Why is the White House cheering disincentives to work?

posted at 11:01 am on February 6, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

The short answer to the headline question is that they don’t have much choice. After years of promising to bend cost curves downward, provide no disruption to existing insurance plans or provider networks, and laughably insisting that ObamaCare would create four million new jobs almost immediately, the latest CBO report on the central “achievement” of Barack Obama and the Democrats leaves them with no fig leaf left to use. The work force will decline by 2.5 million full-time-equivalents, heavily on the lower-income side of the scale, and all of a sudden Democrats have gone from promising massive job expansion to an end to “job lock.” What else can they possibly argue, except that suddenly fewer jobs are great for the economy?

Of course, this is a disaster for upward mobility, which Paul Ryan explained when CBO Director Doug Elmendorf testified that of course subsidies provide a disincentive to work:

He declared, “[B]y providing heavily subsidized health insurance to people with very low income and then withdrawing those subsidies as income rises, the act creates a disincentive for people to work—relative to what would have been the case in the absence of that act.”

Elmendorf, a Democrat, tried to claim that these people who would “have less of an incentive to work” would be “better off,” but Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan was having none of it.

Ryan replied, “I guess I understand the ‘better off’ in the context of health care. But better off in inducing the person not to work who’s on the low-income scale, not to get on the ladder of life, to begin working, getting the dignity of work, getting more opportunities, [raising] their income, joining the middle class, this means fewer people will do that. That’s why I am troubled by this.”

That’s not the only troubling aspect, either. In my column for The Fiscal Times, I point out that no matter how the economy manages to shed 2.5 million FTEs from what would have otherwise existed — layoffs, voluntary unemployment, or curtailed investment, and likely a combination of all these — the fact remains that tens of billions of dollars will come out of what the economy would otherwise have produced. And that has some big implications for economic growth and tax revenue, too:

A reduction of 2.5 million FTEs from Obamacare would result in a reduction of $80.5 billion each year in gross compensation, even at the low-income average of $35,000 a year. That means less economic activity, and lower tax revenues, thanks to the decrease in income that the loss of 2.5 million FTEs entail — no matter how they disappear.

Besides, if the argument in favor of cheering subsidized disincentives to work is to be offered, then we should know how those subsidies work and who benefits. The Obama administration has insisted that the Obamacare subsidy structure benefits middle and working-class families that most often feel the squeeze from government programs. Anew study from the liberal Brookings Institute contradicts that claim. Instead, as the study shows, the redistribution comes from all but the bottom quartile of earners.

“On net and under the broadest income measure, the gains and losses cause small proportional drops in income for Americans in the top three-quarters of the income distribution which offset the larger proportional gains obtained by Americans in the bottom quarter of the distribution,” write Henry J. Aaron and Gary Burtless, and that is under a broader definition of income than the Census Bureau uses.

When the study breaks down the distribution by tenths rather than quarters of the population, only the bottom 20 percent will see a net gain in income. In fact, the two steepest drops in average income come from the third and fourth tenths from the bottom, 0.9 percent and 1.1 percent respectively. The top tenth will only see a reduction of 0.3 percent in average income.

You can do this calculation at whatever average income level you want to assign a FTE, which the CBO avoids doing in its report. Even if it’s $25,000 a year — half of the average household income in the US — that comes to $62.5 billion that will not be in the economy annually by the end of the period. That means lower tax revenues at the same time we’re paying more and more subsidies for people not to produce.

The White House’s “Yay, disincentives!” message isn’t playing terribly well. The Chicago Tribune calls this disincentive process “not healthy for the nation”:

It does mean many workers will have less incentive to work. Some will gain welcome flexibility — if they have clung to jobs just to keep employer-based health care, they will have access to coverage that’s not conditioned on holding a job.

But, and here’s where the impact is likely pernicious, some will quit or work less precisely because they’ll now qualify for Medicaid or for subsidies under the law. In effect, they’ll have a government incentive to be less productive. Some higher-income workers also will have a disincentive — higher taxes under Obamacare — for providing more labor. That is, a disincentive to work.

Government subsidies that persuade people to be less productive are not healthy for the nation. They’re also costly. Which goes to the more alarming news that came out of the CBO this week.

The CBO — as close as you’ll get in Washington to a nonpartisan source of information — released its federal budget projections for the next 10 years. The prospect is bleak:

The agency projects that annual deficits will stabilize through 2017 but then will launch into a long rise. By the most useful measure — debt as a percentage of our gross domestic product — the CBO sees that number rising from 72.1 percent in 2013 to 79.2 percent by 2024. That would be the highest U.S. debt burden since the years after federal borrowing spiked to fight World War II.

