Government & Politics

CBO 'Finds Out What's in It'

Feb. 5, 2014

The Congressional Budget Office dropped a bombshell on ObamaCare Tuesday, reporting that the horrendous law would significantly reduce workforce hours. “CBO estimates that the ACA will reduce the total number of hours worked, on net, by about 1.5 to 2 percent during the period from 2017 to 2024, almost entirely because workers will choose to supply less labor – given the new taxes and other incentives they will face and the financial benefits some will receive. The reduction in CBO’s projections of hours worked represents 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 estimate is nearly triple CBO’s original one.

Remember when Nancy Pelosi said ObamaCare would “create four million jobs, 400,000 almost immediately”? Good times.

Subsidies offered on the exchanges will cause some workers to choose not to take full-time jobs because doing so would mean a loss of income when they lose their subsidies. Employers are already reducing hours in order to avoid ObamaCare’s costly mandates. That means workers are being pressed from both sides.

The administration insists this isn’t a bug; it’s a feature. The reduction in full-time work, explained a White House official, “shouldn’t be a significant cause for surprise and it reflects the fact that workers have a new set of options and are making the best choices that they can choose to make for themselves given those options.” To Democrats, “best choices” and “options” mean working and earning less. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) added that the news is great because “people shouldn’t have job lock. … [W]e live in a country where there should be free agency. People can do what they want.” Share the poverty.

Meanwhile, the CBO reports also estimates that ObamaCare will cost more than $2 trillion over the next 10 years, quite an increase over the bill of goods Democrats sold in 2009 and 2010. Back then, Barack Obama said the law would cost “around $900 billion,” which, of course, was because major provisions were delayed until this year while taxes to pay for it kicked in earlier.

And that’s not all. The CBO projects that one million fewer Americans will buy coverage through the exchanges this year than previously expected, thanks to “significant technical problems that have been encountered in the initial phases of implementing the ACA.” By 2024, there will still be 31 million people without health insurance, in large part because ObamaCare will eliminate six to seven million employer-provided insurance plans in that span. At least the CBO is following Pelosi’s advice on ObamaCare and “finding out what’s in it.”

In short – and we know this will come as a shock – Democrats lied. They took the worst aspects of the health care system, put them on steroids and then cheered their “success.” The result is that people will work less, remain uncovered and pay more for it. That’s the steep price of Hope ‘n’ Change™.