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The Cost of Doing Business Has Just Gone Up

Here are my thoughts on the just passed health care bill. 

Caterpillar Inc., a company with 94,000 employees, recently suggested that in the “first year alone” the new health plan would cost them $100 million.

McDonalds, IBM, United Parcel Service have around 500,000 employees and Walmart with 1,900,000 employees will be hit extremely hard.

But those who will be hit hardest of all by Obamacare will be small businesses. Many small businesses have been reluctant to add workers to their payrolls because the legislation was unclear. Now they know some of the massive new costs coming at them will be borne by them when they hire new people.

Small businesses employ nearly 70% of America’s labor force; nearly 100 million people work for and/or own small businesses in America. 

In the past, a “fully employed” America has traditionally meant an unemployment rate of five percent.

Expect that number (the fully employed unemployment rate) to be at 8% going forward because the cost to insure new employees will prohibit hiring.

The difference between 5% unemployment and the new 8% rate translates to an additional 4,600,000 Americans out of work. These same Americans will also STAY unemployed for much longer periods, too.

Possibly the most infuriating aspect of the new health care plan is the method of enforcement. It appears that the IRS will be hiring an additional 16,500 auditors to administer compliance and assessing fees/taxes/penalties

Here are a few more things to keep in mind going forward:

The Senate version of the bill (what the House voted on) contains:

Mandates: (For Individuals)
*Individuals must purchase insurance or pay a penalty that would be the greater of $750 or 2% of income by 2016.
Mandates (For Employers):
*The Senate bill requires companies with 50 or more employees to help defray the cost. Note: there is no exception for Part time versus full time employees.
How It Is Paid For:
*The reform plan would be financed through billions (suggested $500b) in Medicare cuts….. and new taxes, including a tax on insurance plans that are worth more than $23,000 for a family. Couples making more than $250,000 would pay additional Medicare payroll taxes.
* Fees, penalties and new Social Security taxes may be assessed as soon as enforcement agency (see below) is ready. Also, the benefits don’t really kick in, kin 2014. So for the first decade after passage of the health care bill, there will be ten years of paying into the system and six years of benefit withdrawals.
Exchanges-
*50 different exchanges to be set up, administered by the states, where people without employer-based coverage will buy insurance.

Medicaid

*Medicaid would be expanded to cover everyone earning under 133 percent of the federal poverty level ($29,327 for a family of four).

Medicare Drug Program

*The Medicare drug benefit would expand to partly close the “doughnut hole” in coverage for retirees.

Abortion ** Subject to Stupak promise of Executive Order (President Obama will the clarify abortion language after passage of Senate version through House.)
*The new insurance exchanges can offer plans that cover abortion, but people who choose those plans must pay for their coverage with separate checks — one for abortion coverage, one for the rest of their health care services.

Eric Bolling is a Fox Business Network anchor.

Fox Forum is on Twitter. Follow us @fxnopinion.

Eric Bolling currently serves as co-host of Fox News Channel's "The Five" (weekdays 5-6PM/ET). He also serves as the host of "Cashin' In" (Saturdays 11:30AM-12PM/ET), an analysis program on FNC's weekend business block, "The Cost of Freedom." Bolling joined the network in 2008. Click here for more information on Eric Bolling