ObamaCare Clusterfuck: CBO says ObamaCare will mean the loss of 2 million full time jobs by 2021
After obtaining coverage through the health law, some workers may forgo employment, while others may reduce hours... Low-wage workers are the most likely to drop out of the workforce as a result of the law, it said. The CBO said the law’s impact on jobs mostly would be felt after 2016.
On Tuesday, the agency released a more detailed estimate that includes how ordinary Americans would react to those changes by employers. Some would choose to keep Medicaid rather than take a job at reduced wages. Others, who typically do not work full-time, would delay returning to work in order to keep subsidies for private insurance that are provided under the law.
As a result, by 2021, the number of full-time positions would be reduced by 2.3 million.
The reduction in employment from the health care law “includes some people choosing not to work at all and other people choosing to work fewer hours than they would have in the absence of the law,” the CBO said.
I'm of two minds about this.
First, in "Who gives a shit?" mode, I'm happy people won't be forced to work at crappy jobs just to keep their health insurance.
Second, I'm very sympathetic to the position that people should be able to "take it easy," as Jack Crow says. Who said the 40-hour week is sacred, anyhow?
But third (I lied about two) this looks like an open attempt to shrink the workforce still more, and if anybody can't see the "undeserving poor" narrative barrelling toward ObamaCare, here, have my binocular vision. This population is going to get written off, exactly as those whose unemployment insurance ran out got written off, and by both parties, too.
UPDATE Kevin Drum makes a good point:
Obamacare will reduce employment primarily because it's a means-tested welfare program, and means-tested programs always reduce employment among the poor.
If, for example, earning $100 in additional income means a $25 reduction in Obamacare subsidies, you're only getting $75 for your extra work. At the margins, some people will decide that's not worth it, so they'll forego working extra hours. That's the substitution effect. In addition, low-income workers covered by Obamacare will have lower medical bills. This makes them less desperate for additional money, and might also cause them to forego working extra hours. That's the income effect.
This is not something specific to Obamacare. It's a shortcoming in all means-tested welfare programs. It's basically Welfare 101, and in over half a century, no one has really figured out how to get around it. It's something you just have to accept if you support safety net programs for the poor.
It's worth noting, however, that health care is an exception to this rule. It doesn't have to be means tested. If we simply had a rational national health care system, available to everyone regardless of income, then none of this would be an issue.