Chili’s, the popular chain restaurant, is trimming staff and changing their operating procedures in anticipation of ObamaCare’s new labor costs.

“Abbott Laboratories, maker of the rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira, said it will cut about 1,900 jobs as part of a restructuring of its pharmaceutical business. The cuts, amounting to 2 percent of the workforce, will help the Abbott Park, Illinois-based company cope with the U.S. health-care law passed last year, Abbott said in a statement today.”

“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) imposes numerous tax hikes that transfer more than $500 billion over 10 years—and more in the future—from hardworking American families and businesses to Congress for spending on new entitlements and subsidies. In addition, higher tax rates on working and investing will discourage economic growth both now and in the future, further lowering the standard of living.”

“One of the central goals of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was to increase the number of individuals with health insurance coverage. To encourage employers to offer coverage, the new law creates a tax penalty on firms with more than 50 workers that fail to provide “adequate” coverage for their employees. The result is government intrusion into voluntary arrangements made between employer and employee. The cost of the tax penalty will ultimately be borne by workers (lower wages and fewer jobs), shareholders (lower profits), and consumers (higher prices).”

“Ah, I know what you’re thinking. How can a law that raises the cost of labor by up to $6.00-an-hour for every worker in the country and has significant taxes on capital as well possibly be a job creator? (See my debate yesterday with the editors of USA Today over the magnitude of expected job losses these provisions will generate.) The answer: Cutler’s study ignores those things. Ignores them? Yes, ignores them.”

“The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is an impediment
to economic growth and federal fiscal balance, threatening
nearly 700,000 jobs and increasing the deficit by nearly
$300 billion in the near term. At a time when too many
Americans remain unemployed and the country faces a
daunting budgetary outlook, alternative approaches to
health care reform would be preferable.”

“While making the case for his health care reform package, President Barack Obama argued that his proposal would make life easier for small-business owners. Unfortunately, now that it is law, Obamacare threatens to undermine a group of small-business owners that, perhaps, is more important than any other to his reform effort – doctors in private practice.”

Health care regulations create new costs to employers when hiring additional staff. ObamaCare’s new rules create strong disincentives for firms to hire low-wage workers or expand their businesses. “With higher-skill jobs, employers can offer the required benefits and pay for them by cutting the wage. But low-wage jobs in the restaurant and retail sectors leave little room for cuts in wages.”

“Rising entitlement spending is already driving the federal budget off a cliff. But Obamacare would add fuel to the fire with the largest entitlement expansion since the 1960s. So it takes a special kind of audacity for Obamacare’s apologists to continue to insist that the new law will cut the projected budget deficits. Evidence clearly shows otherwise.”

“This Essay argues that federal health care reform may induce employers to redesign their health plans to encourage employees who are likely to consume a greater-than-average amount of medical services to opt out of employer-provided coverage and instead acquire coverage on the individual market. Although largely overlooked in public policy debates, this prospect of employer dumping of high-risk employees raises serious concerns about the sustainability of health care reform more generally.”