Analysts say health care law means fewer on job

With health care less expensive for those who work fewer hours, some believe it will be a disincentive for people to work full-time
Associated Press
Feb 5, 2014

Several million American workers will cut back their hours on the job or leave the nation's workforce entirely because of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, congressional analysts said Tuesday, adding fresh fuel to the political fight over "Obamacare."

The workforce changes would mean nationwide losses equal to 2.3 million full-time jobs by 2021, in large part because people would opt to keep their income low to stay eligible for federal health care subsidies or Medicaid, the Congressional Budget Office said. It had estimated previously that the law would lead to 800,000 fewer jobs by that year.

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.

It's the latest indication that "the president's health care law is destroying full-time jobs," said Republican Rep. John Kline of Minnesota, chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee. "This fatally flawed health care scheme is wreaking havoc on working families nationwide," he said.

But the White House said the possible reduction would be due to voluntary steps by workers rather than businesses cutting jobs — people having the freedom to retire early or spend more time as stay-at-home parents because they no longer had to depend only on their employers for health insurance.

The law means people "will be empowered to make choices about their own lives and livelihoods," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf said the top reasons people would reduce work would be to qualify for subsidized coverage and an expanded Medicaid program but that lower wages — because of penalties on employers who don't provide coverage and looming taxes on generous health care plans — would also be a factor.

The agency also reduced its estimate of the number of uninsured people who will get coverage through the health care law. The budget experts now say 1 million more people will be uninsured this year than had been expected, partly because of the website problems that prevented people from signing up last fall.

However, it wasn't all bad news for the Obama administration. The CBO's wide-ranging report predicted that the federal budget deficit will fall to $514 billion this year, down from last year's $680 billion and the lowest by far since Obama took office five years ago.

The new estimates also say that the health care law will, in the short run, benefit the economy by boosting demand for goods and services because the lower-income people it helps will have more purchasing power. The report noted that the 2014 premiums that people pay for exchange coverage are coming in about 15 percent lower than projected, and the health care law, on balance, still is expected to reduce the federal deficit.

However, the budget experts see the long-term federal deficit picture worsening by about $100 billion a year through the end of the decade because of slower growth in the economy than they had previously predicted.

As for health care signups, the website woes have largely been cleared up, but the nonpartisan congressional analysts estimated that about 1 million fewer people will enroll through the new insurance exchanges than had been expected this year, for a total of 6 million.

Enrollment is predicted to pick up, topping 20 million in 2016. The exchanges, or online marketplaces, offer subsidized private coverage and cater mainly to middle-class people who don't have health care on the job.

The Congressional Budget Office also revised its Medicaid enrollment projection downward by about 1 million, for a new total of 8 million signups in 2014. About half the states have accepted the health law's Medicaid expansion.

What about those people whose decisions about work might be affected by the new law?

Lower-wage workers are more likely to reduce their hours or quit their jobs because of Obamacare incentives, the report said.

Although some employers will choose not to hire additional workers, or will reduce hours, the budget office said that does not appear to be the main factor.

"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," the report said.

The health care analysis is layered with complexity. The job losses are measured in "full-time-equivalent workers," which means more people are actually affected than, say, the 2 million full-time-equivalent jobs lost in 2017. It could take several part-time workers or people deciding to reduce their hours to produce the wage loss of one full-time equivalent.

The report also contains an important caveat, that the estimate of job losses is "subject to substantial uncertainty" and could be larger or smaller than predicted. There now are more than 130 million jobs in the economy.

Meanwhile, the broad federal deficit projection shows another yearly improvement. Obama inherited an economy in crisis and the first deficits ever to exceed $1 trillion. The 2009 total, swelled by the costs of the Wall Street bailout, hit a record $1.4 trillion, while the deficits of 2010 and 2011 each registered $1.3 trillion.

The agency sees the deficit sliding to $478 billion next year before beginning a steady rise years through 2024 that would bring the annual imbalance back above $1 trillion. Overall, it forecasts deficits totaling $7.3 trillion over the coming decade, about $1 trillion more than previously estimated.

"CBO expects that economic growth will diminish to a pace that is well below the average seen over the past several decades," the report said, citing an aging population and a decrease in the rate of growth in the labor force.

Tuesday's report comes as Obama and Republicans in Congress are taking a respite in the budget wars that have periodically consumed Washington since Republicans took control of the House in 2011. The declining deficit numbers mean they could feel even less urgency to act now.

