Business owners claim they’re experiencing poor sales, holding back hiring, and planning layoffs because of “Obamacare,” according to the Federal Reserve’s latest Beige Book, an overview of the business conditions in each of its 12 districts.
And the March 6 report doesn’t merely imply this. It doesn’t say it in passing. It specifically states that businesses are blaming The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act for poor sales and slow hiring.
The Beige Book is based on anecdotal reporting from business communities in New York, Richmond, Va., San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Boston, Kansas City, St. Louis, and Minneapolis (the Fed’s 12 districts).
This month’s report was prepared by the Kansas City Federal Reserve, which has a reputation for being even-handed in its reporting.
Here are four excerpts from March’s Beige Book that show businesses owners accusing Obamacare” of being a drag on economic growth (remember: the reporting is anecdotal, meaning it’s coming from the business communities):
From the Summary: “Many District contacts commented on the expired payroll tax holiday and the Affordable Care Act as having restrained sales growth. “
From the Summary: “Employers in several Districts cited the unknown effects of the Affordable Care Act as reasons for planned layoffs and reluctance to hire more staff.”
From Richmond, Va.: “Employers across the District continued to cite the Affordable Care Act and its unknown impacts as reasons for planned layoffs and reluctance to hire more staff.”
From Dallas: “Some contacts noted concern that client companies are hiring the absolute minimum to get by due to uncertainty about the Affordable Care Act.”
Obviously, this is contrary to what we were told when the bill was being debated and passed by Congress in 2010.
“When it comes to truth in labeling, House Republicans are getting off to a poor start with their constantly repeated references to the new health care law as ‘job-killing,’” FactCheck.org quipped in 2011, citing various experts, including the Congressional Budget Office, who swore that the impact of “Obamacare” on jobs would be “minimal.”
Here’s the Fed’s complete Beige Book:
Of course, it’s not a total loss: The San Francisco Federal Reserve reports “contacts projected rising demand as additional components of the Affordable Care Act are implemented.”
So, hey, at least there’s that.
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