Staples Founder: A Republican President Should Repeal Obamacare to Help Economy, Create Jobs

By Penny Starr | February 6, 2012 | 5:13pm EST

Tom Stemberg, co-founder of the mega-office supply chain Staples, said on Feb. 6, 2012 that if a Republican is elected president their first order of business to help the U.S. economy should be to repeal Obamacare. ( Starr)

( – If a Republican is elected president, the top priority on his ‘to do’ list for improving the U.S. economy and creating jobs should be getting rid of Obamacare, says Tom Stemberg, co-founder of mega-office supply chain Staples.

Asked about priorities for a Republican president, Stemberg mentioned "repealing a number of the onerous legislative efforts of the last few years.”

“I’d probably start with Obamacare and work my way down from there,” he added.

At an event hosted by the center-right think tank Young Guns in Washington, D.C., Stemberg criticized the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which became law in March 2010.

Stemberg took issue with President Obama’s health care bill several times, criticizing among other things the portion of the law requiring businesses to allocate a certain percentage of insurance benefits to claims. He called the regulation “insane.”

“So the capitalist system of finding a better way in America is thrown out the window through an act of Congress” Stemberg said. “This stuff is insane, and yet we in the business world are subject to this every single day.”

Six months after Obamacare became law, the Wall Street Journal reported that McDonald’s Corp. had told federal regulators it might drop its health insurance plan for nearly 30,000 hourly workers unless it received a waiver from the regulation.

The paper reported that the fast food giant provides mini-med plans for workers at 10,500 U.S. locations, most of them franchised. A single worker can pay $14 a week for a plan that caps annual benefits at $2,000, or about $32 a week to get coverage up to $10,000 a year.

The Journal said a McDonald’s representative informed the Department of Health and Human Services that the chain’s insurer would not meet a 2011 requirement to spend at least 80 to 85 percent of its premium revenue on medical care.

Stemberg also questioned an Obamacare provision promoting breastfeeding.

“Do you want [farming retailer] Tractor Supply to open stores or would you rather they take their capital and do what Obamacare and its 2,700 pages dictates – which is to open a lactation chamber at every single store that they have?” he asked.

“I’m big on breastfeeding; my wife breastfed,” Stenberg added. “I’m all for that. I don’t think every retail store in America should have to go to lactation chambers, which is what Obamacare foresees.

“You can’t make this stuff up.”

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