The head of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office delivered a damning assessment Wednesday of the Affordable Care Act, telling lawmakers that ObamaCare creates a “disincentive for people to work,” adding fuel to Republican arguments that the law will hurt the economy.
The testimony from CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf comes after his office released a highly controversial report that detailed how millions of workers could cut back their hours or opt out of the job market entirely because of benefits under the health law.
The White House and its Democratic allies accused Republicans, and the media, of mischaracterizing the findings. But Elmendorf backed Republicans’ central argument — fewer people will work because of the law’s subsidies.
“The act creates a disincentive for people to work,” Elmendorf said, under questioning from House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
“The act creates a disincentive for people to work.”
– Douglas Elmendorf, CBO Director
Ryan clarified that the CBO report found not that employers would lay people off, but that more individuals would choose not to work.
“As a result … that [lower] labor supply lowers economic growth,” Ryan said.
Elmendorf answered: “Yes, that’s right.”
Ryan fumed that this would mean fewer people would be “joining the middle class.”
“It’s adding insult to injury,” he said. “As the welfare state expands, the incentive to work declines — meaning grow the government, you shrink the economy.”
Elmendorf, who was addressing the House Budget Committee, did say that the subsidies provided under the Affordable Care Act would make lower-income people “better off.”
And Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., top Democrat on the committee, argued that the CBO findings were still being misinterpreted. He pointed to more positive findings in the report, including that health care premiums would go down.
The CBO report on Tuesday effectively found that more people would opt to keep their income low to stay eligible for federal health care subsidies or Medicaid. The workforce changes would mean nationwide losses equal to 2.3 million full-time jobs by 2021, the report said.
Republican lawmakers seized on the report as major new evidence of what they consider the failures of Obama’s overhaul, the huge change in U.S. health coverage that they’re trying to overturn and planning to use as a main argument against Democrats in November’s midterm elections.
The distinction to this argument today is that ObamaDoesn’tCare in fact doesn’t force employers to not employ these 2 to 2.5 million people but that these people will see that it is to their advantage not to work additional hours and will cut themselves off.
Wow! The government has create a incentive to not work, to be less productive, to remain in your station, to create more “income inequality.”
And, tell me again .. which Party will be campaigning against “income inequality” this year ?
CEO of AOL was CNBC with this to say
And from the insurance bailout front
This is going to be like trying to herd cats for the Dems.