The latest company sure to go on the Lefty boycott list is going to have to be the giant medical device manufacturer, Stryker. They've announced plans to cut 1170 jobs as a direct result of Obamacare.
A "medical device excise tax" included in the mandate imposes a 2.3 percent levy on medical device manufacturers and suppliers, which critics say will raise prices on everything from pacemakers to prosthetics to stents. Companies will be required to pay the tax regardless if they have a profit or loss for the year. The tax is estimated to cost the medical device industry $20 billion.
House Republicans tried to have the tax repealed, drafting a bill called the Protect Medical Innovation Act, but the Democrat-controlled Senate has blocked the measure.
It's a good thing that Barky's all about job-creation, or this country'd be in deep trouble. Whatever would we do without him and his fellow Democratics?
Increasingly, companies aren't hanging around, waiting for Obamacare to implode. We're all familiar with bundling in cell services, cable packages, and even flight/hotel/car rental packages. That same concept is now being applied to some health care services:
This year, grocery giant Kroger Co. has flown nearly two dozen workers to Hoag Orthopedic Institute in Irvine and several other hospitals across the U.S. for hip, knee or spinal-fusion surgeries in an effort to save money and improve care. Starting in January, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will offer employees and dependents heart, spine and transplant surgeries at no cost at six major hospital systems across the nation, with free travel and lodging.
It's all part of a growing movement by employers fed up with wildly different price tags for routine operations.
As a Rand analyst noted: "We want to stop paying by the widget for health care". So negotiating costs up-front is gaining traction - and re-introducing free-market concepts to the profession.
As some of us have discussed here before, one really obvious problem with the health insurance/medical industries is the fact that few users actually give any thought to overall costs. In combination with the litigation industry, medical professionals are therefore incentivized to run every possible test/scan/consult in efforts to limit malpractice liability; as a result, costs are escalated to unsustainable levels. The divorcing of patients and practitioners from the influence of free market constraints has driven the steady, double-digit rise in health care costs, and reintroduction of market principles is likely the only cure for the disease.