Obamacare: Running the numbers

The real cost of health care reform, as recognized by the nation's business community, is just beginning to take shape. Bloomberg Business Week (picked up by Drudge) reports that SEC filings by such companies as AT&T, Caterpillar, AK Steel Holding, and 3M Co., reflect their anticipated costs of compliance with ObamaCare.

Keep three things in mind: a.) these write-downs are not reflected in any CBO estimates of the cost of funding health care reform; b.) in order to protect stock prices, these companies have a huge incentive to understate the costs they actually face; and, c.) the true cost of health care reform is equal to taxes raised from American taxpayers plus decreased wealth accruing to American taxpayers.

According to the article:

AT&T will lower earnings for this year by $1,000,000,000.00 (one billion dollars) based on its employment of 281,000 workers. The write-down equates to $3,558.00 per employee.

Caterpillar (the company Obama duplicitously claimed would hire back all of its workers following The Stimulus) will reduce earnings by as much as $90,000,000.00 (ninety million dollars) this year based on its employment of 75,000 team members. The per-employee equivalent is $1,200.00.

What do these filings hint about total costs that were unrecognized/unreported by CBO and Congress?

The Department of Labor states that Total Private Employment in December 2009 amounted to 107,067,000 American workers. (Since "public" employers/employees seem to think that they are immune to economic impacts on the private sector, we exclude them from this analysis; otherwise, the following analysis would be even more staggering.)

If we use the AT&T cost estimates as a model for the impact of ObamaCare on all private sector employers, we see a cost in 2010 of $380,944,386,000.00. (That's nearly four hundred billion dollars, folks!)

If we choose the Caterpillar analysis, the 2010 impact drops down to a mere $128,480,400,000.00. (That's only one hundred-thirty billion dollars, comrades!)

Spread across the American population of 310,000,000 souls, Caterpillar's model indicates that America's wealth declined by $1,229.00 per citizen this week.

I can hardly wait ‘til next week....

John Peeples