Human Events Blog

A postcard from the edge of malaise

The cascade of Obamanomics-inspired post-election layoffs continues at a dizzying pace.  Dozens of companies announced big layoffs within 48 hours of the election; the Blaze is trying to keep up with them, but it’s hard work.

Many of these layoffs are accompanies by letters informing the employees that President Obama’s policies are directly responsible for their termination, now that the last chance to avoid them has been lost.  These letters frequently refer to costs imposed by ObamaCare (which, as bad as it has been for the economy, is about to get a lot worse.)

The West Ridge Mine in Utah laid off 102 workers, effective immediately, on the second day after the election, and told them it was because President Obama had defeated them in his “war on coal,” which they described using exactly those words.  “There is nowhere to sell our coal, and when we can, the market prices are far lower,” explained the management.  “Without markets, there can be no coal mines and no coal jobs.”

But the New Normal isn’t just about layoffs.  It’s about the transition from full-time to part-time work, and stagnant income for employees.  A friend of mine who works in the medical industry forwarded a poignant memo from her company management, explaining why they had to let so many people go last year, and why annual salary increases would be reduced or delayed this year:

The last four years have been the most economically challenging for the practice in the history of  [the company.] These challenges are not unique to us or to healthcare as an industry. The patient services revenue had fallen every year since 2007. The general wage freeze implemented four years ago by [the company] was not enough to prevent a continued decrease in net income for 2008, 2009, and 2010.

In addition to diligent monitoring of equipment and supply costs, the other significant action taken in those years was to reduce physician income.  Unfortunately, when those decreases continued into 2011, we found it necessary to reduce staffing in July of 2011 to better balance the revenue with the expenses.

The election results were not as positive as hoped as the status quo has been maintained. The 2013 Medicare Fee Schedule was released last week and still includes cuts of 27 to 30% effective January 1, 2013. While we had hoped to complete the salary review process in October or November, the impending Medicare cuts have generated a need to delay a final decision until January. That decrease would amount to more than $1 million dollars in lost revenue to the practice and will impact our final decision. Hopefully, the lame duck Congress will agree to a postponement and we can immediately complete the pay review process.

(Edited to remove references to the company and individual employees.)  That would be the “impending Medicare cuts” Obama and his team of professional liars claimed they didn’t make.  Too bad so many people believed them.  Sounds like it’s not just rich, greedy doctors suffering, doesn’t it?

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