The Obama administration has counted on impossibly rosy projections of future economic growth to get us out of the deficit hole. But when asked about that possible growth in the face of these disincentives, the White House’s Jason Furman had trouble squaring the two:

But when reporters asked Obama’s top economic adviser, Jason Furman, about this ill effect, he repeatedly dodged the question. Here’s a typical exchange:

Reporter: “If 2.5 million people change their choice about working, that is not a net drag on economic growth?”

Furman: “First of all, I haven’t accepted the number. There’s a lot of factors that go into that number, not all of them an uncertainty. And second of all, I’m saying that that whole analysis refutes the claim that this is about employers cutting back on jobs and increasing unemployment, and that has been a central argument against the Affordable Care Act. Instead, this analysis itself — which isn’t a complete analysis — but this analysis itself is about the choices that people make and the new options that they have.”

Reporter: “But you didn’t answer my question.”

Furman: “I could repeat that if that would help.”

National Economic Council chair and Obama adviser Gene Sperling also tried disputing the CBO figures. Dana Milbank explained earlier this week why that won’t fly, citing the many times the White House used CBO scoring on the more ambiguous legislation to justify it:

Live by the sword, die by the sword, the Bible tells us. In Washington, it’s slightly different: Live by the CBO, die by the CBO. …

Gene Sperling, Obama’s top economic-policy adviser, walked to the White House lawn and told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he rejected the finding. “When you have two parents and they’re both working full time to provide health care and they don’t feel they’re there to do homework with their kids and this allows one of [them] to work a little less because they have health care, that’s not costing jobs,”Sperling argued.

Sounds nice, except the CBO said its more pessimistic workforce view had been shaped by recent studies, “in particular” those looking at “expansions or contractions in Medicaid eligibility for childless adults.” In general, the CBO explained, phasing out subsidies to buy health insurance when income rises “effectively raises people’s marginal tax rates . . . thus discouraging work.” …

Obamacare has been undermined by the very entity they had used to validate it.

As I said, they have no fig leaf left. But they still have plenty of chutzpah. Yay, stagnation! may well be their next rallying cry.


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libfree explained it to us the other day:

Since corporations are refusing to guarantee everyone a middle-class lifestyle then people will need to be forced onto the government plantation to “enjoy” the “middle-class lifestyle”.

gwelf on February 6, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Work is for suckers (and illegals)

kooly on February 6, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Pathetic.

Half of the working public pays attention, a quarter of the time. This explains where we are.

Lake Claytor on February 6, 2014 at 11:05 AM

You really have to ask?

kcewa on February 6, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Bob Beckel, bless his heart, was trying to defend disincentives on The Five last night. The squirrel in a hailstorm stupidity was painful to watch.

Happy Nomad on February 6, 2014 at 11:09 AM

The work force will decline by 2.5 million full-time-equivalents, heavily on the lower-income side of the scale, and all of a sudden Democrats have gone from promising massive job expansion to an end to “job lock.”

That’s right. Working is no longer the government approved way of lifting yourself out of poverty.

There are also a lot of other entitlements and subsidies which in totality create massive incentives not to work and not to improve your income.

Many of these subsidies and entitlements are keyed to the same income levels/steps so if you get a better paying job you have big incentives NOT to take it because you’d lose tens of thousands of dollars in “entitlements”.

gwelf on February 6, 2014 at 11:10 AM

I can already see the DNC bumper stickers. “Embrace the mediocrity!”

dAnconia_Copper on February 6, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Language is always changing. “Choice” is a word that now means both abortion and unemployed.

ShadrachSmith on February 6, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Johnson’s war on poverty was one of the first federal efforts to dis-incentivize work. Obamacare won’t be the last.

Devereaux on February 6, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Duh. What else is new. More of the same.

pmpnak74 on February 6, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Because it makes O’Barky and Moochelle seem less lazy?

viking01 on February 6, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Poor people being paid not to work?

So it turns out that liberalism does trap people in inter-generational poverty.

gwelf on February 6, 2014 at 11:11 AM

These Obamacrats sure believe their own bullshit, dont they ?

Swedish Patriot on February 6, 2014 at 11:12 AM

For this administration, nothing is too outrageous to say. They should know, they’ve stretched the limit just a little more each time and come out intact all the way.

that guy on February 6, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Why is the White House cheering disincentives to work?

Same reason North Koreans cheer Kim?

/as a leader, Obama’s teh awesome

Paul-Cincy on February 6, 2014 at 11:13 AM

Job locked?
How about locking the working class out of the middle class.

gwelf on February 6, 2014 at 11:14 AM

“We dont need you to work. We need you to vote.”

