Sunday Feb 03, 201303:20 PM GMT
Company blaming Obamacare for layoffs
Sun Feb 3, 2013 3:20PM
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Medical technology company, Smith & Nephew, have announced that it would be letting go of almost 100 workers at its plants in Tennessee and Massachusetts. The company, which makes orthopedic reconstruction products, is blaming 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices in President Obama's health care law for the layoffs, according to Fox13 News.

 

The nearly $30 billion tax on medical devices that took effect Jan. 1, 2013, has impacted a number of companies across the U.S.” the company said in a statement to Fox13 News.

 

Medical companies lobbied to get the tax, which is levied on medical devices implanted by professionals, repealed, according to Reuters. The tax is expected to raise $29 billion in government revenue through 2022.

 

Joe Metzger, the company's senior vice president of corporate communications, told the Memphis Business Journal that the firm is “not immune from this added expense burden”.

 

Smith & Nephew, which is based in London and has a global reach, employs “more than 11,000 [people] in 90 countries,” according to the Washington Times.

 

The company is not the first to blame Obamacare for layoffs and other cuts in spending.

 

In November, The Huffington Post reported that a Georgia man who identified himself as a small business owner said "he fired some employees and cut hours for others" because of the president's reelection and his "Obamacare mandate."

 

Also in November, Fox News reported that Stryker, a global manufacturer of medical devices and equipment, had announced that it was cutting 1,170 jobs in anticipation of the health care law and the medical device excise tax. The Huffington Post

 

FACTS & FIGURES

Arianna Huffington, president and editor in chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, appeared on CNN's "Your Bottom Line" with Christine Romans on Friday, stressing the severity of the youth unemployment crisis. The Huffington Post

 

The U.S. unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent in January from 7.8 percent in December and the economy added 157,000 jobs, the Labor Department said Friday, February, 1. AFP

 

The labor force participation rate - that is, the share of people of working age who are either working or looking for jobs - is hovering around 30-year lows. NY Times

 

The Labor Departments most comprehensive alternative unemployment rate measure - which includes people who want to work but are discouraged from looking (those marginally attached to the labor force) and people working part time because they cant find full-time jobs - was 14.4 percent in January. The Huffington Post

 

The nation's economy unexpectedly shrank by 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, casting fresh doubt on the strength of the economic recovery. The Hill

 

ARA/DB

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