Fed: Obama's health law leading to layoffs

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday released an edition of its so-called "beige book," that said the 2010 healthcare law is being cited as a reason for layoffs and a slowdown in hiring.

"Employers in several Districts cited the unknown effects of the Affordable Care Act as reasons for planned layoffs and reluctance to hire more staff," said the March 6 beige book, which examines economic conditions across various Federal Reserve districts across the country.

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That line was found in a section of the Fed's report on employment, wages and prices. That same section also said the Atlanta district noted that healthcare regulations are so burdensome there is a shortage of compliance specialists.

"Atlanta noted a lack of compliance specialists due to heavier regulations in the healthcare industry," it said.

In a later section focusing on the Philadelphia district, the beige book said that "Health insurance costs are mixed, ranging from very high increases to no change." The Cleveland district reported that "rising health insurance premiums remain a challenge" in the manufacturing industry, and that many in the energy sector cited "rising health insurance premiums as a concern."

The Atlanta district reported that higher healthcare costs "have contributed to a modest decline in consumer confidence" as it relates to consumer spending and tourism.

Higher healthcare costs were also reported in the districts of Chicago, and the Kansas City district reported "changes in health care policy and fiscal uncertainty as reasons for delayed hiring."