The “Affordable Care Act”, a.k.a., Obamacare, has been cited in many surveys as a major reason why businesses are reluctant to hiring new workers and expanding their operations. A new study by the National Federation of Independent Business confirms the negative relationship between Obamacare and private sector employment. Within a few years of its full implementation, Obamacare will have killed off up to a quarter of a million jobs in America:
NFIB’s Research Foundation studied the private-sector job loss that will result from the Health Insurance Tax (HIT). Relying upon independent cost estimates, the Research Foundation’s BSIM (Business Size Impact Module) highlights how the rise in cost of employer-sponsored insurance stemming from the HIT will result in a reduction in private sector employment by 125,000 to 249,000 jobs in 2021, with 59% of those losses falling on small business. … This NFIB study aims to forecast the economic consequences this tax would have on US small businesses by firm-size category. The primary input in this study is the increase in employer costs resulting from the HIT which, according to independent estimates, will raise employer-sponsored health insurance costs by 2% – 3%. The study suggest that HIT could reduce private sector employment by 125,000 – 249,000 jobs in 2021, with 59% of those job losses falling on small business.
The study estimates up to 11,000 jobs lost in California alone, with $7.4 billion in lost sales. Ohio, which has had the worst growth record of all the 50 states over the past decade (even worse than Michigan!), would lose $1.1 billion in business sales and 2,500 private-sector jobs.
The study does not make any estimates for Wyoming. However, we can indirectly estimate job and sales losses for the Cowboy State based on what the study reports for roughly similar states. If the Obamacare health insurance tax had gone into effect in 2010, Wyoming would have lost one fifth of the jobs that the private sector added in the state from September 2010 to September 2011. However, this is a simple, direct calculation, with no adjustment for the specific characteristics of the Wyoming economy. Such an adjustment would in all likelihood increase the job loss. Many large businesses self insure, and Wyoming has a disproportionate share of those. Furthermore, small businesses in Wyoming, especially outside the minerals industry, compensate at relatively moderate rates by national comparison. This makes them even more vulnerable to the new tax. Therefore, the job loss from the health insurance tax could be a lot heavier in Wyoming than most other states.
The hypothetical loss in sales would have exceeded $72 million for already cash-squeezed Wyoming businesses. It is too difficult to make any estimate of what this would mean for sales tax revenues in the state, but the mere prospect of a significant downward adjustment of the job trend in the state should be reason enough for state legislators to keep working to stop the implementation of Obamacare in Wyoming. If the state could opt out entirely, it could ostensibly shield itself from the tax.