Jeddite on February 6, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Why is the White House cheering disincentives to work?

…because Nazi Pelosi says it spurs the economy?

JugEarsButtHurt on February 6, 2014 at 11:15 AM

But they still have plenty of chutzpah.

And somewhere, George Orwell is laughing his ass off!

GarandFan on February 6, 2014 at 11:15 AM

What’s scary is we have three more years of this crap Administration, and potentially another four with another leftist hag named Killary.

The country I was born in is over.

Tremodoc on February 6, 2014 at 11:16 AM

What’s the republican alternative to healthcare?

what will they do with the 3 million people on Obamacare and over 6 million or so who have signed up for other related medical programs.

Obamacare is here to stay.

liberalrules on February 6, 2014 at 11:16 AM

I’m really not interested in hearing self serving platitudes from Paul Ryan, when he has zero intention of actually doing something to help fix the problem. And to the extent that he will pretend to attempt to “fix” the problem, he will only make it worse.

besser tot als rot on February 6, 2014 at 11:18 AM

And what, pray tell, took the CBO this many years to discover the negative employment effects of Obamacare? The CBO should be dragged in front of Congress to explain this previously-unforeseen catastrophe. /s

EV on February 6, 2014 at 11:19 AM

People losing private employment and becoming dependent on the federal government is not a bug, but the central feature of Obamacare.

rbj on February 6, 2014 at 11:21 AM

What’s the republican alternative to healthcare?

what will they do with the 3 million people on Obamacare and over 6 million or so who have signed up for other related medical programs.

Obamacare is here to stay.

liberalrules on February 6, 2014 at 11:16 AM

The GOP has offered many plans over the years to address healthcare issues.

The CBO report also says that ObamaCare is a complete bust in it’s supposed purpose – insuring the uninsured.

It’s also made healthcare insurance and healthcare costs rise for most people. While also restricting the pool of doctors available to them.

ObamaCare is collapsing and it’s taking the health insurance industry with it (health insurance bailouts are in the pipeline).

If ObamaCare is not repealed it is causing so much disruption and chaos and anger that it will be eventually be significantly changed.

Hopefully this will teach more Americans that the federal government is incapable of regulating 1/6 of the US economy.

gwelf on February 6, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Remember Comrades: Freedom is slavery, Ignorance is strength and disincentives are incentives.

Comrade Sterpin on February 6, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Having the Red Army take Berlin was the plan all along too, it offered the chance to rebuild the place with modern materials.

Bishop on February 6, 2014 at 11:22 AM

This is the twilight zone.

PrettyMooch on February 6, 2014 at 11:22 AM

gwelf on February 6, 2014 at 11:21 AM

If you think repealing a program which has over 9 million people will not cause a major backlash you my friend are in a different universe.

liberalrules on February 6, 2014 at 11:22 AM

What’s the republican alternative to healthcare?

what will they do with the 3 million people on Obamacare and over 6 million or so who have signed up for other related medical programs.

Obamacare is here to stay.

liberalrules on February 6, 2014 at 11:16 AM

One more point. ObamaCare has shuffled a lot of people on to Medicaid which is a horrible program. Studies have shown that Medicaid does nothing to impact health outcomes.

gwelf on February 6, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Having the Red Army take Berlin was the plan all along too, it offered the chance to rebuild the place with modern materials.

Bishop on February 6, 2014 at 11:22 AM

You are correct Comrade, is USSR version of Urban renewal!

Comrade Sterpin on February 6, 2014 at 11:24 AM

What’s the republican alternative to healthcare?

Open up the state borders, for one.

what will they do with the 3 million people on Obamacare and over 6 million or so who have signed up for other related medical programs.

Figure out how to pay for them now that their original plan has vaporized.

Obamacare is here to stay.

liberalrules on February 6, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Sadly you are probably correct. You can commiserate in the clinic line with others while you wait 6 hours for someone to help with your traumatic amputation.

Bishop on February 6, 2014 at 11:25 AM

So if the Obama is against “job lock” I guess we can expect to see an Executive Order imposing Term Limits on congress. Can’t wait.

kcewa on February 6, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Every day it seems we take a step closer to the Soviet system.

Feeding bread to pigs because bread is subsidized so it is cheaper than wheat.

“We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us.”

Mordaukar on February 6, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Years ago, the average American had some personal experience with self-reliance. That’s much less common today. 100 years ago, my farming grandfather (and his neighbors) had no money, so they traded livestock, or grain, or lumber, or work with each other. In his case, he traded chicken eggs and turkeys for hay. They didn’t know anything about free lunches. They learned about that later, from FDR.

