Author: Christopher Seward
Publication: Atlanta Journal Constitution
Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus has choice words for the Affordable Care Act and its impact on small businesses and their employees: “Obamacare is going to kill off the small businesses. There’s no question about it.”
Marcus, who retired from Home Depot in 2002, made the comments recently to Newsmax TV while at a free-enterprise leadership summit sponsored by his Job Creators Alliance in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Marcus said the country did not have the regulatory barriers it has today when he and Arthur Blank founded Home Depot in 1979. The Atlanta-based home improvement retailer is now a multi-billion company.
He called today’s barriers are “monumental” and chief among them is Obamacare, a new law designed to extend health care insurance to more American workers.
“If [employees] are thrown out of their medical plans now, where they’re covered in a good plan, and thrown under the bus, they’re going to be destroyed,” Marcus told Newsmax TV. “If, in fact, they don’t stay as full-time employees but go to part-time employees, they’re going to be destroyed.”
Some companies are cutting workers or their work hours to avoid paying penalties for not providing health care insurance under the act. Regal Entertainment Group, which operates Regal Cinemas and United Artists Theatres in metro Atlanta and has more than 6,800 theaters across the country, is among them, according to a company memo obtained by Fox News.
Starting in 2014, some businesses with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees that do not offer health coverage to those employees may face penalties. A full-time employee for the purposes of Obamacare is one who is employed an average of at least 30 hours per week.
“People have to understand that the villain is not their employer; the villain is the U.S. government,” Marcus told Newsmax TV. “Obamacare is the capper. That’s the bullet to the temple.”