ObamaCare Will Cost 2.5 Million Jobs by 2024, CBO Says

By:  Michael Tennant
02/06/2014
       
ObamaCare Will Cost 2.5 Million Jobs by 2024, CBO Says

ObamaCare will result in a loss of about 2.5 million jobs by 2024, mostly because of the law's disincentives to work, according to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office.

The more we get to see ObamaCare in action, it seems, the worse the outlook for the nation becomes. According to a report released Tuesday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) now believes the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will cost the equivalent of 2.5 million jobs by 2024 — “a historically high number of people ... locked out of the workforce,” as CNBC put it. What’s more, the CBO’s estimate of ACA-related job losses by 2021, 2.3 million, is almost triple its 2011 forecast of 800,000.

“CBO estimates that the ACA will reduce the total number of hours worked, on net, by about 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent during the period from 2017 to 2024,” reads the report. This translates into “a decline in the number of full-time-equivalent workers of about 2.0 million in 2017, rising to about 2.5 million in 2024.”

The agency is clear that ObamaCare is responsible for these projected job losses: “Although CBO projects that total employment (and compensation) will increase over the coming decade, that increase will be smaller than it would have been in the absence of the ACA.” However, it is also quick to point out that “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.”

This assertion has led many ObamaCare proponents to claim that the law is a victory for Americans because it allows them to change jobs without losing their health insurance. For instance, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, “At the beginning of this year, we noted that as part of this new day in health care, Americans would no longer be trapped in a job just to provide coverage for their families, and would have the opportunity to pursue their dreams. This CBO report bears that out, and the Republican plan to repeal the ACA would strip those hard-working Americans of that opportunity.”

Unfortunately for the pro-ACA forces, the CBO report only mentions such a thing in passing. Instead, the report makes it abundantly clear that the main reason people will reduce their working hours or quit working altogether is that the law’s subsidies and taxes “discourage work.” This, observed Guy Benson of Townhall.com, is “horrible, unspinnable news.”

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