“In an experiment apparently aimed at keeping down the cost of health-care reform, Orlando-based Darden Restaurants has stopped offering full-time schedules to many hourly workers in at least a few Olive Gardens, Red Lobsters and LongHorn Steakhouses.”

“President Obama’s healthcare law won’t erode employer-based health insurance — but it will raise some companies’ costs by nearly 10 percent, according to a new analysis from the Urban Institute. Although the law’s critics usually focus on small businesses, the new paper says medium-sized firms will see the biggest cost increase.”

“The moves are meant to prepare Welch Allyn to address the new ‘onerous’ U.S. Medical Device Tax scheduled to take effect next year under the Affordable Care Act, the company said… The company can’t just pass on the tax increase to its customers — clinics, doctors’ offices and hospitals — who are already being pushed to cut costs, Chadderdon said.
The tax is 2.3 percent of a medical device maker’s U.S. revenue, but takes a bigger bite out of profits, Chief Executive Steve Meyer said Monday.”

“Perhaps that sounds like a successful jobs program, as it will keep 40,000 people fully employed, filling out paperwork and sorting through a confounding pile of government regulations. Only problem is, that work is entirely wasteful and creates zero wealth for America as a whole. It would be better for America and for the 40,000 workers to do something useful, like build the empire state building 11 times over, to use the Ways and Means example.”

“In the latest indication of how complicated putting the Affordable Care Act into action will be, the Department of Health and Human Services and Internal Revenue Service issued 18-pages of regulations just to describe what a ‘full-time employee’ is. Of note, to the Feds a full-time employee works an average of just 30 hours a week, not the normally accepted 40 hours.”

“Americans are more likely to say the 2010 healthcare law upheld by the Supreme Court last week will hurt the national economy (46%) rather than help it (37%), while 18% say they don’t know or that it will have no effect.”

“Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman’s most famous book was titled ‘Free To Choose,’ a treatise on the centrality of choice to a free economy. PPACA militates against choice. The individual mandate is not just a constitutional issue, it is fundamentally an economic issue. The mandate explains why the law remains unpopular, and why politicians who passed it are not using it as the centerpiece of their campaign.”

“Logistically a company with only 30 full-time employees managing thousands of part-time employees sounds far-fetched. However, with this sort of perverse financial incentive, companies in many industries–-particularly those with low-skilled, low wage employees – will ‘do the math’ and hire part-time workers over full-time workers. While this may keep human resource departments busy, it will cause many businesses to miss out on some economies of scale, as they devote more time and effort to hiring and training part-time workers.”

“Reviewing peer-reviewed literature on the relationship between medical technology and improvements in life expectancies, Zycher estimates that the knock-on effect of the tax will be about one million life-years lost annually. (Due to limitations in applying the literature, it not possible to tell the degree to which this tilts towards one million people dying one year earlier, or a smaller number of people dying many years earlier. My own interpretation leans towards the latter.)”

“To develop a more conservative projection of the likely reduction in employment, we estimated the relationship
between revenue and employment in the industry. Through our analysis, we found that an average of 1.274 direct
industry jobs and 2.210 indirect jobs are lost per year for each $1 million reduction in industry revenue that year.”