A December budget agreement and last month's follow-up spending bill could buy peace through November's midterm elections. Republicans also appear to be taking a less confrontational approach to legislation needed this month to increase the government's borrowing limit to avoid defaulting on its obligations.

Comments

Contango

Re: "deficit would be cut."

So tell me: Why does the federal debt ceiling need to be raised from $17.1T if the deficit is declining?

The Big Dog's back

Interest.

Nemesis

interest payments on the debt represent less then 8% of the federal budget.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Oh I know! Pick me, pick me! My hand's up and everything!

Dr. Information

Obama said Obamacare (ACA) would CREATE jobs not KILL jobs. This guy is full of lies once again. The people that continue to support him are as ignorant as he is.

John Harville

Dr Misinformation: JOBS! JOBS! JOBS! The GOP mantra in 2010 and 2012. Yet not even ONE jobs-generating bill has been proposed by Republicans IN EITHER HOUSE.
They said cutting the deficit and taxes would inspire the 'job creators' to produce JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!.
Obama has cut the deficit by half. And the upper 2% have the lowest rates and more wealth than the 98%.
Your CBO gods support all of what I just wrote.
So... GOP et al... put up or shut up.
JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!

Dr. Information

Jobs jobs jobs Obama just isn't producing. ADHD Obama can't stick to one thing, a month from now it will be gun reform again.

Donegan

You do realize the CBO is made up of the peoples reps in government. You know the people that were elected to stop and create a check on the president? You are just mad your god has not created one job yet without killing 3 other jobs. Put up or shut up, More people have lost more under this president than in the history of the country. 17 trillion and counting, How much do you think you have lost?

John Harville

Subsidies. Remember that EVERY member of Congress is eligible for Medicare when they reach 65-68 years.

Nemesis

And your point is?

John Harville

VACANCIES will be occurring in record numbers REGARDLESS of any law or benefit.
BABY BOOMERS are retiring - some early on pensions they paid into for decades, others early on SS (and drawing Medicare Part A at 65,66,67) Many will take advantage of the UNFUNDED "Medicare Advantage" foisted on us by Bush and the GOP-controlled Congress. Thankfully the AHCA has provided a means to take a big bite out of the 'donut'.
With AHCA Baby Boomers holding on to jobs younger persons are waiting to step into now will retire with benefits they otherwise wouldn't have.
Baby Boomers ballooned the population by millions, overcrowding schools, presenting new healthcare problems - and moving into the workforce to make this country the most prosperous in the world.
Now it's time for us to retire and let our ZPG children and grandchildren in much smaller numbers move into the workforce - except our spaces are being taken by computers and robots.
Now Merca don't know what to do with this void it created.
Merca gonna pay the bill one way or another.... subsidize medical insurance by paying people to work part-time OR subsidize healthcare with higher insurance premiums for those who are 'personally responsible". Bullshirt!

John Harville

"personality responsibility" in the true American Dream means being responsible for one's position as a citizen of the larger population. It means providing for other citizens in the full realization that not everyone is dealt and equal hand, an even chance, an equal starting place.
"personality responsibility" means you can't keep taking advantage of all that's offered without making sure it's there for others.
"personal responsibility" means giving up taking every opportunity offered without paying for it. You wanna drive on good streets, you pay taxes. You expect the fire department to respond, you pay taxes. You expect quality healthcare? You have to help provide it for others.
If you don't like it the way it is here, LEAVE.

Dr. Information

ANDDDDD there you have it folks. Johnny boy just laid out the Socialist mantra for all to see. In his eyes you not only have to take care of yourself, but all the laziness in this country. If everyone would stop wanting something for nothing and would go out and work, we wouldn't have an issue. Of course, according to you, those people just didn't get their fair shot right? BTW, you can leave OR you can just write the IRS another check. Im sure they will take it. Redistribution of wealth doesn't work.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Who are you who knows the hearts and minds of people he has never met to the point you both judge them uncaring about themselves or those around them? Then, in addition, DEMANDS of them to care about others in the way they perceive is right - whether the accuser actually follows that command or not. This implied hubris is offensive as is your presumption that "personality responsibility" is even a core tenant to culture or something you must force people to do.

