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Businesspeople: Obamacare Is Driving Up Unemployment and Preventing Hiring

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Journalist John Stossel recently described how “three successful businessmen came on” his TV show to explain how Obamacare keeps unemployment “high. Its length and complexity make businessmen wary of expanding.” “An owner of 12 IHOPS" told Stossel "that he can’t expand his business because he can’t afford the burden of Obamacare.” Others noted that even experts admit they “can’t tell you” how much Obamacare will cost them. “Brad Anderson, CEO of Best Buy, added that Obamacare makes it impossible to achieve even basic certainty about future personnel costs.”

Stossel agreed with an Independence Institute scholar who noted that “if you wonder why businesspeople are not investing and reviving the economy, the answer lies in all the question marks that Obamacare and other new regulations confront them with.” The Independence Institute's Robert Higgs calls this deterrent to hiringregime uncertainty.” As Stossel notes, this same regulatory expansion and uncertainty also “prolonged the Great Depression.” Obamacare also contains work disincentives that the Congressional Budget Office says will shrink the size of the economy and the workforce.

Exactly how much Obamacare’s regulations will add to the cost of insurance is unclear. One study concluded that the healthcare “reform” law will raise the cost of insurance by a massive 55-85 percent in Ohio. Many businesses are also suffering from the effects of the Dodd-Frank financial “reform” law, a 2,315 page monstrosity that makes it harder for small businesses to obtain credit, and also outsources and wipes out jobs in the financial sector. Obama appointees at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have also adopted policies that discourage hiring. Even one-time Obama supporters in the business community have grown disenchanted: Democratic businessman Steve Wynn called Obama “the greatest wet blanket to business and progress and job creation in my lifetime,” saying that “the business community in this country is frightened to death of the weird political philosophy of the President of the United States. And until he’s gone, everybody’s going to be sitting on their thumbs.”

The Obama administration has sought to temporarily inflate the economy with stimulus spending paid for with massive deficits, but as the Congressional Budget Office has noted, the stimulus package will actually shrink the economy in the long run, so it will not be able to offset the economic drag resulting from all of the Obama administration’s new regulations and red tape.

Benjamin Zycher earlier explained how Obamacare is destroying medical innovation. The Dean of Harvard Medical School and health care experts like Michael Cannon reached the same conclusion. The health care law imposes many middle-class tax increases, such as on cosmetic surgery and medical devices, and it increases taxes in future years on investors. Obamacare also breaks many campaign promises, and increases state budget deficits. It imposes restrictions that failed when tried at the state level, and ignores advice from doctors and federal experts, and lessons from countries with universal health care, about how to reduce costs.

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