CBO: ObamaCare to Cost America 2.5 Million Jobs, increase deficit by $1 Trillion


The new healthcare law will slow economic growth over the next decade, costing the nation about 2.5 million jobs and contributing to a $1 trillion increase in projected deficits, the Congressional Budget Office said in a report released Tuesday.

The non-partisan group’s report found that the healthcare law’s negative effects on the economy will be “substantially larger” than what it had previously anticipated.

The CBO is now estimating that the law will reduce labor force compensation by 1 percent from 2017 to 2024, twice the reduction it previously had projected.

This will decrease the number of full-time equivalent jobs in 2021 by 2.3 million, it said. It had previously estimated the decrease would be 800,000.

It said this decrease would be caused partly be people leaving the workforce in response to lower jobs offered by employers, and increased insurance coverage through the healthcare law.

It also said employer penalties in the law will decrease wages, and that part-year workers will be slower to return to the work force because they will seek to retain ObamaCare insurance subsidies.

The healthcare law isn’t the only reason the CBO is projecting slower economic growth between 2014 and 2023, however. It also cited inflation and lower productivity as reasons why it was lowering its projections.

The slower growth will mean less tax revenue, which will add to the deficit. Instead of adding $6.3 trillion in deficits from 2014 to 2023, the government will add $7.3 trillion, CBO now projects.

By 2023, the gross debt of the United States will be $26 trillion, up from a projected $25 trillion. A year later the debt will rise to $27 trillion as the $1.074 trillion deficit for fiscal 2024 is added in.

“Most of the increase in projected deficits results from lower projections for the growth of real GDP and for inflation, which have resulted in projected revenues between 2014 and 2023 by $1.4 trillion,” CBO explained.

CBO now thinks the economy will grow at 3.1 percent in this fiscal year, which ends in October, rather than the 3.4 percent growth it predicted last year.

The unemployment rate is projected to fall to 6.7 percent by the end of the year, much lower than the 7.6 percent CBO saw for 2014 previously. The budget office does not see unemployment falling below 6 percent for the rest of President Obama’s term, however.

In the near term, the CBO is projecting smaller deficits.

The budget office says that legislation enacted since last May has reduced deficits by $400 billion.

For 2014, the deficit is slated to be $514 billion, an improvement of $46 billion from last year’s projection.

In 2015, the deficit falls to $478 billion. That is still higher than the last full year of the Bush administration when the deficit was $458 billion, but it is a steep drop from the $1 trillion deficits of most of the Obama years.

Source: The Hill


    • This may just be what we need to get to the desired result, single-payer Medicare for all!

      • Yep. Incrementalism. The thin wedge is in the door. Single payer for all will become a reality in America.

        Heads will explode, they will be Elmered back together thanks to universal healthcare. Even for Humpty Dumpties. Speaking of which, do you what day this is?

        • You don’t like choice, anyway. At least not when it involves women and their healthcare.

          • I like choice, except when it takes away the choice of life and is being heinously cloaked as being women’s healthcare.

            Typical of liberals to take something that is working, make it worse, then make it even worse while telling everyone it is the best solution.

            As I said, I like choice, but I don’t like you choosing what is best for my healthcare.

  1. Gee, what a shock. The CBO likes to proclaim it isn’t partisan, but where was this report when it mattered? What a disgrace.

  2. There is just too much exploitation of health care by the insurance companies and providers. People forget the ACA/Obamacare is not government run, the private insurancee companies still do the insuring. In the long run, the best solution is for this to go to a single-payer system to bring efficiency and transparency to this mess.

    • That’s delusional. The government can’t buy a hammer for less than $1000 what makes you think they would be anymore efficient with health care?

      • You know…you’re making the point here. Hospitals across America charge $300 for two Tylenol every day. How is that different than the waste you describe?

        • Same damn thing. The problem coming to light is that the $300 Tylenol becomes a $400 Tylenol when the government gets into the game.

          • …and you know this…but that is a pathetic answer. It’s really not an answer at all. You’re conceding the point in fact.

          • …Yoda…I’m not campaigning for single payer mind you. But when you say “yes, the private-run sector really, really is raping the country too”…and that is fine with you….it loses the argument against single-payer. It means you admit all the problems with healthcare Obama has been pointing out.