So while you make up doublespeak words in a non-doubleplusgood way, here's a phrase that actually exists: Dependent personality disorder.

http://psychcentral.com/disorder...

Dependent personality disorder is characterized by a long-standing need for the person to be taken care of and a fear of being abandoned or separated from important individuals in his or her life. This leads the person to engage in dependent and submissive behaviors that are designed to elicit care-giving behaviors in others. The dependent behavior may be see as being “clingy” or “clinging on” to others, because the person fears they can’t live their lives without the help of others.

Individuals with Dependent Personality Disorder are often characterized by pessimism and self-doubt, tend to belittle their abilities and assets, and may constantly refer to themselves as “stupid.” They take criticism and disapproval as proof of their worthlessness and lose faith in themselves. They may seek overprotection and dominance from others. Occupational functioning may be impaired if independent initiative is required. They may avoid positions of responsibility and become anxious when faced with decisions. Social relations tend to be limited to those few people on whom the individual is dependent.

Symptoms of Dependent Personality Disorder
Dependent personality disorder is characterized by a pervasive fear that leads to “clinging behavior” and usually manifests itself by early adulthood. It includes a majority of the following symptoms:

**Has difficulty making everyday decisions without an excessive amount of advice and reassurance from others
**Needs others to assume responsibility for most major areas of his or her life
**Has difficulty expressing disagreement with others because of fear of loss of support or approval
**Has difficulty initiating projects or doing things on his or her own (because of a lack of self-confidence in judgment or abilities rather than a lack of motivation or energy)
**Goes to excessive lengths to obtain nurturance and support from others, to the point of volunteering to do things that are unpleasant
**Feels uncomfortable or helpless when alone because of exaggerated fears of being unable to care for himself or herself
**Urgently seeks another relationship as a source of care and support when a close relationship ends
**Is unrealistically preoccupied with fears of being left to take care of himself or herself

Nothing can be anyone's fault if nobody's anything, eh? So please, continue to preach as if you know who people are, what motivates them, and use your distorted measurement of a person's worth inflicted through a disassociated agency. In the mean time I will continue to happily pay for roads, the fire department, and take care of my own community like a individual, civil, caring human being.

The Big Dog's back

Ahhhh yes, mr. hz aka right winger.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

This is he, how may I help you?

Nemesis

"personality responsibility" in the true American Dream means being responsible for one's position as a citizen of the larger population. It means providing for other citizens...."

Translation: From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.

And in another thread you tried to claim you aren't a marxist.

mikesee

Interesting reading:

"Congressional Budget Office sends death blow to ObamaCare."

http://nypost.com/2014/02/05/con...

grumpy

Quote from the link above.

One killer detail comes on Page 111, where the report projects: “As a result of the ACA, between 6 and 7 million fewer people will have employment-based insurance coverage each year from 2016 through 2024 than would be the case in the absence of the ACA.”
ObamaCare’s key selling point was that it would give coverage to a significant number of the 30-plus million Americans who lack it. Now the CBO is telling the American people that a decade from now, 6 million-plus of their countrymen won’t get health care through their employers who otherwise would have.
Even more damaging is this projection: “About 31 million nonelderly residents of the United States are likely to be without health insurance in 2024, roughly one out of every nine such residents.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

After all is said and done there will be no more people covered by healthcare than before, obamaScare, and 2 million+ fewer people working because of obamaScare, and 6 or 7 million people not getting healthcare insurance through work, because of obamaScare. This is the signature legislation from this administration. Obama passed this when he had a supermajority in the senate, and a majority in the house, instead of passing more of his unfulfilled promises he made when running in 08. Great decision. This is what was elected. Does anyone think we need more than 2 choices when voting? The 2 party system has failed. We need 4 or 5 parties that actually represent what the people want instead of representing the winger from each of the 2 parties. The wacco's in each party are the one in charge. We need more choices other than backing wingers.

Dr. Information

Lets not forget the penalties for having "better" insurance plans that kicks in I think in 2015. ACA = Anyone Can't Afford.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Yup, people who dare to want "better" government dictated and mandated coverage to protect themselves and their families are the enemy. For their audacity to be able to afford a legal plan that others cannot they must be punished for following the rules. These responsible people sicken me and it's that kind of reckless, legal behavior that is hurting the middle class! Selfish capitalist pig-dogs who think their own lives or those of their immediate family are somehow better than anyone else that they don't even know. I bet they even think "if we can't take care of ourselves, how can we take care of others?". Hah! Their day has come. We will rise up with the private corporations our public tax dollars now directly subsidize and guarantee a profit for and... Wait, what?!

