A February 4, 2013 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report confirmed what taxpayer watchdog groups such as Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) have been warning about for years: Obamacare is an unprecedented disaster for every American’s personal health and the country’s economic health.
CBO reported that 2.5 million people, a historically high number, will leave the labor market by 2024. Some people would choose not to work at all in a job at reduced wages in order to stay on Medicaid, while those who do not work full-time would delay returning to work to stay qualified for private insurance. The total number of hours worked would be reduced by 1.5 to 2 percent from 2017 to 2024 as workers will choose to provide less labor due to new taxes, other incentives and financial benefits.
Republican lawmakers who have long hailed the bill as a job-destroyer were quick to respond. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) claimed, “The middle class is getting squeezed in this economy, and this CBO report confirms that Obamacare is making it worse.” Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) reacted by calling Obamacare “a direct threat to the long-term health and prosperity of our nation.”
Taking the opposite view of the CBO report was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) who said, “…people shouldn’t have job lock. We live in a country where there should be free agency. People can do what they want. Republicans talk about losing millions of jobs simply isn’t true. It allows people to get out of a job they’re locked into, because they have healthcare in their job.”
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney also took time to rebut the CBO’s findings, stating “Americans will no longer be trapped in a job to provide coverage for their families, and would have the opportunity to pursue their dreams.”
The American dream has traditionally been thought of as how hard word, determination and courage can lead to prosperity. Unfortunately, Obamacare is turning everything into a nightmare. Rather than working hard, millions of Americans will be working less; instead of moving forward to prosperity, they will be standing still in order to remain qualified for either Medicaid or healthcare subsidies. Since there will be fewer jobs, there will be less prosperity. In regard to Sen. Reid’s “free agency” comment and being able to move from one job to another, portability of healthcare is the answer to that issue, not Obamacare.
The nightmare of Obamacare’s employer mandate is already discouraging hiring and reducing wages offered by employers. The laws $1 trillion in tax increases and $2 trillion in subsidies for low-income individuals will depress economic growth and discourage many from remaining in the labor force. More than five million Americans waking up in the middle of the night worried about their health and their finances after they receivedcancellation notices for healthcare plans they liked and could afford, and were instead forced to purchase more costly plans that include higher deductibles and premiums that complied with ACA regulations and mandatory benefit packages.
Workforce participation is at its lowest level since 1977 at 62.8 percent, and almost four million people out of work for more than six months. The combination of Obamacare and dismal economic growth is pushing America into becoming a nation of dependence, as there are fewer people with jobs in the U.S. today than six years ago, working-age people now make up the majority of U.S. households that rely on food stamps, and 13 million more Americans are in poverty than when President Obama took office.
Obamacare will not only accelerate a decline in workforce participation, it will force fewer and fewer taxpayers to support a greater number of government beneficiaries. The law is already making it more difficult for employers to invest in new workers, hurting take home pay for middle class families and driving budget deficits and the national debt even further into the red. Obamacare is unaffordable, discourages hard and honest work, robs individual Americans of the ability to control their own healthcare decisions, and creates a nation of dependency.