Democrats like to accuse Republicans of being anti-science, but the Dems have their own anti-reality problem. And if possible, their Obamacare problems just got worse as a result.
Liberals (including the president) seem baffled about public opposition to Obamacare. Hasn’t the program been “fixed”? Well, no. There are all those cancellations, the people who can’t keep their plan or their doctor, the skewed enrollments and the “risk corridors” (insuring the insurers against losses) — in addition to the security risks. A report from the Congressional Budget Office now confirms what critics have been saying all along: Obamacare is killing jobs and squelching growth.
The CBO is now estimating that the law will reduce labor force compensation by 1 percent from 2017 to 2024, twice the reduction it previously had projected.
This will decrease the number of full-time equivalent jobs in 2021 by 2.3 million, CBO said. It had previously estimated the decrease would be 800,000.
The budget scorekeeper said this decrease would be caused partly by people leaving the workforce in response to lower wages offered by employers, and increased insurance coverage through the healthcare law.
The agency also said employer penalties in the law will decrease wages, and that part-year workers will be slower to return to the work force because they will seek to retain ObamaCare insurance subsidies.
Conservatives reacted swiftly. House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) put out a statement reading in part: “Washington can’t continue to ignore the problem: trillions of dollars in empty promises. And Obamacare is only making things worse. This costly law is not only pushing government spending to new heights; it is disrupting coverage and leaving millions of Americans worse off. CBO says the law will push 2.3 million people out of the workforce and will insure far fewer people than previously expected.” He also noted the president’s signature achievement is making the inequality problem worse, citing the report’s findings that Obamacare “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” with the biggest drop-off among “lower-wage workers.”
Economist Doug Holtz-Eakin, who heads the conservative American Action Forum and has been warning for years about the law’s ill-effects isn’t surprised. He e-mails, “The ACA is pervasive, anti-growth policy. As its detrimental impacts become apparent, I expect continued upward re-estimates of the harm in the years to come.” And Hans Bader of the Competitive Enterprise Institute adds:
Originally, the Congressional Budget Office had wrongly concluded that Obamacare would reduce the deficit. It reached that incorrect conclusion by allowing supporters of Obamacare to hide its costs through accounting gimmicks and dodges. But in 2010, after Obamacare passed, it began increasing its cost projections for Obamacare, and also admitted “that Obamacare includes work disincentives likely to shrink” the economy.
Obamacare contains massive marriage penalties that discriminate against married people, and huge work disincentives for some older workers. It has slashed hiring, cut economic growth, and induced employers to replace full-time workers with part-time employees, driving even unions that once backed it to seek its repeal or replacement. Obamacare’s medical device tax has caused layoffs by medical manufacturers.
None of this is surprising. If you spend a whole lot, tax a whole lot, make the cost of labor a whole lot more expensive, regulate insurance a whole lot more and create a lot of havoc, you are going to hurt the economy — a lot.
The Dems may try to keep up a brave face. But to keep defending this is a sort of flat-earthism — almost akin to claiming, despite multiple studies, that there is some reason to halt the Keystone XL pipeline. It’s almost like their economics and environmental science are all aimed at supporting a statist agenda, regardless of the real-world impact. Just saying.