Gigantic telecommunications company AT&T announced just now that it will take a $1,000,000,000 loss in the first quarter of 2010 because of changes made to the health care laws by Obamacare. Additionally, AT&T noted that the benefits packages are subject to substantial alternation in the next few weeks. AT&T’s announcement, on the heels of similar announcements by Caterpillar, John Deere, AK Steel and other large American companies, is more evidence of the negative economic effects from Obamacare. Reuters broke the story a half hour ago:
NEW YORK (Reuters) – AT&T Inc (T.N) said on Friday that it would record a $1 billion non-cash charge for the current quarter related to the new U.S. health care reform law signed by President Barack Obama this week.
AT&T’s charge appeared to be the largest in a series of charges announced by U.S. companies this week.
The operator, whose annual revenue is expected to be $124.1 billion this year, said the charge is the result of a provision in the law related to the tax treatment of Medicare subsidies.
As a result of the legislation, the company said it will be evaluating prospective changes to the health care benefits it offers.
AT&T’s announcement, and others that are sure to follow from America’s blue chip companies, appears to disprove the Democratic claims that Obamacare would create hundreds of thousands of jobs “almost immediately” after passage. Indeed, the corporate losses incurred already from Obamacare appear destined to reduce, not enhance, the ability of America’s companies to hire new employees.
Furthermore, AT&T’s statement that “as a result of the legislation, the company said it will be evaluating prospective changes to the health care benefits it offers” also disproves the oft-repeated Obama misrepresentation that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” after the passage of Obamacare. The tens of thousands of employees of AT&T are learning the hard way that sometimes Americans cannot trust the rhetorical claims of politicians about the policies they pursue.