All during the 2012 election cycle, business leaders large and small said that if Obama was re-elected and if Obamacare stayed in place, there would be economic consequences -- including lay-offs.
These warnings reached a crescendo in the weeks before the election with several prominent CEOs, including David Siegel (the owner of Westgate Resorts), Koch Industries president Dave Robertson and Arthur Allen (chief executive of ASG Software Solutions) even going so far as to urge their employees to vote for Mitt Romney to help save their employers and preserve their jobs.
Well, Obama was re-elected and the lay-offs have begun.
According to a running list compiled by FreedomWorks, nearly a dozen top U.S. companies plan to start laying off hundreds of employees with the implementation of Obamacare.
Those firms include:
Welch Allyn — a manufacturer of medical diagnostic equipment in central New York — which says it will cut 275 employees, about 10 percent of its workforce, over the next three years.
Dana Holding Corp. — a global auto parts manufacturing company — which warned of layoffs due to "$24 million over the next six years in additional U.S. healthcare expenses.’’
Stryker — a medical device manufacturer — which plans to close its facility in Orchard Park, N.Y., eliminating 96 jobs in December. They also say they’ll slash 5 percent of their global workforce, about 1,170 positions.
Boston Scientific — a medical device manufacturer — said it plans to cut between 1,200 and 1,400 jobs, while shifting investments and workers overseas to China.
Medtronic — a medical device maker — which cut 500 positions over the summer, with 500 more set to be eliminated by the end of 2013.
Other companies promising job cuts include: Smith & Nephew — 770 layoffs; Abbott Labs — 700 layoffs; Covidien — 595 layoffs; Kinetic Concepts — 427 layoffs; St. Jude Medical — 300 layoffs; and Hill Rom — 200 layoffs.
Among the reasons for the layoffs: increased costs for health insurance and, in the case of medical manufacturing companies, a new medical-device tax.
According to NewsMax, a major Applebee’s restaurant franchisee in New York recently caught flack for saying that “We’ve calculated it will cost some millions of dollars across our system. So what does that say? That says we won’t build more restaurants. We won’t hire more people,’’ CEO Zane Tankel said.
“If it’s possible to do it without cutting people back, I am delighted to do it. But that also rolls back expansion, it rolls back hiring more people, and in a best-case scenario, we only shrink the labor force minimally. Best case.’’
Papa John's founder and CEO John Schnatter made national headlines back in August after telling shareholders the Affordable Care Act — commonly known as Obamacare — would result in a 10- to 14-cent increase for customers buying a pizza.
Schnatter, speaking to students at Edison Community College in Florida the day after the election, said it was likely that some Papa John’s franchise owners would reduce employees' hours in order to avoid having to pay the Obamacare tax to cover them.
"The good news is 100 percent of the population is going to have health insurance. We're all going to pay for it," NaplesNews.com quoted Schnatter as saying while estimating the new law would cost his business $5 million to $8 million annually.
"That's probably what's going to happen," Schnatter observed. "It's common sense. That's what I call lose-lose."