(sarcasm, but running a close parallel to reality)

Nemesis

How DARE people try to apply the fruits of their own labor to their own benefit?

The Big Dog's back

For years, Republicans have said that the president’s health care law creates uncertainty for small businesses, hurts take-home pay, and makes it harder to invest in new workers," Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said in a statement. "The middle class is getting squeezed in this economy, and this CBO report confirms that ObamaCare is making it worse."

The New York Times summed it up by claiming that the CBO report is "providing Republican opponents of the law a powerful political weapon leading up to this year’s midterm elections."

But is that what the CBO actually said or meant? No.

What the CBO really found was that the numbers of hours worked would decrease under Obamacare, by roughly 1.5 percent to 2 percent between 2017 and 2024. The report then translated those lost hours into the equivalent of 2.5 million jobs. But that doesn't mean 2.5 million jobs are going to disappear from the U.S. economy.

The CBO report, in fact, specifically undermines that claim. Those lost hours will "almost entirely" be the result of people choosing to work fewer hours because of Obamacare -- not because they lost their jobs or can't find a full-time job.

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, so it will appear almost entirely as a reduction in labor force participation and in hours worked relative to what would have occurred otherwise rather than as an increase in unemployment (that is, more workers seeking but not finding jobs) or underemployment (such as part-time workers who would prefer to work more hours per week).

The report explicitly says that Obamacare isn't going to force businesses to cut jobs on any grand scale. What it is going to do is change how much Americans work.

"I think it’s important to distinguish between people choosing to work less and jobs being lost," Larry Levitt, vice president at the non-partisan Kaiser Famiy Foundation, told TPM. "That is something important to keep an eye on, since you don’t want to discourage work. But, it’s not in all cases a bad thing."

"For example, some people in their late 50s and early 60s would like to retire because they have health issues but have kept working for the health benefits. Some of them can now retire because they can’t be discriminated against for having a pre-existing condition and may get help paying their premiums."

grumpy

The above was copied and pasted from "Talking Points Memo blog, without reference from piddle puppy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tal...

Talking Points Memo (or TPM) is a politically liberal web-based political journalism organization created and run by Josh Marshall, a journalist, liberal blogger[2] and historian.[3] It debuted on November 12, 2000. The name is a reference to the memo (short list) with the issues (points) discussed by ONE'S SIDE IN A DEBATE OR USED TO SUPPORT A POSITION TAKEN ON AN ISSUE.[4]

One side of the debate or issue is what piddle puppy is looking at when he researches an issue, as long as it is his side it is OK.

This is the quality of research we can see that piddle puppy relies on. A left wingnut political blog. And this is from someone who whines and says people are watching Fox News, when they disagree with him. Left wingnuts unite behind the piddle puppy, but wear your rubbers.

The Big Dog's back

Are there points you wish to dispute?

Donegan

The point i think is you cannot come up with a complete thought for yourself and it explains the fact you need someone else to think and act for you.

grumpy

I have already made my points 2 posts above yours. If you wish to refute, be my guest. I see no reason to reply to a left wingnut blog that you didn't even cite when you copied, and didn't even bother to acknowledge.

The Big Dog's back

So you believe everything the AP (Anti-Progressive) writes?

grumpy

Re: "So you believe everything the AP (Anti-Progressive) writes?"

Can you show me where I said that? Sad that you deflect quite so often. It gets meaningless to even read what you regurgitate from your left wingnut masters.

John Harville

THE CBO REALLY SAID... and Paul Ryan acknowledged the CBO said...

"On page 125 of the report, the CBO says that the ACA will leave millions of Americans with extra money to spend, and that spending result in increased consumer demand, “The net increase in demand for goods and services will in turn boost demand for labor over the next few years, CBO estimates.
"Those effects on labor demand tend to be especially strong under conditions such as those now prevailing in the United States, where output is so far below its maximum sustainable level that the Federal Reserve has kept short-term interest rates near zero for several years and probably would not adjust those rates to offset the effects of changes in federal spending and taxes.
"Over time, however, those effects are expected to dissipate as overall economic output moves back toward its maximum sustainable level.”
-- CBO Director Elmendorf.

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