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Wednesday, February 5, 2014
CNS Columnist Misleads on CBO Obamacare Report

The Competitive Enterprise Institute's Hans Bader writes in a Feb. 4 column:

The new healthcare law will slow economic growth over the next decade, costing the nation about 2.3 million jobs and contributing to a $1 trillion increase in projected deficits, the Congressional Budget Office said in a report released Tuesday.

That's a misleading, if not outright false, description of that the CBO report says. In fact, the CBO stated that the decrease comes on the supply side, not the demand side, because Obamacare subsidies mean that some workers will choose not to work a job they normally would have just to keep health insurance:

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).

Further, while the CBO did increase projected deficits by $1 trillion over the next decade, it did not specifically single out Obamacare as a reason. To the contrary: the CBO is still projecting the Affordable Care Act will reduce the deficit.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:47 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 11:48 AM EST

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