Just as the economy appears to be improving slightly, one of the prime drivers — the healthcare industry — is faltering, according to John Howser at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. "While the rest of the U. S. economy is stabilizing or improving, health care is entering into a recession," he observed.
Vanderbilt is in the process of eliminating 1,000 jobs by the end of the year as it trims its operating expenses, thanks to cuts in reimbursements and employee mandates under ObamaCare. Indiana University Health has already laid off 900 workers, while the Cleveland Clinic is offering early retirement to 3,000 of its employees. Said Eileen Shell, executive director at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation:
Some of the [budget cuts] include offering early retirement to 3,000 eligible employees, reducing operational costs, [slowing] the filling [of] vacant positions, and lastly [cutting the] workforce.
Putting the best possible spin on the matter, she added, "To prepare for healthcare reform [ObamaCare], Cleveland Clinic is transforming the way care is delivered to patients."
Once that “transformation” is completed, her patients may discover the realities of government intervention into the healthcare industry: fewer jobs, more delays, higher costs, and fewer choices — just the opposite of what the president promised.
The ripple effects, the negatives on our economy, are going to be playing out not just for months but for years.
And I doubt we will ever be able to totally measure the complete cost in manpower and money — in addition to taxes — that Obamacare will end up costing the American people, proving once again that there is no such thing as a free lunch, and there is no such thing as free healthcare.
The cost savings promised that would help provide coverage for 30 million Americans currently without it aren't real, according to Bauer. Instead, they come from cutting the fees paid to doctors and hospitals:
I think that what the public still doesn't realize is that all the savings the president projected are literally savings that come from not paying hospitals, doctors and other care centers for services. If you don’t pay them, you’re not going to get [them].
Job cuts are not restricted to the healthcare industry, either. While Aurora Health Care in Racine, Wisconsin, just joined others in reducing its expenses by cutting jobs, those far removed from Wisconsin are being affected as well. In Florida, the Buca di Beppo chain of Italian restaurants just cut back 400 jobs to part-time as a direct result of ObamaCare. Palm Beach State College cut 100 jobs and placed another 895 positions on notice for further cuts while another half-dozen Florida colleges made similar cuts. SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Tampa reduced the number of hours its part-time employees can work in a week to stay under the 30-hour limit imposed by ObamaCare. And even the city of Boca Raton, a Democratic stronghold, has placed a 25-hour-per-week maximum on its part-time employees.
There have been so many ObamaCare-related job cuts that Investors Business Daily has tasked Jed Graham to keep track of them all. And his list keeps growing. As of October 9, the IBD “ObamaCare scorecard” lists 331 employers who have been forced to cut hours for their employees thanks to the mandate. For example, NEMF Trucking in New Jersey has cut back 400 jobs, while Maricopa Community Colleges in Arizona have reduced the hours for 1,300 of its employees and adjunct faculty. In Indiana, Fort Wayne Community Schools have cut the hours of part-time teaching aides and cafeteria workers from 30 hours a week to 25, and the Alpine School District in Utah has done the same, affecting 800 of its employees.
Virginia has been particularly hard hit: Chesterfield Public Schools have cut the hours of some 2,000 part-timers, along with Christopher Newport University (483 jobs), College of William and Mary (331 jobs), Norfolk State University (504 jobs) and Virginia Commonwealth University (883 jobs). All told, according to Graham, schools and municipalities in Virginia have slashed the hours on more than 7,000 part-timers.
Many forced by ObamaCare to reduce the hours worked by its employees aren't even on Graham’s list, including Louisiana State University, which just announced it would be cutting 1,495 positions along with various programs across its seven hospitals in order to save $150 million.
Bauer’s rule — TANSTAAFL (there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch) — is being validated once again as government promises more than it can provide, and what it does provide is costly, inefficient, and ultimately comes right out of the pockets of the taxpayers who were supposed to benefit from all this generosity.
ObamaCare is a new government program that proves the old rule.
A graduate of Cornell University and a former investment advisor, Bob is a regular contributor to The New American magazine and blogs frequently at www.LightFromTheRight.com, primarily on economics and politics. He can be reached at