I’m sure by now many of you have heard about the report from the CBO that Republicans have seized on claiming that “Obamacare” will cost the United States nearly 2.5 million jobs. I mean, doesn’t it seem absolutely horrible when you read that headline? For Republicans, this type of “news” is exactly what they claim they’ve been warning Americans about for years.
Except, it isn’t true. Well, not in the context they’re using it.
Like most things that exist in the reality in which most Americans live, conservatives just don’t understand what’s going on. Either that or they just decided to run with the lie anyway.
But as the Washington Post fact-checked, this claim isn’t true at all.
What the CBO essentially said is that the Affordable Care Act will most likely have an impact on workers in the labor force, not jobs.
Meaning that over time the CBO expects some Americans to stop working, or take part-time work instead of full-time, because they’ll now have access to health care without the need of an employer.
As it stands now, quite a few Americans worked full-time (though they didn’t need to) because they wanted to keep their health benefits. Some did this because their husbands or wives worked jobs that didn’t provide health care so they needed it to cover their family.
Now some people won’t need to work full-time, and might instead choose to spend more time with their families. You know, that whole “family values” thing Republicans constantly harp on about? Or would they rather have both parents have to work full-time jobs (sometimes more than one job for one parent or the other) just to be able to have health care?
If anything, wouldn’t this potentially create more jobs? Being that a few Americans that didn’t need to work full-time jobs before would now be dropping out of the workforce because their husbands or wives can get health care thanks to “Obamacare.” Remember, for every job opening in this country, 3 people are looking for work. Fewer people needing to work those full-time jobs means more openings for those who need them.
In fact, the CBO basically says this is not about jobs, but workers:
“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 businesses’ demand for labor, so it will appear almost entirely as a reduction in labor force participation and in hours worked relative to what would have occurred otherwise rather than as an increase in unemployment (that is, more workers seeking but not finding jobs) or underemployment (such as part-time workers who would prefer to work more hours per week).”
Translation: This is about workers who might not be a part of the workforce, not about 2.5 million jobs being eliminated from the economy.
Now there is a downside that some Republicans have correctly pointed out. This does include people who might choose to work less in order to increase the subsidies that they’ll receive due to having a lower level of income.
Granted, that’s not always going to be a good thing. However, if someone steps out of a full-time position (who didn’t need it) for a part-time position to get a lower subsidy, there will almost always be someone who needed full-time work willing to take that position.
Kind of like what I pointed out earlier – a greater availability of full-time jobs for people who actually need them.
The situation as a whole is an extremely complicated one because we’re trying to predict the potential habits of people, with a varying degree of factors, for a future economy we still aren’t certain of yet.
That’s why reports like these are called “estimates” instead of facts.
But for Republicans to take this report and perpetuate the belief that the CBO said “Obamacare” will cost the economy almost 2.5 million jobs – well, that’s just an outright lie.
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