Is ObamaCare Mandate Causing Store Closures and Lay Offs?


by James Buchanan

Walgreens joins a growing list of American companies that are choosing 2015 to go bankrupt or to close a large number of stores.

A Fortune article reports “Drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance will close 200 stores as part of a plan to cut $1.5 billion in expenses over the next three years… Walgreens is closing some U.S. stores at a time when the company is reporting stronger results for its domestic retail pharmacy business.”

So if they’re not in financial trouble why close them?

Just last week the Carrows/Cocos restaurant chain in the southwest US announced the closure of more than 70 restaurants, putting thousands of people out of work. One article notes “Former employees of Catalina Restaurant Group Inc. said they are still reeling from the company’s surprise announcement last week that it had closed 38 Coco’s Bakery restaurants and 35 Carrows units.”

“San Antonio-based Food Management Partners, or FMP, acquired Carlsbad, Calif.-based Catalina Restaurant Group, parent of the family-dining concepts Coco’s and Carrows, last month, and expressed optimism about both brands.”

“But on its first official day of ownership, on April 1, FMP abruptly shuttered 75 of the company’s 149 restaurants, according to former employees.”

I wonder how many employees were thinking the “restaurant closed” sign on the door was some sort of sick April Fools joke.

A Newsday article reports “Target says it will shut 16 stores across Canada next week, the first wave of store closures that will eliminate 17,000 jobs when all Target Canada stores are closed…”

A Forbes article reports “RadioShack Cuts The Cord After 94 Years, Files For Bankruptcy… The retailer, best known to consumers in recent years as a trusty seller of easy to lose cords, chargers and tech accessories, also announced a deal to sell between 1,500 and 2,400 stores to a consortium including Standard General and Sprint while in restructuring.”

What could be causing all these mass closings in 2015 at a time when the liberal media is proclaiming that we’re in a “recovery”? The Canadian store closings by Target are a bit of a mystery. Target seems to be doing reasonably well in the US so what’s causing the mass closure of all stores in the Great White North?

The other mass lay offs and closures may be due to some serious government-mandated expenses hitting them this year. It’s true many of those stores being closed may have been marginal, but the government should not be tipping the scales toward bankruptcy or closure.

An article on Patheos reports “Now that it’s 2015, the next phase of Obamacare kicks in: Employers of more than 100 people must give them insurance benefits. This provision of the Affordable Care Act had been delayed by executive decree, but now it goes into effect.”

“Most employers in this range already provide health insurance to their employees, though the law does change things for the companies. For example, those who work as many as 30 hours must now get insurance, even though they are not full time.”

“This time next year, the mandate will apply to smaller businesses those of 50 or more workers. Businesses that hire fewer than 50 are not covered in the law and will not have to insure their employees.”

We may be seeing the beginning of a trend this year. I’m sure more large corporations will crunch the numbers and then decide to close stores that were performing marginally, but which are now suddenly in the red thanks to ObamaCare mandates kicking in.

Conservative economics experts tried to explain that ObamaCare would cost jobs. Obama himself delayed key parts of ObamaCare probably for this reason, but now we’re finally getting to the actual implementation, and if the above store closings are any indication, ObamaCare is not only going to put a lot of people out of work, it may even put us back into the worst part of that 2007 recession.

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