The Affordable Care Act will lead to the equivalent of 2 million fewer jobs by 2024, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, but that does NOT mean Obamacare is causing more unemployment.
These are people leaving the job market. Why is that a bad thing?
Many of these are folks who will be retiring early because with the ACA they can now rely on themselves to get health coverage instead of being dependent on their employer.
Again, why is this a bad thing?
Yet Rush Limbaugh is leading the charge among Obamacare critics by saying the law is turning people into “wards of the state.”
“You take away the desire, necessity, to work, you're effectively dehumanizing people,” Limbaugh said on his radio program. “You are taking away from many people one of the primary sources of their confidence, self-identity, reason for being, particularly in men, but in more and more women now with feminism and so forth making its giant strides. It's just a tragic thing here that's happening, and it's turning more and more people into satisfied wards of the state.”
What does he mean? Are Social Security recipients wards of the state? This sounds a bt like Mitt Romney’s damaging remark about the 47 percent of the populace who are dependent on government.
Well, we’re all dependent on government in one fashion or another. It is what it is. The horse is out of the barn. You couldn’t turn the clock back if you wanted to.
But what’s going on here is very simple.
Previous to the ACA, people were dependent on their employers for health care, which in most cases they could only get by working fulltime. Everybody knows people who hold jobs solely because they need health insurance.
With ACA there are now choices. Many people are able to get their own health insurance at very low rates, especially if they qualify for the generous subsidies that are part of the law. As a result, many will opt to retire early or cut back to part-time status.
Retirements create job openings. The quicker older people leave the workforce the quicker opportunities will be created for younger people. Instead of a drag on productivity, energetic young people could stimulate economic output.
ACA foes quickly — and erroneously — seized on the CBO report as proof that Obamacare is a job killer. People can decide for themselves whether what is going on is a good or bad thing, but some of us feel that early retirement or cutting back on our hours is the door to our opportunity at this particular stage of our lives.
Limbaugh and his ilk can say that taking advantage of ACA subsidies or drawing Social Security benefits earlier rather than later makes people “wards of the state,” but the alternative, in some cases, is working in a virtual sweatshop. Limbaugh apparently thinks it’s a good thing to be stuck in a job you don’t want.
Money and careers are not the only things in life. There are other — some of us think finer — values in life: family, travel, fitness and volunteer activities, for instance.
What do you think?