            • I never said a $300 Tylenol is okay with me. It’s not. It is rape and pillage so far as I am concerned. I like the $400 Tylenol less. If I am gonna get raped I would rather endure it 3 times than 4 times. What ObamaCare has succeeded in doing is turning a big pile of shit into a bigger pile of shit. How about people bring their own Tylenol to the hospital with them and eliminate the pile of shit. Obama is right in when he points at a pile of shit and calls it out for being a pile of shit. His problem is he thinks the cure for shit is more shit.

              Is Tylenol really $300 in a hospital? The fact that that claim is believable speaks volumes about the current pile of shit.

          • …If it appears as though responses like you’re giving here Yoda disgust me, you’re right. Because I WILL acknowledge the problem of waste in the current health care system before ACA. SOMETHING has to be done. Just saying “Obama is wrong” is not good enough. And Independents, correctly, are saying “Well, at least he’s trying to do something about it.”

            So…again….what about those $300 pair of Tylenols hospitals across the country bill you for?

  3. As our “friend” from CA said, let’s pass it and then we will figure out what is in the bill.

  4. 2.5 million jobs lost…..deficit to increase by at least a trillion…….50 million hard working Americans to lose their healthcare coverage….. yep that is the commie liberal way to fix it……….government control the commie way……..

    • ….Acknowledging the problems you mention.

      But just to be clear….t-romo, you DID say the same things about the Presidential Administration the last half of 2007 when the economy fell off the cliff and GDP wasn’t just slow growth – it actually declined….did you?

  5. First, the CBO report is not about jobs. It’s about workers — and the choices they make.

    The CBO’s estimate is mostly the result of an analysis of the impact of the law on the supply of labor. That means how many people CHOOSE to participate in the work force. In other words, the nonpartisan agency is examining whether the law increases or decreases incentives for people to work.

    The crux of the issue lies in the reason for the reduction in worker hours, estimated to be “about 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent during the period from 2017 to 2024.” It is not, as some have suggested, because employers will stop hiring full-time workers, but because those workers will voluntarily decide to work slightly less. Essentially, it’s an issue of supply rather than demand.

    One big issue: the health insurance subsidies in the law. That’s a substantial benefit that decreases as people earn more money, so at a certain point, a person has to choose between earning more money or continuing to get the maximum help with health insurance payments. In other words, people might work longer and harder, but actually earn no more, or earn even less, money. That is a disincentive to work. (The same thing happens when people qualify for food stamps or other social services.)

    Thus, some people might decide to work part-time, not full time, in order to keep getting health-care subsidies. Thus, they are reducing their supply of labor to the market. Other people near retirement age might decide they no longer need to hold onto their job just because it provides health insurance, and they also leave the work force.

    Look at this way: If someone says they decided to leave their job for personal reasons, most people would not say they “lost” their jobs. They simply decided not to work.

    The CBO virtually screams that this is not about jobs.

    “The estimated reduction stems almost entirely from a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply, rather than from a net drop in businesses’ demand for labor, so it will appear almost entirely as a reduction in labor force participation and in hours worked relative to what would have occurred otherwise rather than as an increase in unemployment (that is, more workers seeking but not finding jobs) or underemployment (such as part-time workers who would prefer to work more hours per week).”

    The CBO did look at the effect on demand for labor (i.e., jobs) but said the effects are mostly on the margins or are not measurable. In fact, in contrast to a common GOP talking point, the CBO declares that “there is no compelling evidence that part-time employment has increased as a result of the ACA,” though it notes the data may be murky because the employer mandate was delayed until 2015.

    All things being equal, in a normally functioning economy, the total demand for jobs would equal 95 percent of the supply of jobs. So advocates of the Affordable Care Act should not jump to the conclusion that departing workers will be simply replaced by other workers. In fact, competition for workers will initially lead to upward pressure on wages. But over time, the nation does end up with a slightly smaller economy.

    Finally, it should be noted that the figures (2 million, etc.) are shorthand for full-time equivalent workers — a combination of two conclusions: fewer people looking for work and some people choosing to work fewer hours. The CBO added those two things and produced a hard number, but it actually does not mean 2 million fewer workers.

    In fact, no one really knows what percentage will leave the work force entirely and what percentage will shift to part-time work, making it difficult to predict how this will shake out in the end.

    Obamacare’s critics can claim that the equivalent of 2.5 million less full time workers in the system is bad for the economy, and many will make that argument. But claims saying that the CBO claims Obamacare will “kill,” “cut,” or generally eliminate jobs from the market over the next 10 years is patently false.

