As millions of Americans continue their grueling pursuit of gainful employment, the last thing this nation needs is a behemoth piece of legislation that will further shrink the employment market. According to a recent Congressional Budget Office report, however, that is exactly what ObamaCare will do.
While some media outlets initially claimed the law would cause more than 2 million jobs to evaporate, the report actually put forth a more nuanced – though just as disastrous – projection.
By 2017, the equivalent of at least that many full-time jobs will be lost due to reduced hours, the CBO determined. With employers struggling to maintain their businesses, workers will inevitably suffer due to the outrageous demands of the healthcare law.
According to the report, this shift will affect lower earners more severely, suggesting many will see their hours slashed as employers attempt to maintain federal subsidies contained in the law’s mandates. Specifically, the study described these healthcare subsides as an “implicit tax on working” in many cases.
Long-term projections are even starker. The CBO, which previously estimated 800,000 fewer full-time jobs would exist by 2021, now predicts the equivalent of three times that many will be gone by 2025.
Republicans are naturally seizing on this upsetting forecast in their continuing effort to repeal or replace the law. House Speaker John Boehner explained that the “healthcare law creates uncertainty for small businesses, hurts take-home pay, and makes it harder to invest in new workers.”
In response to the CBO report, he noted it “confirms that ObamaCare is making it worse.”
Of course, the White House put its own spin on the terrible news, with Council of Economic Advisers chairman Jason Furman asserting it is “not that the businesses are cutting those jobs.”
Instead, he insisted the report really only illustrated changes in the labor supply stream – a fact the Obama administration incredibly chalked up as a win.
The White House pointed to the new employment opportunities these affected workers will now have. In much the same way, a person whose house burned down has the opportunity to move; however, it is unlikely that would be anyone’s preferred choice.
–B. Christopher Agee
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