RBMN on February 6, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Only by not working can country get to work.

Not knowing is to have supreme knowledge.

And having no choice it to have the most choices.

Comrade Sterpin on February 6, 2014 at 11:27 AM

If you think repealing a program which has over 9 million people will not cause a major backlash you my friend are in a different universe.

liberalrules on February 6, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Oh, so hundreds of millions of other people need to pay higher costs, lose their doctors, and lose their jobs or have their hours reduced?

And many of those 9 million people signed up because they had to because ObamaCare destroyed their old plan they liked which was also cheaper.

And premiums will be going up for most of these people next year because the insurance companies are getting the risk pools they need to pay for this.

gwelf on February 6, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Why is the WH cheering? James Pethokoukis of AEI nails it exactly this morning… Does Obamacare exchange an opportunity ladder for a poverty trap?

The answer is yes.

It’s simple: Climbing the opportunity ladder into the middle class or higher requires a job. And there’s your trouble with the Affordable Care Act. It slaps working class and low-income families with a big tax increase if they try and climb that ladder. Higher incomes are offset by lower insurance subsidies from government. As a result of steep effective marginal tax rates, some people will work fewer hours. Other will quit the job market completely.

Obamacare supporters call that a feature not a bug.

But even the best-intended, smartly-devised plans often have unintended and harmful consequences. Here is one trade-off, one reality that President Obama doesn’t want to talk about. Keith Hennessey offers the example of a working-class family of four whose sole wage earner makes $35,000 a year and doesn’t get health insurance through a job. The other spouse wants to take a $12,000 part-time job to raise the family’s income. But doing that would reduce Obamacare’s subsidy and raise the family’s effective federal tax rate to 50% from 37%. Yes, the Obamacare subsidies help the family afford health insurance. But there is the trade-off:

Do the benefits of the premium subsidy to this family outweigh the costs of trapping this family at this income level by killing the financial benefit they receive from more work, education, training, or other professional advancement? … Nobody wants to trap people and discourage further economic advancement, even if they do so by helping that family with generous subsidies.

For that fictional family – and maybe thousands or hundreds of thousands real-life counterparts – Obamacare pulls up the opportunity ladder and leaves them mired in a kind of poverty trap.

What Pethokoukis calls the ‘poverty trap’ is what I call the ‘cycle of dependency’ in which are trapped the majority of the Democrat electoral base. It dates back to LBJ and his Great Society / War on Poverty that had a far greater target of locking in the poor / working class into voting for Democrats in order to keep getting more and more ‘free stuff’ from the government (expanding the power and control of the government) than in trying to minimize the challenges of upward mobility and equal opportunities.

This is little more than just the latest example that confirms that Obamacare is little more than a scam, a criminal fraud, being perpetrated on us. This latest example supports that the ACA was not really intended to fix the healthcare challenges we faced – but all about seizing and expanding government power. The trap is growing in size and scope – and all of that is an intended consequence.

Athos on February 6, 2014 at 11:27 AM

What’s the republican alternative to healthcare?

what will they do with the 3 million people on Obamacare and over 6 million or so who have signed up for other related medical programs.

Obamacare is here to stay.

liberalrules on February 6, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Alternative to healthcare? What we have now is a decided lack of healthcare and an overabundance of worthless “insurance.”

In any event, by design, Obamacare has thrown those millions of people out of their good plans and onto the vastly inferior Obamacare plans. Obama obviously had to lie about the fact because nobody, not even lemming Democrats, would have thought that was a good idea. But, you are right, the old plans are gone and we cannot go back to them. An alternative system is required. And you are further correct in that the Republicans are too stupid to come up with something else – besides which, they actually like the power that Obamacare gives them over the plebes.

besser tot als rot on February 6, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Liberals: Wages have been stagnant!
Conservatives: Its the free market, why should employers pay more when they know they don’t have to with this many people seeking employment.
Liberals: Obamacare reduces job demand, which will incentivize employers to raise wages to attract workers.
Conservatives: NOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Liberals: Why?
Conservatives: I….don’t know exactly. I think its because I kind of like when wages are stagnant.
Liberals: Even though most people, and most conservatives and their families are employees and rely upon wages to make a living?
Conservatives: Yeah…weird huh?

libfreeordie on February 6, 2014 at 11:28 AM

The logical extension of the WH argument is that the government should guarantee everyone enough money to live on so they can make “lifestyle choices.”

