White House: When you think about it, 2.5 million fewer people working because of ObamaCare is good news

I’m done, guys. If we’ve reached the stage of welfare-state decadence where it’s a selling point for a new entitlement that it discourages able-bodied people from working, there’s no reason to keep going. We’ve lost, decisively.

As a great man once said, remember me as I am — filled with murderous rage.

In a statement and conference call featuring top administration officials, the White House tried to beat back an emerging narrative that the CBO report supported claims made by health care reform critics. The CBO report says the Affordable Care Act could lead to a reduction of 2 million full-time workers between 2017 and 2024. The CBO says the reduction would not come via fewer available full-time jobs (as critics of the law have alleged) but “almost entirely from a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply.”…

“To put that in context, I have no doubt that if we eliminated Social Security and eliminated Medicare, there would be many 95-year-olds that would choose to work more hours than they’re working today just so they could survive, feed themselves and have health insurance,” the official said.

The CBO’s projected reduction in full-time workers, then, “shouldn’t be a significant cause for surprise and it reflects the fact that workers have a new set of options and are making the best choices that they can choose to make for themselves given those options,” the official said.

In other words, it’s not that employers will be offering 2.5 million fewer jobs. It’s that ObamaCare, by subsidizing low earners and expanding Medicaid for the very poor, will incentivize 2.5 million people not to work. Or, if you prefer:

Billions upon billions of dollars in economic productivity up in smoke as workers who’ve stuck with their jobs for the health insurance quit and take a subsidies check from Uncle Sam instead. To the White House, which otherwise bleats about “growth” at every opportunity, this is a feature of the law, not a bug. WaPo’s fact-checker even rushed out a piece this afternoon in defense of their position. The law’s not destroying 2.5 million jobs, says Glenn Kessler, it’s merely inviting 2.5 million employees to quit. How much does it matter to growth, though, if the labor force shrinks on the demand side versus the supply side? Will all, or most, of the vacated positions be filled by younger workers or will they evaporate as businesses downsize (or close down)? If giving people more “choice” in whether to be employed or not is now our cardinal social good, we might as well go for a guaranteed minimum income and clear out all the wage slaves. Let’s see how small we can get the labor force before the wheels come off the economy.

Don’t act surprised, either. Nancy told you this was coming. Look on the bright side: If fewer people working is a sign of economic success, the Obama presidency will be remembered as a golden age.

Jazz Shaw Aug 07, 2022 2:31 PM ET