When it comes to Obamacare, the bad news train keeps rollin’.
A stunning report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office this week more than tripled the number of Americans who, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, will likely be out of the workforce by 2024, from the equivalent of 800,000 full-time workers to 2.5 million.
“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 report notes.
Since taxpayer subsidies to purchase insurance will shrink and premiums rise with workers’ income there will be a disincentive for some individuals to work more, the report notes. Expanded eligibility for Medicaid is a similar disincentive. Meanwhile the financial penalty paid by larger employers who don’t provide adequate coverage to workers is likely to chill working hours, too.
But don’t take the CBO’s word for it — just ask the sales clerks from Lord & Taylor or Saks Fifth Avenue or Target, whose employers have already announced plans to drop coverage for part-time workers because of the cost. How long before more full-time workers become part time?
And what price the dysfunctional Obamacare website? CBO projects 2 million fewer Americans will enroll in health insurance plans via the exchanges or the Medicaid program this year than projected, thanks to the site’s “significant technical problems.”
Of course the ostriches who occupy the White House continue living in a state of denial. They are touting the CBO’s projections as a good thing, arguing the 2.5 million are really just exercising a personal choice to, say, “spend more time with their families.”
“This is all about choices created by the availability of quality, affordable health insurance,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said. Unemployment as just another appealing choice. Well, that’s a new one for Democrats.