The problem is that even those of us who enjoy our work wouldn’t do it if we had no financial incentive — and for many people, that’s the only reason.

bobs1196 on February 6, 2014 at 11:28 AM

If you think repealing a program which has over 9 million people will not cause a major backlash you my friend are in a different universe.

liberalrules on February 6, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Could you tell us how many of those folks have paid their bill? Oh, and could you tells us how many people have lost their insurance and their jobs because of Obamacare so far? You seems to know the numbers. I was hoping someone like you would show up with all of the facts and figures.

Please break all of those paid enrollments down by state. And by Medicaid / Obamacare.

Glad you can inform us of those numbers. I thought the administration was hiding this stuff, but they apparently gave you the numbers.

oldroy on February 6, 2014 at 11:29 AM

REJOICE! YOU HAVE BEEN LIBERATED!

Comrades! The right-wing enemies of the People will tell you about the hundreds of thousands that are destined to lose their jobs per year under the ACA. They are wrong, as usual! The current truth is, this is not a tragedy but a liberation!

The ACA, erroneously known as Obamacare, but recognized by the Party as the Affordable Communism Act, is only a tool – a weapon, if you will – a fiery sword in the mighty hands of the Red Army warrior who has come to liberate you from the shackles of capitalist employment!

Comrade Sterpin on February 6, 2014 at 11:30 AM

The republicans are not stupid. They want this.

PrettyMooch on February 6, 2014 at 11:30 AM

If you work you are independent of government, and thus, The Regime.

ConstantineXI on February 6, 2014 at 11:30 AM

libfreeordie on February 6, 2014 at 11:28 AM

You going to provide some facts and figure or are you just going to blather on until you run away crying, throwing KKK accusations as you leave?

oldroy on February 6, 2014 at 11:31 AM

If you think repealing a program which has over 9 million people will not cause a major backlash you my friend are in a different universe.

liberalrules on February 6, 2014 at 11:22 AM

If you think imposing a lousy program on a nation of 300M people will work you are in a state of denial my friend.

kcewa on February 6, 2014 at 11:31 AM

When you understand the left and you understand where Obama and his Regime is coming from it becomes very clear.

They are cheering disincentives because their goal is to get as many people dependent on the Federal Government as they possibly can. It’s same goal behind nearly everything they do.

The more dependency on Government, the more funding they require, and ultimately the larger and more intrusive they can grow the machine.

Left_is_Wrong on February 6, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Athos on February 6, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Good to see that Jimmy P hasn’t gone completely brain dead. I was beginning to worry.

besser tot als rot on February 6, 2014 at 11:32 AM

What’s the republican alternative to healthcare?

liberalrules on February 6, 2014 at 11:16 AM

ObamaCare is a law that deals with heath insurance. Surely you must be aware that a person could have health insurance but not have any health care. They are two very different things.

ObamaCare =/= “healthcare” no matter how many times you or your Cult Leaders say it does.

Carry on…

visions on February 6, 2014 at 11:33 AM

The ACA, erroneously known as Obamacare, but recognized by the Party as the Affordable Communism Act, is only a tool – a weapon, if you will – a fiery sword in the mighty hands of the Red Army warrior who has come to liberate you from the shackles of capitalist employment!

Comrade Sterpin on February 6, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Where do I get my subsidized vodka so I can join the party?

kcewa on February 6, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Oh, so hundreds of millions of other people need to pay higher costs, lose their doctors, and lose their jobs or have their hours reduced?

And many of those 9 million people signed up because they had to because ObamaCare destroyed their old plan they liked which was also cheaper.

And premiums will be going up for most of these people next year because the insurance companies are getting the risk pools they need to pay for this.

gwelf on February 6, 2014 at 11:27 AM

If you are going to propose gutting a program which 9 million Americans use you better come with a better alternative.

I have noticed everytime Republican congress men talk about their plans, they are very silent on the actual SPECIFICS…

liberalrules on February 6, 2014 at 11:34 AM

All of you need to work harder. Millions of people on welfare are counting on you!

Megyn Kellys Lipstick on February 6, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Obamacare is here to stay.

liberalrules on February 6, 2014 at 11:16 AM

At least until the financial collapse of the country, which it will hasten.
We are dead men walking at this point.
Not a very happy attitude, I realize, however, it is what it is.

justltl on February 6, 2014 at 11:34 AM

“You’re shoveling me a load of crud!” — Citizen

“We’re aiding the fertilization process.” — Avg Lib

1ezokie on February 6, 2014 at 11:35 AM

libfreeordie on February 6, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Busy work day? Need something to rile you up for all of that heavy thinking you need to do to repeat a class you’ve taught before? Does your University have a bonus program where you can spend your work time online?

oldroy on February 6, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Liberals: Wages have been stagnant!
Conservatives: Its the free market, why should employers pay more when they know they don’t have to with this many people seeking employment.
Liberals: Obamacare reduces job demand, which will incentivize employers to raise wages to attract workers.
Conservatives: NOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Liberals: Why?
Conservatives: I….don’t know exactly. I think its because I kind of like when wages are stagnant.
Liberals: Even though most people, and most conservatives and their families are employees and rely upon wages to make a living?
Conservatives: Yeah…weird huh?

libfreeordie on February 6, 2014 at 11:28 AM

It’s not too surprising that the Conservative voice in your head doesn’t actually resemble a real conservative in the real world.

