Even Walmart can’t handle Obamacare

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Earlier this week, Walmart Stores, the largest retailer in the world, announced that effective January 1, it will terminate health insurance[1] coverage for 30,000 part-time employees. Sadly, Walmart is just the latest in a string of retailers – including Home Depot and Target – forced to cut health coverage due to rising costs as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

According to one Walmart official, “This year, the expenses were significant, and led us to make some tough decisions.” The company went on to say that the Affordable Care Act prompted larger-than-expected numbers of Walmart employees to enroll in health plans, driving up the company’s costs. The retailer, in fact, said it expects to spend an extra $500 million on health care costs in the U.S. this year.

It’s not like no one saw this coming. Since day one, conservatives warned that Obamacare would raise costs, destroy good-paying jobs with benefits, and trap middle-class Americans in an endless cycle of unaffordable health care. The simple idea of forcing people to buy insurance coverage with extensive and often unneeded mandatory benefits, and subsidizing plans for those who can’t afford it, isn’t so simple after all.

If the world’s largest retailer can’t handle the extra costs associated with Obamacare, how will mom-and-pop stores on Main Street survive? Forcing businesses to pay more for employee coverage means that money has to come from somewhere – usually at the expense of current wages or future hires. Yet when business can’t hire because benefit costs have gone through the roof, everyone loses.

President Obama can’t say he wasn’t warned. Many Americans sounded the health care alarms. Conservatives argued over and over again that Obamacare would be a disaster. President Obama and those on the left not only dismissed our concerns, they sold the American people on a lie. It’s time to see Obamacare for what it really is: one massive, costly mistake.