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Another Obamacare Deception

Obamacare was supposed to be about providing health insurance to those who don’t have it. That’s how it was sold: Help people who can’t afford to go the doctor; who are stranded in emergency rooms.

But now we know that’s not all it’s about. In fact, the Affordable Care Act is about providing welfare – that is, payments from working people – to those who DO have health insurance too.

That’s what all the blather was about from White House economic advisors Tuesday as they tried to defend themselves against the revelation by the Congressional Budget Office that 2.5 million full time workers would choose to scale back hours or leave the labor force as a direct result of Obamacare.

That, the White House claims, is a good thing. A good thing! This absurd notion gets to the root of the thinking that goes on around the Obama White House.

According to Council of Economic Advisors Chairman Jason Furman:

The Affordable Care Act provides people with new options, and that people who today are doing a set of things because they don’t have options and choices will be able to do new things that they would not have otherwise chosen to do.

Chimed in White House Press Secretary Jay Carney:

This affords the opportunity for that individual to — and maybe that could be a job that is not very rewarding or may not pay that well, or may not be the best use of his or her talents, and may prevent the man or woman from spending time with young children.

So it’s not just about saving the uninsured. It’s about new options. New horizons. Self realization. A rewarding job! A more comfortable life. And seeing your kids

All of it subsidized by people working their asses off and saying goodbye to tearful children as they depart for another long day on the job.

Somewhere lurking in the mind of every Obama advisor, whether they know it or not, is the phrase, From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

What, Furman asks, could be wrong with stimulating self-actualization?

This is an extra choice people have. And that’s not making somebody worse off to give them an option they didn’t have before.

And this is what liberals don’t understand. By making someone dependent, which ushering them out of the workforce through federal subsidies BY DEFINITION achieves, you are ruining them and probably their offspring too.

But this gives them the time and space to become “entrepreneurs!” Furman exulted.

Really? Start businesses? With what? The workforce exit is largely to be accomplished by those at the low end of the income scale, according to CBO. Unless Furman has another subsidy up his sleeve for them, they don’t have the money to start businesses.

What’s happening here is that economic growth, so absent under Obama, will be further stamped out after he’s gone by the disappearance of some 2.5 million people from the workforce. Evidence that this new subsidized living hurts came with Furman’s refusal to say, under repeated questioning, whether it’s a drag on the economy:

I don’t think that’s the right way to think about that.  I think you want to think about that as what does that do for workers, what does that do for retirees, what does that do for people with disabilities, and what options does it give them.

Please! Ask a different question, stupid, is the sum of this response.

In classic spin mode, White House advisors suggested that CBO’s focus on people choosing not to work had finished off once and for all the supposed canard that businesses would reduce hours or hiring because of the requirement that companies of a certain size provide full time workers health insurance. “This, at its core, refutes the notion that businesses are not going to add jobs because of the Affordable Care Act,” said Furman.

That’s untrue. The report explicitly states the opposite. Demand for labor – that is, hiring – will decline in the near term. After that, employers will be able to recoup their losses mainly through paying their workers less.

States CBO:

Beginning in 2015, employers of 50 or more full-time- equivalent workers that do not offer health insurance (or that offer health insurance that does not meet certain criteria) will generally pay a penalty. That penalty will initially reduce employers’ demand for labor and thereby tend to lower employment.

Over time, CBO expects, the penalty will be borne primarily by workers in the form of reduced wages or other compensation, at which point the penalty will have little effect on labor demand but will reduce labor supply and will lower employment slightly through that channel.

Labor supply, of course, refers to the number of people who want a job.

So the great Obamacare deception continues.

This report, done by an agency the White House quotes all the time, highlights for all to see the unfortunate truism at the heart of the Obamacare sales job, and much other welfare as well: You don’t get sumthin’ for nuthin’.

That’s common sense. But please, don’t try to bring common sense into this. Ask a different question.

