Friday, April 2, 2010

The Healthcare Hemorrhage

Updated 04/05/10, adding newly announced firms.

ObamaCare was supposed to reduce costs, wasn't it?  That was the story we got from the Democrats' dog and pony show leading up to its passage.  But a week after the bill was signed into law, a number of publicly traded companies began issuing statements regarding the effect on earnings.  By my count, a total of 15 19 companies have made statements regarding ObamaCare's impact on the bottom line.  These figures are in millions of dollars:

Company Charge
Allegheny Technologies $5
Carpenter Technology $6
Goodrich $10
Honeywell $13
Xcel Energy $17
Valero  $20
Illinois Tool $22
Eaton $25
AK Steel $31
Ingersoll Rand $41
Brush Materials $85
3M $90
Lockheed Martin $95
Caterpillar $100
Prudential $100
Boeing $150
Deere $150
Verizon $970
AT&T $1,000
To Date: $2,930

So what, you say?  Well, that's $2.7  $2.9 billion in in lost shareholder wealth.  If you're like me and have a modest 401(k) account or managed IRA somewhere, chances are good that a lot of these companies are in your portfolio.  ObamaCare isn't just costing American business money, it's already costing you money, and it hasn't even been the law of the land for a fortnight.

Look at it another way.  With a median household income of about $50,000, that $2.7  $2.9 billion represents approximately 54,000 58,600 jobs.  On the date this was posted, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported total non-farm payrolls rose by about 162,000 in March, 2010.  Of the total, there were only about 48,000 permanent, full time jobs created by the private sector (see Table B-1).  In only one week's time, Obamacare wiped out the equivalent of 10,000 more jobs than was created by Obama's economy in the entire month of March.

The Extra Point:  Obama's $870 billion stimulus package is a ripe, one year old behemoth.  Where are the jobs?  Hemorrhaging through the open wound of Obamacare.

If you know of a publicly traded company that announced a charge to earnings due to Obamacare, and that company is not listed above, leave me a comment or send me a tweet at @GulfCoastTider.