And in case you didn’t notice the people who are going to be incentivized to leave the work force are mostly poor – people who are going to have a very very tough time negotiating for higher wages because they are unskilled. What they need are jobs that are stepping stones. But the disincentives in the way the entitlement system is structured insures that they would have to be irrational to try.

So what you’re really arguing is:

libfree explained it to us the other day:

Since corporations are refusing to guarantee everyone a middle-class lifestyle then people will need to be forced onto the government plantation to “enjoy” the “middle-class lifestyle”.

gwelf on February 6, 2014 at 11:05 AM

gwelf on February 6, 2014 at 11:36 AM

libfreeordie on February 6, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Thank you for a glimpse into the illogical inner workings of the leftist mind.

besser tot als rot on February 6, 2014 at 11:36 AM

libfreeordie on February 6, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Libfree: Conservatives hate Bark because he’s black.

Joe Biden: Dog Eater is the first clean and articulate black guy to run for Preznit.

Libfree:

Libfree:

Libfree:

Bishop on February 6, 2014 at 11:36 AM

what will they do with the 3 million people on Obamacare and over 6 million or so who have signed up for other related medical programs.

Obamacare is here to stay.

liberalrules on February 6, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Are you illiterate or do you simply not read? The news is full of stories about individuals who signed up for Obamacare only to find that the scam does not help them in the least. They’ve lost their network of providers for their particular medical issues, they’re paying more, and these are the “lucky ones” who were able to get past a crappy website!

So tell us, snowflake, how is Obamacare helping those 3 million people. And, of course, any of the reasonable solutions put forth by Republicans are immediately demagogued by Democrats who are too heavily invested in Obamacare to admit that it is a much a pathetic failure as the rat-eared coward it is named after.

Happy Nomad on February 6, 2014 at 11:37 AM

If you are going to propose gutting a program which 9 million Americans use you better come with a better alternative.

I have noticed everytime Republican congress men talk about their plans, they are very silent on the actual SPECIFICS…

liberalrules on February 6, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Gutting a program that has force 9 million people into inferior and more expensive plans?

And you’re being disingenuous – there are lots of GOP plans with lots of specifics. They’ve even been put out there in the form of bills.

But even returning to the system we had before ObamaCare would be a vast improvement.

You’re also making the presumption that a centrally managed federal program is necessary or even effective. You’re wrong. A federal health care program will never work. The ones we already do have are either horrible at meeting their goals or are bankrupting our nation. Or both. A market is the best place for these sorts of things to be worked out.

gwelf on February 6, 2014 at 11:39 AM

I have noticed everytime Republican congress men talk about their plans, they are very silent on the actual SPECIFICS…

liberalrules on February 6, 2014 at 11:34 AM

I’ve noticed that every time the administration talks about Obamacare, they are very silent on specifics. Got some numbers of paid enrollments? Maybe in Oregon or California for starters? How a about Maryland? Anywhere?

Just because you say there are no specifics doesn’t make it true. If you can’t read anything but ABC/CBS/Huffpo how in the world do you think you would ever run into specifics from a conservative viewpoint?

Bury your head in the liberal sand and then complain about lacking info from someone else’s viewpoint?

oldroy on February 6, 2014 at 11:40 AM

If you are going to propose gutting a program which 9 million Americans use you better come with a better alternative.

I have noticed everytime Republican congress men talk about their plans, they are very silent on the actual SPECIFICS…

liberalrules on February 6, 2014 at 11:34 AM

You said 6 million signed up for MediScare, who’s talked about gutting that program?

How about this: The GOP will craft a plan and then pass it, once it’s passed you can find out what’s in it. Good idea, yeah?

Bishop on February 6, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Um, instead of posting comments on HotAir, shouldn’t we be getting back to work so we can pay taxes that pay for people to pursue their dreams of watching TV all day in their skivvies?

SteveJ on February 6, 2014 at 11:40 AM

If you are going to propose gutting a program which 9 million Americans use you better come with a better alternative.

liberalrules on February 6, 2014 at 11:34 AM

No need to gut Obamacare when insurers need bailouts and the doctor shortage due to Medicaid becomes ten-fold.

sentinelrules on February 6, 2014 at 11:40 AM

If you think repealing a program which has over 9 million people will not cause a major backlash you my friend are in a different universe.

liberalrules on February 6, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Only 11% of ObamaCare signups previously uninsured?

