgia
Next year, AAA Parking will move half of its 500 full-time hourly employees (out of a work force of 1,600) to part-time employment. “Our executive team has spent extensive time evaluating the impact of this mandate, and the financial impact for AAA Parking is dramatic,” a company memo explained.

Truly? A company with *1,600 employees* is a small business? Puh-leeze.

The truth is that a business with less than 50 employees will not be affected...AT ALL.

What's my point, other than showing that Google is your friend and all you have to do is LOOK SOMETHING UP if it sounds suspect? That even an old lady with bifocals and a barely-finished-high-school diploma can find answers and shit in under a minute with very little effort?

Well, ya. That is the point.

Don't take anything at face value. Look shit up. Don't take numbers out of context- there are some big numbers up there that look really prohibitive till you set them beside the ones that matter- the net incomes and CEO salaries and sheer amount of sales per business.

Perspective. Get some, ya'll.

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