CBO: Workers to Trim Own Hours Under ObamaCare

Analysts figure it's the equivalent of 2M full-time jobs

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 4, 2014 6:00 PM CST

(Newser) – ObamaCare returned to the headlines today, with a Congressional Budget Office report predicting that the law would reduce the number of hours worked by Americans over the next several years a lot more than expected, reports the Hill. Figure the equivalent of 2.3 million full-time positions by 2021, says the nonpartisan CBO, up from its previous estimate of 800,000. The CBO isn't suggesting that employers are going to fire people because of the new law. Rather, most of that reduction "would come from people choosing not to work or working less in order to keep their incomes low enough to continue to get subsidies toward buying coverage," explains the Wall Street Journal.

Seem nuanced? Consider this correction from the Washington Post: "The headline of an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the CBO study estimated that health law will result in 2 million fewer jobs. The CBO says the health law will lead to 2 million fewer workers. The headline has been corrected." The report set off a wave of Republican criticism that essentially depicted the law as a job-killer, reports the New York Times. It "confirms what we have been saying all along—that the president’s health law is bad medicine for jobs and the economy,” said Michigan's Fred Upton. But the White House shot back that the CBO is talking about employees deciding on their own to cut back on hours, not being fired or laid off. The law means people "will be empowered to make choices about their own lives and livelihoods," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

The HealthCare.gov website.
The HealthCare.gov website.   (AP Photo/Jon Elswick, File)
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