Obamacare

Small Firms, Service Industries, Trim Health Spending in Anticipation of Obamacare

Trying to off-load growing costs to the government

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Spending on health benefits in service occupations and among small firms exposed to ObamaCare mandates shrank over the past year, new Labor Department data show.

Although employers face penalties in 2014 if they fail to offer affordable coverage, this decline in spending on health benefits shows that they're finding ways to shift some of ObamaCare's looming costs back to the government.

Strikingly, Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that health benefit increases came to a standstill in service occupations after the first quarter of 2010 — when ObamaCare became law.