Deep secrets of Obamacare, cont’d

Fortune senior editor Shawn Tully covers some of the deep secrets of Obamacare found in the corporate documents subpoenaed by Democratic Reps. Henry Waxman and Bart Stupak. In the words of the headline: “Documents reveal AT&T, Verizon, others, thought about dropping employer-sponsored benefits.”
The documents in issue had been subpoenaed by Waxman and Stupak in response to the chargeoffs taken by these companies as a result of the enactment of Obamacare. Waxman and Stupak had planned to produce a bit of political theater, scheduling a hearing on the chargeoffs at which the companies’ executives were to testify.
The production was canceled when Waxman and Stupak were apprised of the obvious consequences of the bill they and their Democratic buddies had just voted for. Waxman and Stupak had been oblivious to them when they voted on the bill. We noted a few weeks ago that Robert Pear did a good job covering this story for the New York Times.
I would not have wanted to be one of the majority committee staffers who had to advise Waxman that the elimination of a big corporate tax deduction results in a big corporate tax expense that has to be recognized under applicable accounting standards. It can’t have been pleasant duty. Indeed, majority committee staffers sugarcoated the bitter pill. Tully reports:

On April 14, the Committee’s majority staff issued a memo stating that the write downs were “proper and in accordance with SEC rules.” The committee also stated that the memos took a generally sunny view of the new legislation. The documents, said the Democrats’ memo, show that “the overall impact of health reform on large employers could be beneficial.”
Nowhere in the five-page report did the majority staff mention that not one, but all four companies, were weighing the costs and benefits of dropping their coverage.

It’s too late to kill the bill, but it’s not too late to repeal it.

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