The new healthcare law will cost the nation the equivalent of 2.5 million workers in the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated in a report released Tuesday.
The nonpartisan agency found the reform law’s negative effects on employment would be “substantially larger” than what it had previously anticipated.
It said the equivalent of 2.3 million workers would be lost by 2021, compared to its previous estimate of 800,000, and that 2.5 million workers would be lost by 2024. It also projected that labor force compensation would be reduced by 1 percent from 2017 to 2024 — twice its previous estimate.
The White House says it’s OK, because people are choosing not to work. Choosing, you see.
The White House swiftly pushed back against the findings, seeking to dismiss suggestions from Republicans that the Affordable Care Act has contributed to a slower economic recovery or would “kill” jobs.
It pointed out that the CBO concluded the reduction in worker hours was almost entirely because of workers choosing to work less.
“The estimated reduction stems almost entirely from a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply, rather than from a net drop in business’ demand for labor,” the CBO report said.
That’s lovely — but it’s ObamaCare that is providing the disincentives to work, which is what leads to all that choosing not to work stuff. As Investor’s Business Daily explained in 2010, in response to a similar comment from CBO about people choosing not to work:
The conclusion isn’t a surprising one; any extra support from the government takes some pressure off of workers to provide for themselves. However, ObamaCare’s progressive subsidies, i.e. more generous for those who earn less, carry more of a disincentive than the flat, universal benefit favored by some Republicans.
As Capital Hill has noted previously, work disincentives will be particularly strong for older workers because both health care premiums and the law’s subsidies grow much bigger with age.
Further, the new health law will give some older households without access to employer care a big incentive not to earn too much. That’s because earning more than 400% of the poverty level would make them ineligible for subsidies that may be well in excess of $10,000 for couples.
Consider this example of a single individual age 62 in a high-cost area and no access to employer care. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Health Reform Subsidy Calculator:
* At 200% of the poverty level, or $23,000 in income in 2014, an individual would get $10,750 in premium subsidies.
* At 400% of the poverty level, or $46,000, an individual would get $7,830 in premium subsidies.
* And at 401% of the poverty level, an individual would get no government support.
Everybody knew this would happen. Don’t pretend it’s not a surprise.
Oh: deficits are projected to be $1 trillion higher than previously thought. To put that number in perspective, one trillion is greater than the number of times Barack Obama will use the word “I” or blame his problems on President Bush in all eight years of his presidency.
A trillion here, a trillion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real
numbers economic collapse.
Thanks to gary gulrud.