Lost in Jersey on February 6, 2014 at 11:41 AM

If you like your job …

Alphabaker on February 6, 2014 at 11:41 AM

3 legs good.

4 legs bad.

Shy Guy on February 6, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Well, the simple answer is that to Obama and his groupies, “work” is the filthiest four letter word in the English language.

Besides, how many of those newly-minted slackers will now be free to find their inner Cowboy Poet? According to Hairy Screed, there aren’t enough of those around, and they really add a lot to our nation’s economy and general well-being.

WINNING!!!! /

ZeusGoose on February 6, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Remove the fig leafs.

jake49 on February 6, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Yesterday on van Susteren’s show, Elise Viebeck repeated the specious liberal argument: since all safety net programs disincentivize work, it’s not a surprise that and shouldn’t count as a defect of Robertobamacare that it disincentivizes work. She did not offer the corollary that it gave people a “choice,” but that argument is just as bad.

Like most liberal arguments, these trade on distortion and a shallow understanding of context.

(1) Would anyone take liberals seriously if they said long term unemployment benefits are a good thing…because they give people the option not to work? Because they gave people a choice?

(2) Never before have we trumpted the work disincentives as a good thing in safety net programs. Indeed the welfare reform — that this White House has gutted — was precisely put in place in the mid-90s to remove such disincentives while still providing a safety net. Yet this administration sees disincentivizing work and choosing not to work as its version of the American dream.

(3) When Medicaid, food stamps, and others were put in place, we did not have 1 in 5 people on food stamps, we did not have 91 million Americans not working, the labor participation rate was not precipitously dropping as it hadn’t in decades, and we weren’t arguing about whether to extend 99 weeks of unemployment benefits for a minimum of 12 more weeks…and we didn’t have millions, perhaps tens of millions of Americans losing their health insurance so these “special few” could choose to work less! Yet this is the context of this new program. Unfortunately Republicans so far have not bothered to provide the context.

(4) Liberals do not bother to mention that we did not put safety net programs into place to disincentivize work. Yet that is what this Pelosi-through-the-looking-glass-”follow your dream” argument suggests — Robertobamacare allows you to follow your dreams! By not working! So others can pay for your dream! Would it do any good to tell liberals that safety net programs are not put in place so special few can follow their dreams? At someone else’s expense?

(also appears here)

EastofEden on February 6, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Remove the fig leafs.

jake49 on February 6, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Yes exactly. Tomorrow is Friday Feb 7. It’s time to know what the real paid enrollments are by state, and by medicaid vs. obamacare.

oldroy on February 6, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Holy crap look at all the new names.

I feel like it’s my first day at a new school.

gophergirl on February 6, 2014 at 11:44 AM

If you are going to propose gutting a program which 9 million Americans use you better come with a better alternative.
I have noticed everytime Republican congress men talk about their plans, they are very silent on the actual SPECIFICS…
liberalrules on February 6, 2014 at 11:34 AM

“We have to pass it to find out exactly what is in it” – brain damaged lunatic Botox zombie Nanci Pelosi

PrettyMooch on February 6, 2014 at 11:44 AM

All government programs like this are a disincentive to work. If we were to take away SS tomorrow, the elderly would have I scramble into the workforce in large numbers. The problem with OCare is not that it gives people an incentive to not work, it is that it gives able bodied (potentially productive) people an incentive to not work.

Programs that help people that are incapable of being productive are noble. Programs that incentivize potentially productive people to not work are immoral and destructive.

See SS disability increasing to record levels while worker injuries are at historic lows.

airupthere on February 6, 2014 at 11:45 AM

Job lock.

Isn’t that what used to be referred to as Job security?

Democratic Newspeak is growing faster than I can keep up.

Suthenboy on February 6, 2014 at 11:45 AM

Liberals: Wages have been stagnant!
Conservatives: Its the free market, why should employers pay more when they know they don’t have to with this many people seeking employment.
Liberals: Obamacare reduces job demand, which will incentivize employers to raise wages to attract workers.
Conservatives: NOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Liberals: Why?
Conservatives: I….don’t know exactly. I think its because I kind of like when wages are stagnant.
Liberals: Even though most people, and most conservatives and their families are employees and rely upon wages to make a living?
Conservatives: Yeah…weird huh?

