CBO findings on how the health law will impact the workforce become partisan flashpoint

Published on February 7, 2014 at 3:52 AM · No Comments

During a House Budget Committee hearing, and also across the Capitol, and on social media and the airwaves, Democrats and Republicans sparred over the Congressional Budget Office report released this week.   

The Wall Street Journal: Lawmakers Spar Over CBO's U.S. Health-Law Findings
Republicans at a House Budget Committee hearing said the report, released Tuesday, shows the health law will drive people out of the work force. Democrats countered that the report shows the law will give workers flexibility to leave jobs they are locked into because of health-care benefits. The sparring came in response to a Congressional Budget Office analysis concluding that subsidies in the law, combined with easier access to health care, would create incentives for many Americans to cut their work hours, leading to a net reduction of 1.5% to 2% from 2017 through 2024 (Paletta, 2/5).

McClatchy: Obamacare: The Political Issue That Keeps On Giving
Republicans and Democrats on Wednesday engaged in a fierce brawl to define what the Affordable Care Act means to consumers – making it clear that Americans' qualms about the law will remain a volatile issue throughout the election year. Top officials from the two parties clashed in the House Budget Committee, on social media and in states with hot political races. They relentlessly attempted to put their own spin on a Tuesday report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which estimated that the law will cause people to voluntarily work less (Lightman, 2/5).

NBC News: Democrats Mount Affordable Care Act Counteroffensive
Democrats waged a counteroffensive Wednesday after the Congressional Budget Office found that the health care overhaul will reduce hours worked and cause a decline in the number of full-time-equivalent workers of about 2.5 million in 2024. At a House Budget Committee hearing where CBO director Douglas Elmendorf said the health insurance subsidies in the Affordable Care Act will create "a disincentive for people to work," Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the senior Democrat on the panel, defended the law. By providing insurance that's not tied to a job, it "allows Americans to choose to spend more time with their family or pursue their dreams. And that is not a bad thing; it is a good thing," he said (Curry, 2/6).

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