ObamaCare a Factor in Bleak Jobs Report

Creation of new jobs has hit a wall, with employers creating just 18,000 jobs last month and sending the unemployment rate to 9.2%. The numbers would have been even worse had so many Americans not simply given up hope looking for work.

I talked about this on FOX News this morning in the context of health care, of course. Here is the clip:



In every meeting, speech, and media interview where I have a chance to talk with business owners, it is clear that the mandates in the health law are an important factor in depressing job creation. Small business is the engine for job growth in America, but a recent survey found that 70% of them have no plans to increase hiring in the next year.

There are many reasons they aren’t hiring — they don’t have enough customers to justify expansion, they can’t get credit from the banks, and they are uncertain about the future tax, regulatory, and economic climate. But the ObamaCare mandates are a big factor:

  • Some businesses are worried that hiring more workers would put them over the 50-employee limit and expose them to the expensive employer mandate.

  • Small businesses that already have more than 50 workers worry about the cost of providing new government-mandated coverage for their workers or the fines they would have to pay if they don’t comply.

  • And larger companies are doing everything they can to pare back on hiring and automate entry-level jobs to avoid the added cost of mandatory health insurance. McDonald’s is putting in electronic ordering kiosks, and CVS drug stores are putting in electronic checkout systems to replace live people, for example. Is it any wonder that youth unemployment is at an all-time high as these entry-level jobs vanish?

Unemployment is a tragedy. It weakens our country when people who are willing and want to work simply can’t find jobs. It weakens families because of the terrible pressures of financial stress. And it weakens our future as young people can’t get the jobs to get their foot on the economic ladder and learn the skills they need to move on.

It’s not just the fear of ObamaCare, of course. Tax policy must be reformed and modernized. Regulations must be lifted so businesses can focus on customers, not federal agents. And federal spending must be controlled to avoid the tsunami of red ink that threatens to destroy any chance of future prosperity.

We can do this. The American spirit is alive, and people WANT to work.

When I get discouraged, I go back to a conversation I had with my good friend, economic guru Art Laffer, when I spoke at one of his company’s seminars recently.

“This economy is ready to soar,” he said. But for that to happen, he said, we must lift the burdens of outdated and oppressive tax, regulatory, and trade policies.

Art is right. We believe in America. But politicians must undo the damage of decades of burdensome public policies so the people can turn this ship aright.

Small hr

IPAB: And tune in to CSPAN this coming Tuesday morning. I will be testifying before the House Budget Committee’s hearing on the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).

There is growing bi-partisan opposition to giving 15 unelected, unaccountable appointees unprecedented power over hundreds of billions of dollars in Medicare spending. I will argue that the Constitution gives the power of the purse to Congress so that elected representatives can be accountable to the voters for their decisions. The IPAB would turn this principle upside down.

We will have a link to my testimony in next week’s newsletter.


If Air Travel Worked Like Health Care

Jonathan Rauch’s popular National Journal column comparing the health care system with air travel is now available as a video.
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Budget Danger Ahead
James C. Capretta, National Review Online, 07/07/11

NY Health and Hospital Corp.’s President Welcomes The Health Law’s Promise, But Sees ‘A Very Clear Downside’ For Public Hospitals — The KHN Interview
Shefali S. Kulkarni, Kaiser Health News, 07/07/11

Small-Business Health Care Tax Credits Are having a Miniscule Impact
Sally C. Pipes, Forbes.com, 07/05/11

Bust or Bailout? The Future of Private Health Plans Under ObamaCare
John R. Graham, Pacific Research Institute, 07/05/11

Employment-Based Health Benefits and Taxation: Implications of Efforts to Reduce the Deficit and National Debt
Paul Fronstin, Employee Benefit Research Institute, 07/11


Health Care Law Opponents Submit Petitions in Push to Exempt Ohio Residents from New Fed Rules
Ann Sanner, Associated Press, 07/06/11

IG Seeks Power to Rein in Rising Health-Care Cost
Christine McConville, Boston Herald, 06/28/11


The Myth of Medicare’s “Low Administrative Costs”
Avik Roy, Forbes.com: The Apothecary, 06/30/11

Obama’s Medicare Plan is an Open Secret
Robert Moffit, Ph.D., The Heritage Foundation, 06/24/11


HSAs Continue Strong Growth, Despite Challenges
Roy Ramthun, CDHC Solutions, 06/22/11


An ObamaCare Drug Preview in Germany
John C. Lechleiter, The Wall Street Journal, 07/08/11

NHS Chiefs Warn of Rising Hospital Waiting Times
Nick Triggle, BBC News, 07/06/11


Dangerous Substandard Medicines
Roger Bate, Julissa Milligan, and Lorraine Mooney, American Enterprise Institute, 07/11


Controlling Costs: The Price of Good Health
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Coalition for Affordable Health Coverage
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Washington, DC

Medicare’s Future: An Examination of the Independent Payment Advisory Board
House Budget Committee Hearing
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Washington, DC
Grace-Marie Turner will testify before the House Budget Committee, along with HHS Sec. Kathleen Sebelius, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, and Judith Feder, Ph. D.

July 14-16, 2011
Las Vegas, NV
Grace-Marie Turner will participate in a panel discussion on “Who Cares About ObamaCare? Healthy Alternatives for You and Your Business,” at 4:00pm on Friday, July 15.