Jobs Will Be Lost

Thanks To Obamacare

Posted: February 7, 2014

On Tuesday, the White House, its partners atop Capitol Hill, and its acolytes in the media absorbed what amounts to a blind-side hit from a most unlikely source — a Congressional Budget Office known to lean decidedly left. But then, blind-side hits do usually come from the left — on the gridiron, that is.

What the CBO said was this, essentially: The Affordable Care Act is antithetical to work and, by extension, to upward mobility, to workers making better lives for themselves via better-paying jobs. By 2017, the CBO anticipates the economy will lose upwards of 2 million full-time workers — largely due to negative incentives embedded within Mr. Obama’s signature legislative act.

How so? Well, under ObamaCare, the less money you make, the more your health insurance is subsidized by fellow taxpayers. Thus, Americans, or at least some of them, can be expected to filter all future job prospects through the prism of ObamaCare — or, more specifically, by whether or not a promotion or a job with a different employer will cause them to lose their health-insurance subsidies. That’s the way the system works — and, in a word, it is perverse.

Or, as The Heritage Foundation’s Drew Gonshorowski has said, “ObamaCare ultimately discourages low-income individuals from trying to move into higher-paying jobs.” So, yes — perverse.
To be sure, the White House and its defenders spin this differently — as good news, for the simple reason that folks will no longer feel themselves trapped in jobs merely to maintain health insurance. Now, so the party line goes, they can leave those jobs firm in the knowledge their policies will be subsidized.

“This is people having new choices,” so says Jason Furman, who chairs the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

“New choices” — such as not to work at all, perhaps? And this is good?

]If anything, this is, to play off an expression from the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, “defining dependency down.”

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