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Friday, October 28, 2016

Washington (United States) (AFP) – The White House jumped to parry new attacks Tuesday against Barack Obama’s healthcare law, after a congressional watchdog warned it takes the equivalent of two million workers out of the economy.

The report, by the Congressional Budget Office, offered fresh ammunition to gleeful Republicans who said it proved their long-held argument that Obamacare, which they have repeatedly tried to repeal, would “kill” jobs.

But the White House pointed out that the data did not prove employers were cutting jobs or hours because of Obamacare.

It said that the CBO summary instead showed that some who stay in low paid jobs or put off retirement to keep health insurance plans linked to employers would no longer have to under Obamacare and could chose to leave the work force or toil for fewer hours.

“Claims that the Affordable Care Act hurts jobs are simply belied by the facts in the CBO report,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement, which appeared just before the White House conducted a hurriedly organized call for reporters.

“Since the Affordable Care Act passed into law in March 2010 the private sector has added 8.1 million jobs,” Carney said.

“That is the strongest 45 month job growth since the late 1990s and contrasts with the 3.8 million private sector jobs lost in the decade before the Affordable Care Act passed.”

Other officials said a healthier work force would lead to fewer sick days and higher productivity and that the law as a whole would have a stimulatory effect on the economy.

The non-partisan CBO report estimated that the ACA will reduce the total number of hours worked by between one and two percent during the period from 2017 to 2024.

It said the reduction will be driven mainly by low wage workers who chose to work less because of new taxes applying under the ACA and for other reasons.

The changes will amount to a roughly one percent reduction of aggregate labor compensation between 2017–2024.

That equates to around two million fewer full time workers in 2017 rising to about 2.5 million in 2024, the report said.

The CBO still projects total employment will rise over the coming decade, but believes it will do so less than it would have if Obamacare had not been passed.

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  • Bill Thompson

    Just one question if 2 million will leave the workforce isn’t that an opportunity for 2 million more people to work? Math is so confusing.

    • daniel bostdorf

      yes—see my comment above….this is a bogus news feed from AFP that is being discredited…

  • daniel bostdorf

    I do not like unattributed news feeds from AFP.
    Who really wrote this article?

    While the CBO released its findings, FOX News and other right media pundist have already created a very simplistic propagnada campaign designed for the 2014 elections.

    AFP “editors” fell into the trap as well with this piece. It was not fact check at all…

    This article is way off base factually. AFP editors need to be fact checked as The Washington Post RESPOSIBILY DID HERE:

    From that article:
    The Facts
    First, this is not about jobs. It’s about workers — and the choices they make.
    The CBO’s estimate is mostly the result of an analysis of the impact of the law on the supply of labor. That means how many people choose to participate in the work force. In other words, the nonpartisan agency is examining whether the law increases or decreases incentives for people to work.
    One big issue: the health insurance subsidies in the law. That’s a substantial benefit that decreases as people earn more money, so at a certain point, a person has to choose between earning more money or continuing to get the maximum help with health insurance payments. In other words, people might work longer and harder, but actually earn no more, or earn even less, money. That is a disincentive to work. (The same thing happens when people qualify for food stamps or other social services.)
    Thus, some people might decide to work part-time, not full time, in order to keep getting health-care subsidies. Thus, they are reducing their supply of labor to the market. Other people near retirement age might decide they no longer need to hold onto their job just because it provides health insurance, and they also leave the work force.
    Look at this way: If someone says they decided to leave their job for personal reasons, most people would not say they “lost” their jobs. They simply decided not to work.”

    Quote by By DAVID NATHER and JASON MILLMAN at Politico:

    No, CBO did not say Obamacare will kill 2 million jobs

    “The report doesn’t actually say businesses will be forced to reduce employment, said the administration, which noted that the report also states there is “no compelling evidence that part-time employment has increased” because of the Affordable Care Act.

    Instead, the administration said Tuesday, the health care law will allow people to choose to work less because they’ll be able to get health insurance.

    Under Obamacare, “individuals will be empowered to make choices about their own lives and livelihoods, like retiring on time rather than working into their elderly years or choosing to spend more time with their families,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.

    “It’s only a GOP talking point if you fail to point out the facts,” said Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. “The report is saying [the Affordable Care Act] reduces job lock. To portray these as lost jobs or anything like that would be inaccurate.” Job lock is when people feel they have to stay in a job for the health benefits.”

  • daniel bostdorf