Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Will Obamacare kill jobs?

Today's Congressional Budget Office Budget Outlook on the Affordable Care Act brings a bit of bad news for both supporters and critics of Obamacare.

The bad news for supporters: The report finds that the ACA will cause a decrease in worker hours over the next decade in the United States. Specifically, the CBO predicts a 1.5 to 2 percent decrease compared to a hypothetical U.S. without Obamacare. (That's more than the .5 percent decrease the CBO estimated back in 2010.)

The new figure is bad for the economy, and not so great for President Obama and Democrats, who've said Republicans were wrong when they called Obamacare a job-killer. Today's money line, for those  Republicans: "Although CBO projects that total employment (and compensation) will increase over the coming decade, that increase will be smaller than it would have been in absence of the ACA."

But, the bad news for critics: The decrease in worker hours won't be coming from cost-cutting employers letting waves of workers go, as Republicans have long predicted. It's because workers who put off retirement or took a second job, just for the health care benefits, now have less reason to keep their jobs. Others might reduce the hours they work so that they can continue to qualify for ACA subsidies.

As the CBO explains, the reduction in hours worked over the next decade will come "almost entirely because workers will choose to supply less labor."

So is Obamacare a job killer? Not according to this report. But it'll be hard for the law's supporters to call it a victory.

Peter St. Onge


Jeff Henson said...


You are forgetting the recent Survey from Duke University and CFO Magazine finding that half of the 500 companies surveyed were reluctant to hire full-time employees, and one in 10 may lay off current employees in response to Obamacare. 

Jeff Henson said...

On the income inequality front, a study from the liberal Brookings Institution was released today. The study finds that Obamacare will reduce, by an estimated 0.9 percent, the incomes of households making between about $21,000 and $40,000 a year. And for households making between about $40,000 and $65,000 a year — Obamacare will also reduce their income by 0.9 percent.

CharlotteObserver said...

Leave it to the observer to find the penny in this pile, and shine it up to protect obama and the democrats.

CharlotteObserver said...

And this story says folks will retire as they can get government health care earlier.

Oh really, Ok Folks, how about those of you who tried the obamacare and found it cost a fortune tell us how you are just looking forward to getting on it and will be quitting work.

OH wait, maybe folks will quit and get more help from the government and have cheap insurance coverage rather than work. Is that what the observer is saying?

I am surprised the observer website works as they are so in bed with obama and the democrats.

Jeff Henson said...

Peter, I read your post again and am befuddled. Could you please explain why the CBO report is bad for critics of Obamacare? Is the loss of an equivalent of 2.5 million workers good for this country this needs to service $17 trillion in debt and growing? Also, you and your Editorial Board should consider the effects that government entitlement spending has on the disincentives to work as demonstrated by this report. Can the same argument also be made for unemployment benefits too?

Redlight said...

Will Obamacare cost jobs? Does a big wheel roll? Does a cat have a climbing gear? The Observer refuses to be critical of the worst law ever passed---nothing new here.

misswhit said...

Wall Street Journal today mentions that no one really knows yet how Obamacare will affect small business hiring or firing, as the insurance mandate for full time workers at small businesses has been delayed a year. Therefore there is no model to project from, so this was not considered by the CBO. We don't yet know if there will be a "letting go of waves of workers".

Tandemfusion said...

How could you possibly take the position that incentivizing citizens to be less productive over their lifetimes is good for the country, the culture or the economy?

Garth Vader said...

Jeff Henson,

Don't waste your time asking Petey any questions. He used to engage in dialog but apparently he enrolled in Fannie Flono's Let Them Eat Cake Academy and now disappears as soon as he hits "Post". Coward.