I’m sure many of you have heard by now about a report the Congressional Budget Office released saying that the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare) could possibly result in the reduction of the American workforce by almost 2.5 million people.
The key part of this finding being “workforce” – not jobs.
Their basic belief is that some Americans will either drop out of the workforce altogether, or shift from full-time to part-time work, because they’ll no longer need employer-provided health care benefits to get health insurance.
For many jobs, employees were only offered benefits if they were full-time, or worked a certain number of hours. I worked with several people who didn’t need to work (their spouse made enough money) but they did so for the sake of benefits.
Well, thanks to “Obamacare,” that’s no longer the case. That being said, the CBO estimates because Americans no longer need employment to get health insurance, some of those workers who don’t need jobs will no longer remained employed.
There’s a downside to this as well. They estimate some people will take less hours, earning less money, so that their subsidies they receive for their health insurance will be larger.
All that being said, the CBO in no way said that “Obamacare will cost the U.S. economy 2.5 million jobs.” Which is the headline many Republicans, and members of the conservative media, have been using since this report came out.
I guess the best person to ask would be CBO director Doug Elmendorf. Which is exactly what happened. Mr. Elmendorf was asked about the CBO report and if it said “Obamacare” would cost 2.5 million jobs. His answer? “No, we would not describe our estimates in that way.”
Elmendorf also wrote:
“Because the longer-term reduction in work is expected to come almost entirely from a decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply in response to the changes in their incentives, we do not think it is accurate to say that the reduction stems from people ‘losing’ their jobs.”
Except that’s exactly what many Republicans have been saying since this report came out.
But since when have Republicans allowed facts or reality to impact their propaganda? Like I’ve said plenty of times before, Republicans don’t really care about being factually accurate. The main goal of most conservatives is to “muddy the water” so much that the actual truth about any particular issue they oppose is so cloudy, many Americans don’t know what to believe.
This CBO report is just another great example where Republicans choose to create their own reality based off their gross distortion of the facts presented to them.