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46 Responses to Another Obamacare Deception

  1. We’ve got a local blithiot blogger where I live that just posted the exact opposite of your view Keith. Of course as he always does, this “Dwain Bwain” that I refer to parrots without fail every line the White House wants all good little liberal bloggers to parrot.
    It does amaze me just how lacking in common sense one must be able to find a positive to the economy from 2.5 million leaving the workforce to be subsidized by the poor slobs left working.
    I’d gladly link to this great piece on his site but I was banned long ago because I made him look bad in front of his 1/2 dozen or so regular commentators. Until liberals can give up their blind devotion to ideology and start accepting some basic facts they will continue to contribute to the very worsening of conditions they claim they want to fix.

        • The report actually says that people will choose to work less. But, these will be the lower-wage workers.

          CBO estimates that the ACA will reduce the total number of hours worked, on net, by about 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent during the period from 2017 to 2024, almost entirely because workers will choose to supply less labor—given the new taxes and other incentives they will face and the financial benefits some will receive.

  2. This Furman guy really got my tailfeathers in a swivet. His little half-smile like he was writing his way into a reeeelly hard essay question at Harvard and couldn’t get back out. Remember how he said–this is hypothetical? Yeah, it is, and even at that makes no sense. It would be funny if these people didn’t affect us.

  3. The cavalier attitude that most Dems have toward the real life misery of Americans who are suffering harm from this most awful law is dismaying.
    They just brush off any notion that someone might not want to work 29 hours a week, instead of 40 hours, and assume that not working is the ideal state of all citizens.

    The Dems blew up the best health care system possible to prove that they know best, that putting government in charge of everyone’s life is on the way to utopia, as they see it. Of course, the elected Dems who enacted and signed this monstrosity want no part of it.

    We’ve all asked….how can they sleep at night knowing that their neighbors are now suffering, can’t find a doctor to accept their insurance cards, lost their family doctor, and will find themselves avoiding medical care because they don’t have thousands of dollars to pay for the high deductibles? They step up to the cameras in their custom-made suits and pant-suits to lie through their teeth about the benefits this law gives everyone (except them, of course) and proclaim that the American dream is to be unemployed but subsidized by whoever is left to pay taxes.

    MrK is right; you can’t start a business without capital, a lot of capital. The days of setting up a business in your garage or in that old building down the street are gone, gone with a thousand different permits, regulations to be met, licensing, and attorney’s fees.
    A person could design the best widget the world has been waiting for, but they can’t market it without capital, so that avenue is out, too.

    • It’s difficult to believe that all of this incompetence and chaos is not deliberate. No one could be this wreckless. In hindsight, O’Reilly should have asked Obama the Trillion dollar question:
      Are you deliberately sabotaging the H/C system in order to go directly to Single Payer?
      If SP doesn’t occur during Obama’s reign, it will surely happen if Hillary is elected. HillaryCare was Single Payer, as I recall.

      • These people don’t have a clue–I have traded my camera for a month of after-school care, volunteered at a day care center so my kid could come with and play, did a summer newsletter with kids in exchange for summer camp, you scheme and plot to squoosh through. I had health insurance through some weird union for a couple of yrs–then they went out of business and I had been without for a year and didn’t know it–I had paid. Luckily nothing happened to us healthwise. When my kid turned 18, by the way, it was cheaper to get her her own policy than keep her on ours. This may not be the case now due to these brain trusts.

  4. Excellent rant Keith.
    This is the Cloward and Piven strategy in full force right in our faces.
    They are taking this Country to Her knees economically on purpose while telling us that She is OK.
    Congress is complicit in this endeavor, how else has it been allowed to continue for so long ?
    And damn the MSM.
    If congress is afraid of the media then they should be afraid of US.
    In perusing other conservative blogs, the people are fed up with the condition this Country has allowed itself to be driven to under this administration due to the onerous, overbearing dominance of this regime.
    LGBT, attacks on Christianity, the softening of the military, and the systematic increase of the welfare state.

    Can we overcome this attack on our Country ?
    I think we can, but it is going to take a concerted effort from all of us that want to restore the values that this Country was built upon.

  5. As a professional in the ” medical” world , this piece of legislation will provide most Americans with a major step backwards not just in their economic lives but also in their health……get ready, this is going to get real ugly.

  6. A must READ from today’s paper about how Obamacare is not helping those with Pre-conditions or those who want to go to a local hospital.

