Grim reaper photoshop credit: Manly Rash
I said yesterday in my Beltway Chainsaw Massacre column that the GOP needs to track the Obama jobs death toll and tell the victims’ stories far and wide.
But there’s no need to wait for the GOP. I’ll keep doing it right here.
The first story of the day comes from the Fort Worth Star Telegram in Texas, where a health insurer called Health Markets has laid off 70 workers and expects up to 180 more as it braces for the costs of Obamacare and other government mandates:
HealthMarkets, the North Richland Hills-based seller of health insurance, laid off 70 employees this month and expects to trim 180 more positions by the end of the first quarter of 2011, according to a recent federal filing.
In the Securities and Exchange Commission filing, HealthMarkets blamed the layoffs on “dropping enrollment levels experienced by the company’s insurance subsidiaries,” along with national healthcare reform and “related legislative developments.”
HealthMarkets provides insurance plans to the self-employed, individuals and small businesses.
The second story of the day comes from the Worcester Telegram in Massachusetts, where a local hospital will slash about 50 full-time jobs:
About 50 full-time jobs will be eliminated at the HealthAlliance Hospital — Leominster Campus, and one of two planned expansion projects may be cut back.
Mary Lourdes Burke, chief communications officer for the hospital, said yesterday the job cuts do not mean 50 layoffs, because some were vacant positions that will not be filled, and some were positions that had hours reduced. Also, she said, some union contracts required moving employees into other posts.
…Ms. Burke attributed the cuts to health care reform, with its reductions in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, along with cuts in private health insurance reimbursements and increasing co-payments for patients…David F. Duncan, hospital vice president for facilities, told the City Council earlier this year that the design may be scaled back because the new federal health reform law discourages emergency room visits.
…In addition, he said, health care reform is expected to result in the loss of $24 million in Medicare reimbursements, out of $170 million total, starting in five years. The state’s health insurance reform laws, on which the national model is based, have already resulted in at least that much in losses, Mr. Muldoon said.
Ho, ho, hey, hey. How many jobs did O destroy today?