President Obama says his health care "reform" will be good for business. But businessmen don't seem to agree. Three successful CEOs came on my Fox Business show last week to explain how Obamacare is a reason that unemployment stays high.
In my syndicated column, I look at the negative impact of the health care bill:
Brad Anderson, CEO of Best Buy, added that Obamacare makes it impossible to achieve even basic certainty about future personnel costs:
"If I was trying to get you to fund a new business I had started and you asked me what my payroll was going to be three years from now per employee, if I went to the deepest specialist in the industry, he can't tell me what it's actually going to cost, let alone what I'm going to be responsible for."
You would think a piece of legislation more than a thousand pages long would at least be clear about the specifics. But a lot of those pages say: "The secretary will determine ..." That means the secretary of health and human services will announce the rules sometime in the future. How can a business make plans in such a fog?
John Allison, former CEO of BB&T, the 12th biggest bank in America, pointed out how Obamacare encourages employers not to insure their employees. Under the law, an employer would be fined for that. But the penalty at present --about $2,000 -- is lower than the cost of a policy.
"What that means is in theory every company ought to dump their plan on the government plan and pay the penalty," he said. "So you don't really know what the cost is because it's designed to fail."
Of course, then every employee would turn to the government-subsidized health insurance. Maybe that was the central planners' intention all along.
An owner of 12 IHOPS told me that he can't expand his business because he can't afford the burden of Obamacare. Many of his waitresses work part time or change jobs every few months. He hadn't been insuring them, but Obamacare requires him to. He says he can't make money paying a $2,000 penalty for every waitress, so he's cancelled his plans to expand. It's one more reason why job growth hasn't picked up post-recession.
The rest of my column here.