“AT&T Inc. will take a $1 billion non-cash charge in the first quarter” the Associated Press reported today. And by “take a non-cash charge” what they really mean is that President Barack Obama’s health spending plan just ate $1 billion out of AT&T’s bottom line. And that’s to pay for just one of the tax hikes wrought by Obamacare.
AT&T is just one of many companies that subsidize Medicare drug coverage for their retirees. The new health law slaps a tax on those subsidies, effective next year. In addition to costing the communications giant a cool billion, the tax is likely to cost workers and retirees a cherished benefit. AP notes that, because of the legislation, AT&T is now “looking into changing the health care benefits it offers to active and retired workers.”
So much for the promise about being able to keep the health care you have!
AT&T is not the first company warning stockholders to expect earnings to plunge due to the new law. Yesterday, as President Obama celebrated his health “triumph” by taking a victory lap in Des Moines, Iowa’s largest manufacturer, Deere & Co, announced it would have to take a first-quarter charge of $150 million. Caterpillar Inc. and AK Steel Holding Corp have announced similar charges as well.
Many more earnings “shoes” will be dropped next week. Keep checking The Foundry for up-dates about this and other troublesome “Side Effects” of Obamacare.