AT&T and other companies (Valero, Caterpillar, more), announced this week a $1B accounting charge due to changes in tax law under Obamacare.
The change is due to the stripping away of a tax deduction that offered credits for the companies' providing prescription drug coverage to retirees and employees. Since this policy will now cost these companies significant money (none more than AT&T), the companies need to take charges against this now, and will likely stop providing these benefits to their retirees and employees, and/or push them to Medicare.
In AT&T's case, the pure size of this charge reflects the scope and scale of AT&T's retired workforce. With over 300,000 active workers, and the pension and medical care obligations of hundreds of thousands of retirees, the dollars are staggering for AT&T.
I know some AT&T employees, and I hope they get to keep their jobs and don't lose what is a pretty generous benefits package.
Update: Mark Steyn weighs in!