Immediately after the election results came in, a number of sites offered new investment advice given the impending economic landscape. Market Watch had recommendations in various modes: Health care! Noting that Pfizer and insurance provider Unitedhealth Group UNH -4.06% (up 73% since Obamacare passed) and smaller biotechs had a growth upside.
Another bouyant prospect they imagine to be Home construction! and against the backdrop of looming foreclosures and a shattered economy the seemingly delusional aspect of Real Estate! (despite or because of Fannie Mar/Freddie Mac debacle?)
The Obama Administration and Federal Reserve targeted the home-building industry for special attention since it is among the few industries that cannot outsource jobs overseas. The industry also provides the best income to workers without college educations. It also has a ripple effect on the economy, as new homes require paint, lumber, furniture, lawn care and the like.
Likewise the real estate industry has benefited enormously from policy over the past four years, as quantitative easing has involved directly buying securities that support residential and commercial construction.
And then there’s the always hot Apple-led iPhone euphoria of Mobile communications – just wait and see!
The Obama Administration has not promoted a coherent technology policy. But outside of a couple of attempts to rein in Google, it has not willfully attacked the tech industry either. The group has risen 114% during the four years, led by the 675% blitzkrieg of Apple AAPL -3.29% and 390% advance of Amazon.com AMZN -2.53% .
Blah blah blah Financial services blah blah blah Energy (???) what are they smoking?
Energy producers have fared surprisingly well in the Obama years, led in part by the companies in the complex that were the most capable of staying one step ahead of the regulators and in part by the ones paying the largest dividends to yield-starved pensioners. Also companies that sell chemicals into the energy market have also fared well, as margins have improved and EPA rules have proven surprisingly restrained.
They’re not doing much for California I can assure you of that. Nevermind all the smoke and mirrors and LSD they’ve been taking, here’s where you maybe don’t want to go investing:
Freedom Works has put together a list of companies that will be laying off employees as a result of President Barack Obama’s health care law:
Welch Allyn – Welch Allyn, a company that manufactures medical diagnostic equipment in central New York, announced in September that they would be laying off 275 employees, or roughly 10% of their workforce over the next three years. One of the major reasons discussed for the layoffs was a proactive response to the Medical Device Tax mandated by the new healthcare law.
Dana Holding Corp. – As recently as a week ago, a global auto parts manufacturing company in Ohio known as Dana Holding Corp., warned their employees of potential layoffs, citing “$24 million over the next six years in additional U.S. health care expenses”. After laying off several white collar staffers, company insiders have hinted at more to come. The company will have to cover the additional $24 million cost somehow, which will likely equate to numerous cuts in their current workforce of 25,500 worldwide.
Stryker – One of the biggest medical device manufacturers in the world, Stryker will close their facility in Orchard Park, New York, eliminating 96 jobs in December. Worse, they plan on countering the medical device tax in Obamacare by slashing 5% of their global workforce – an estimated 1,170 positions.
Boston Scientific – In October of 2009, Boston Scientific CEO Ray Elliott, warned that proposed taxes in the health care reform bill could “lead to significant job losses” for his company. Nearly two years later, Elliott announced that the company would be cutting anywhere between 1,200 and 1,400 jobs, while simultaneously shifting investments and workers overseas – to China.
Medtronic – In March of 2010, medical device maker Medtronic warned that Obamacare taxes could result in a reduction of precisely 1,000 jobs. That plan became reality when the company cut 500 positions over the summer, with another 500 set for the end of 2013.
A short list of other companies facing future layoffs at the hands of Obamacare:
- Smith & Nephew – 770 layoffs
- Abbott Labs – 700 layoffs
- Covidien – 595 layoffs
- Kinetic Concepts – 427 layoffs
- St. Jude Medical – 300 layoffs
- Hill Rom – 200 layoffs
Beyond the complete elimination of a significant number of American jobs is another looming problem created by the health care law – a shift from full-time to part-time workers.
Tangible examples of Obamacare causing a reduction in full-time workers:
Darden Restaurants – According to the Orlando Sentinel, Darden Restaurants, a casual dining chain best known for their Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants, is “experimenting with limiting the hours of some of its workers to avoid health care requirements under the Affordable Care Act when they take effect in 2014”.
JANCOA Janitorial Services (Must not be aligned with the SEIU) – The CEO of JANCOA, Mary Miller, testified to Congress that Obamacare was a “dream killer”, adding that one option she had to consider “is reducing the majority of my team members to part-time employment in order to reduce the amount that I will be penalized.”
Kroger – The American retailer in Cincinnati, Ohio recently was reported to be planning a significant slashing of their hourly workers. Doug Ross writes:
Operative Faith (a mid-level manager with the company) reveals that Kroger will soon join the ranks of Darden Restaurants and slash the hours of its non-exempt (hourly) workers to avoid millions in Obamacare penalties.
According to the source, Obamacare could result in tens of thousands of Kroger employees being limited to working 28 hours per week.
This is by no means, meant to be an exhaustive list. But it is meant to provide examples of real companies, real jobs, and real names, soon to be added to the growing list of employment casualties provided by the inevitable implementation of Obamacare.