Posted by Curt on 10 February, 2014 at 9:05 am. 1 comment.


Gov. Bobby Jindal:

The verdict is in, and it’s not good: Obamacare is rippling through the U.S. economy with vast implications for American prosperity.

On Friday, we learned that the Obama economy has hit stall speed, with a paltry 113,000 jobs added in January.

Two days earlier, we learned the president’s health care law is discouraging Americans from working, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The report makes for bracing reading. The law will reduce the labor supply by the equivalent of 2.3 million full-time workers, the CBO says — up from an estimated 800,000 just three years ago.

It gets worse. The CBO also concluded that the law’s “expanded Medicaid eligibility … will, on balance, reduce incentives to work.” Think about that: Obamacare is giving low-income Americans fewer reasons to work — to find and pursue the jobs that could transform their lives and the lives of those around them. The president talks a lot about tackling inequality. But his health care law is a recipe for increasing inequality, not decreasing it.

Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion doesn’t just discourage work; it also prioritizes coverage for able-bodied adults over the needs of persons with disabilities. That’s a dirty little secret the Obama administration and its liberal allies, in their rush to expand government-funded health coverage to millions more Americans, won’t tell you. And it’s yet another reason why states should resist the siren song of the administration and its leftist supporters, who plan to spend 2014 persuading them to embrace the expansion.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2012 more than half a million seniors and people with disabilities on state Medicaid lists were awaiting access to home and community-based services. Prompt access to these services could keep individuals with disabilities out of institutions, which are often more costly.

Yet Obamacare provides states with a much greater federal Medicaid match — 100 percent for the first three years, phasing down to 90 percent over time — to cover previously ineligible low-income individuals. According to the Urban Institute, nearly five in six adults to be covered under the Medicaid expansion are adults without children, most in their prime working years.

In other words, Obamacare’s incentive structure places a greater emphasis on expanding coverage to these able-bodied adults — the vast majority of whom could be working or preparing for work — than helping the individuals with disabilities Medicaid was initially created to serve.

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