Conservative: Stupid liberal. If job demand is reduced, so is economic output, and demand for products and services. Therefore the people that are not working probably won’t be rehired because the reward is not there for the risk of hiring more workers.
Liberals: That’s wonderful! People are liberated from their jobs!
Conservatives: Ummmm. But that means they are liberated from an income.
Liberals: Silly consewrvatives. That’s what the government is for!

libfreeordie on February 6, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Fixed

NoFanofLibs on February 6, 2014 at 11:46 AM

(1) Would anyone take liberals seriously if they said long term unemployment benefits are a good thing…

“Economists agree that unemployment benefits remain one of the best ways to grow the economy!” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

You give liberals too much credit.

Megyn Kellys Lipstick on February 6, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Up is down, and down is up.

HiJack on February 6, 2014 at 11:48 AM

libfreeordie on February 6, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Wow, what a sad attempt to mimic the Socratic method. The only problem is that you set up a strawman for conservatives that simply doesn’t reflect reality. Not even close.

Liberals cheering for more people living in poverty and sucking from the government teat really is disgusting. You all should be helping build the middle class instead of seeking to destroy it so that a bunch of worthless parasites don’t have to work.

Happy Nomad on February 6, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Jobs where we are headed we don’t need no stinking jobs. Hey just look at all the choices we have now !

rbtsckdj on February 6, 2014 at 11:50 AM

I guess work only makes you free, when you work for the state.

Alphabaker on February 6, 2014 at 11:51 AM

I feel like it’s my first day at a new school.

gophergirl on February 6, 2014 at 11:44 AM

So write your name on the chalkboard and tell us a little about yourself. ;0

Happy Nomad on February 6, 2014 at 11:52 AM

If you’re not working you are dependent on the government. Why else would the White House be cheering for this?

Kritikal on February 6, 2014 at 11:52 AM

Reporter: “If 2.5 million people change their choice about working, that is not a net drag on economic growth?”

Furman: “First of all, I haven’t accepted the number.

I haven’t accepted that number either. CBO numbers always seem to favor erring on the side of best case scenarios.

lynncgb on February 6, 2014 at 11:52 AM

I guess work only makes you free, when you work for the state.

Alphabaker on February 6, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Brings a tear to my eye. I’m gonna get a sharpie and put that on one of my tee-shirts.

oldroy on February 6, 2014 at 11:52 AM

The administration’s thinking seems to be that, instead of a harsh system that requires individuals to pay their own way, they are offering more lifestyle choice: you can pay your own way, or pay some part of your way and have other people pay the rest, or you can pay nothing, and have other people foot the whole bill. Whichever best suits your needs and ambitions. They are “empowering” you. Their unspoken and undoubted assumption is that the money for these choices will always be there.

As so often these days, Frederic Bastiat’s old dictum comes to mind: “The state is that great fictitious entity by which everyone attempts to live at the expense of everyone else.”

SacredFire on February 6, 2014 at 11:53 AM

I feel like it’s my first day at a new school.
gophergirl on February 6, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Allow me to introduce myself. I am a huge Gopher fan.

airupthere on February 6, 2014 at 11:55 AM

I feel like it’s my first day at a new school.

gophergirl on February 6, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Yeah, the cafeteria is going to be mobbed.

lynncgb on February 6, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Megyn Kellys Lipstick on February 6, 2014 at 11:34 AM

The new nics are fantastic.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on February 6, 2014 at 11:56 AM

How about this: The GOP will craft a plan and then pass it, once it’s passed you can find out what’s in it. Good idea, yeah?

Bishop on February 6, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Does that come with the three years of lying our asses off about what it will do before actually implementing the thing- or is that a Dem specialty?

If you like your doctor…………. fail
If you like your network………… fail
You’ll be paying $2500 less……… fail
Young people are going to love it… fail
Easy to sign up!……………….. fail

Happy Nomad on February 6, 2014 at 12:02 PM

libfreeordie on February 6, 2014 at 11:28 AM

How many clue by fours do you need upside your head before you stop repeating the same fallacious ideological tripe?

Athos on February 6, 2014 at 12:02 PM

Obama has discovered a nifty shortcut to the old Soviet system.

They had to go through the ‘we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us’ phase.

We don’t even bother with the pretending.

Obamacare was truly the ‘masks-off’ moment for the Left.

Art Vandelay on February 6, 2014 at 12:03 PM

liberalrules on February 6, 2014 at 11:22 AM

.
HA open registration.
Townhalls’ Obamacare.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on February 6, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Ironic, isn’t it? The Obama Administration keeps digging the hole it’s in.

happymullah on February 6, 2014 at 12:07 PM

libfreeordie on February 6, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Clue by Four

Athos on February 6, 2014 at 12:08 PM

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