    According to Newsday (a liberal newspaper on Long Island), Stony Brook University Hospital (which is attached to the State University of Stony Brook) is refusing to accept the State Health Exchange.
    Interesting that a State University Hospital is refusing the State’s Exchanges.

    Stony Brook is fairly highly ranked in the state (20th) and it is also a teaching hospital.

    From the Newsday article:
    Ann Marie DiStefano, 57, of Middle Island, was told that she has a possible tonsil cancer that needs to be removed immediately. She said she was dismayed when she learned that the Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield plan she bought on the exchange was not taken at three hospitals near her, including Stony Brook.

    And if you think that Obamacare is helping those with pre-existing conditions then think again:
    Among patients who have appealed to Stony Brook are Raymond Wozny, 37, and his wife Kerry, 45, of Wading River. Kerry, due in April with their first child, had been under Stony Brook’s care for her high-risk pregnancy. When they found out Jan. 1 that Stony Brook didn’t take their Empire plan, the couple scrambled to find other doctors and a hospital that would take them. But, Wozny said, no one wanted to take on a high-risk pregnancy at six months.

    http://www.newsday.com/news/health/stony-brook-hospital-rejects-health-exchange-plans-1.6955635

    • A personal anecdote: I went for my annual mammogram today. I am 71, but my primary physician told me that women over 70 are not being recommended to have them routinely. She said that as my mother died of cancer (not breast cancer), she thought I should get them until I was 75. Now I have supplemental insurance, but I wonder if women with Medicare only cannot have them beyond 70.

      I told the technician this story and she said that the risk of breast cancer increases as you grow older. A 95 year old woman would be too much of a risk for a mastectomy, but I hardly think a 70 year old would be. I think the state would like us all to die off asap, but I plan on living for as long as I can. Living long is the best revenge.

  7. Does this also mean a permanent extension of unemployment benefits because how are these people’s other necessary expenses going to be covered, like housing, food, gasoline and automobile insurance, education, saving for retirement etc. Free health insurance, free welfare, free food stamps fo-evah!

    With all the problems Oregon has with Cover Oregon, our Sundance Kid governor is now calling for free community college for
    all to be picked up by the taxpayers. I was living in California when they were actually doing that, and look where it got them.

  8. Why are you guys reading this blog? Don’t you know you can get all the information you need by reading the Old York Times editorial page?
    Their editorial opinion yesterday was all you need to know about this subject. Now, move along…. stop trying to stir up trouble.

  9. I understand all of the people who voted for this Health Mess are well off financialy. However in most families, not everyone is well off. They may not care about the American Citizens loosing their jobs, their health insurance and as noted earlier in this thread, not being seen by some hospitals. The point how can they do this to their relatives, old friends, people that they shake hands with on a daily basis, etc?
    Everyone who voted for O, Fine… I have voted for different people, and may have disagreed with something, that is my right. Everyone is just biting their tongue with EVERYTHING.
    Our parents did not tell us as children just lay back and the Government will take care of you.

  10. It makes my blood boil as I hear the administration and its leftist flunkies in the media tout the benefits of people losing their jobs or being cut to 29 hours per week. The only “opportunities” it gives people is to go on welfare, food stamps, etc and become a slave to the state and a reliable democratic voter for years to come.

    A friend of mine manages a chain restaurant in CA and they have had to cut all employees except management to 29 hours a week. This is happening all over the restauraunt and retail industry. I am fairly certain that these employees who no longer can afford their rent, car payments, food, clothing, etc don’t see this an an opportunity to do what they always dreamed of doing.

    No amount of lies or spin will help the Democrats in 2014 when 80% + of the country realizes they are getting screwed by Obamacare in the forms of reduced or stagnent wages, higher premiums, higher deductables, lost coverage, lost doctors, increased waiting times, increased deficits and worse health care.

  11. It sounds like Obama has been communicating with an activist group in Switzerland trying to get the Swedes to amend their constitution so that everyone would get $33,000 (in dollars) per year whether they work or not. Their reasoning is “people should be free to pursue what creates meaning for them” and “it’s not societally very efficient if people are forced to do something that they don’t really want to do.”

    Choose to be unemployed to free yourself up to do what has meaning for you or so you just don’t have to work at a job you don’t like.

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