Oversight Committee Report Documents Obamacare Costs and Impacts on Job Creators in Their Own Words

March 21, 2012

(WASHINGTON)—A new report released by Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform documents the direct cost to small- and mid-sized businesses imposed by President Obama’s signature health care legislation.  The release coincides with the two year anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable care Act (PPACA) known as “Obamacare.”

The Oversight Committee report features small business owners, executives and entrepreneurs explaining how Obamacare restricts job growth by creating barriers to investment and expansion. 

The report showcases congressional testimony of these job creators and highlights key issues they raise about the health care program job-killing provisions; its destructive employer-mandate tax penalty; harmful taxes; regulatory uncertainty and compliance costs; and its counter-productive small business tax credit.

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) raised its cost estimate for the program to $1.8 trillion over the next decade, adding that 11 million Americans will lose their employer-provided health insurance because of the program. 

“Obamacare’s attempt at a wholesale remake of our health care system will have crippling impacts on businesses and job creators—at a time when we can least afford it.  Our report documents job creators—in their own words—expressing very real and very personal concerns about what Obamacare will mean to their firm and their employees,” Chairman Issa said.
The full report including testimony from job creators is located here.  Highlights include:

Andrew Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, Inc., parent company of Carls Jr., and Hardees: “It is important to note that the PPACA explicitly makes labor more expensive.  It is completely predictable that businesses such as ours will search for ways to take jobs out of our existing restaurants to reduce that expense….  We would undoubtedly increase the number of part time employees; decrease the number of full time employees and attempt to automate positions (such as replacing cashier positions with ordering kiosks).  These are not actions we would choose to take.  They are actions the PPACA will all but compel us to take.”

Scott Womack, President and Owner, Womack Restaurants: “The job-crushing effects of PPACA will flow downstream and hurt the many small businesses that serve our company.  We will be forced to cease new restaurant development and forfeit the development agreement we invested in.  That agreement cost us $360,000.  This future development would amount to $22,000,000 in construction and development spending, and 260 full time restaurant jobs.”

Phil Kennedy, owner and President of Comanche Lumber Company, Inc.: “It seems there is one way for me to avoid paying the fines [levied against firms who employ more than 50  full-time employees)—I can either get (and stay) under 50 employees, or I can start forcing employees to part-time status, making them independent contractors, outsourcing certain services, and taking similar efforts to negate the fines.  I do not want to lose anyone on my payroll, but if it comes down to laying off a few employees or being saddles with these fines, I won’t have a choice.”

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