[Guest post by DRJ]
More businesses are reporting adverse economic and tax consequences in the wake of the passage of ObamaCare:
“AT&T said Friday that it is preparing for President Obama’s health care overhaul to cost the telecommunications giant an additional $1 billion in expenses in the first quarter, possibly forcing the company to cut benefits it offers to current and retired workers.
AT&T is the latest and biggest company to account for the financial impact that the health care overhaul will have on its bottom line. It said the tax ramifications related to the legislation that Obama signed Tuesday will force it to take a non-cash charge — an expense that does not require cash to be paid out but has to be charged against the company’s earnings.
Earlier this week, AK Steel Corp., Caterpillar, Deere and Valero Energy announced similar accounting charges, saying the health care law will raise their expenses. On Friday, 3M said it will also take a charge of $85 million to $90 million.”
Meanwhile, the AMA notices there will be problems accessing care:
“In plain English: Insuring a bunch of people in a few years is no guarantee they will actually get access to medical care. Why? Because Texas, along with the rest of the country, has a shortage of doctors. It’s especially acute in primary care. And it is expected to worsen as more uninsured people get coverage.
How did this shortage happen?
A lot of studies, including some cited in this space, list various reasons: Primary care doctors don’t get paid as much as other doctors, and they don’t get reimbursed for talking to their patients about how to stay healthy. The average doctor graduates from medical school with $150,000 in debts, according to Dr. James Rohack, president of the American Medical Association. With that kind of debt, many of them can’t afford to get into primary care.
Still, I was stunned by a statistic Rohack shared when I heard him speak at a conference in Austin on Monday: 67 percent of U.S. doctors are specialists; just 33 percent are in primary care. If current trends continue, he said, we will be short 124,000 doctors of all stripes by 2025.
Few Texas doctors want to take care of patients on Medicaid because the payments are so low. And most of the newly insured people from the new health care law in 2014 will be on Medicaid. What will it be like for them when they become insured? And as they clamor for care, what will it be like for the rest of us?”
ObamaCare’s new slogan: Tax and Ration.