Thursday, February 06, 2014

Claims that Obamacare reduces total workforce are ambiguous at best

Here is some fact checking by Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post, on p. A4, Thursday February 6, 2014, “Jobs and the health law: clearing up the confusion”, link here
The Congressional Budget Office estimated that some workers, perhaps 2.3 million by 2021, would drop full time jobs if they did not need them for health care.  But some of the shift comes from the fact that for some workers health care turns out to be (perhaps unintentionally) a lot more expensive, and if they make less money at work, they may qualify for subsidies.  In some cases, this could turn out to be perverse.
Americans for Prosperity (yes, a right wing group) has been running a television commercial about a woman with systemic lupus erythematosus, finding her old policy at $55 a month cancelled and the new one costing $350 a month, forcing a second job.  In her case, a pre-existing condition had not prevented her from getting reasonable coverage.  (Or it could have appeared after she took the coverage – and that’s the sort of situation that could catch some people on the cancellations.)
On another front, the GOP is gradually retreating on the idea of seeking “consideration” in its debt-ceiling negotiations.  Now it wants to restore some military pension benefits that had been cut.  Demands about the Keystone Pipeline and proposed repeal of many requirements of Obamacare seem to be off the table.  The debt ceiling sounds like an old record, but we still have to stay tuned on it.  

Update: Feb 9

Most media sources report Secretary of Treasury Lew as giving February 27, 2014 as the date when the federal government's "extraordinary measures" will run out.  

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