    • so through all of this bullshit you just spewed you admit more people on the government dole…….more on welfare……..yep the commie way…….

      • Classy is right. The CBO report said that ObamaCare will lead to 2.3 Million less workers according to the NY Times. Why? Because when all things are considered it will be preferable to sit home and draw benefits or turn down work to preserve the benefits that it would be to work better and harder. The report is a clear warning that the USA is becoming Greece. How does it feel to be worth more sitting on your ass than when working? What an insult to productive people to put a pile of shit like this in place. The American dream will be to be on the dole in the near future if it isn’t already.

        • Yoda, this was NOT a good report for the administration(I will ponitifcate on this later) however you’re exaggerating and overreacting to this report.

          Meanwhile I have to get back to work and earn a living. While I’m gone maybe you should spend a few moments and do a search on health care job lock and learn about that and then do a search on how many jobs we lost becuase of the sequester.

          You will find we cut off the government’s nose to spite the private sector’s face to the tune of about the SAME amount of (2-3 million) jobs and about 3% of our GDP PER THE SAME REFS, the CBO.

          Neither your side nor the cable TV shows(including MSNBC) said JACKSH!T about that CBO report.

          So many of these reports turn out to be Rorshach tests. People see what they want to see in them.

          • Not surprised that MSNBC hid the report from their viewers. I would be willing to bet that the Fox shows all cover it and do so in an exaggerated manner. Why mix in sequester. That is like Obama blaming Bush for this winter’s snow. They are separate and should remain that way. Sequester did some damage for sure but this ObamaCare thing is the gift that keeps on taking. Why won’t they just suck it up, admit the bill sucks, and get on about fixing it?

        • The CBO report says that in 2015-2024, the government will pay out $8 billion in risk subsidies to the insurers but collect $16 billion.

          Real-world math says this is a gain to the Treasury of $8 billion!

          • Is that the same report that says the debt will increase by over a Trillion? How can that be. That real world math doesn’t work either. By the way $8 Billion is spit in the world of $4 Trillion budgets. It’s 2 tenths of one percent. You must have read something wrong.

      • Classy did a classy job of explaining it tommi.

        Let me try it on my and your level.

        Social Security and Medicare created the same situation by allowing people to exit the work force in their 60’s instead of having to work into their 70’s, thus reducing the work force “prematurely” right?

        Just an example even though I realize we could argue my example compared to the ACA doing the same.

        BTW, it would be awful white of you to apologize to classy.

      • CBO says the Affordable Care Act will lower employment by 2.5 million FTE in 2024, mostly due to lower labor supply. To understand CBO’s figure, remember that the number of jobs then will be determined *jointly* by labor supply and labor demand. If labor supply falls and labor demand remains the same, how will the labor market clear? Higher wages. In other words, employment will be lower & the economy smaller, but employers will be competing harder for workers.

        The Affordable Care Act will affect how much Americans decide to work. Why? Benefits like tax subsidies to purchase private health coverage and expanded Medicaid are based on income. The more money you make, the fewer benefits you receive.

        • Do you really think it is a positive thing when able bodied and strong minded people are given a government incentive not to work? Come on man, that values their labor at below zero. That is not sustainable on any continent. You just described an economy death spiral just like Greece.

          • “Do you really think it is a positive thing when able bodied and strong minded people are given a government incentive not to work?”


            Do you think it is a positive thing when able bodied and strong minded people go bankrupt because they cannot afford health care insurance in this country?

            Come on man, tell me how much silently bankruptcy’s are costing us along with emergency room visits.

            I’ve got mine, ____ the rest of it. Right?

            • And how does ObamaCare in its present form change anything. Bankrupt from $10,000 deductable on a $1,000 per month policy that most people can’t afford does not solve the bankruptcy problem that you and I agree is a problem.

        • “The more money you make, the fewer benefits you receive.”

          True. However paying more for labor, given no change in productivity, is a waste of resources, and this waste is charged in higher prices, which means more subsidies must be paid to compensate those no longer part of the work force. Then more inequality arguments and another government problem, created by the government, for the government to fix.

          Although the amount of labor provided does necessarily correlate to a change one way or the other in productivity, 2.5 million fewer workers will more likely reduce productivity and output than not over the next 10 years. Either productivity is made up somehow or consumption goes down and prices become more dearer. As a result, aid for those not in the workforce increases. How will it be funded? China isn’t going to do it for sure.

          “If labor supply falls and labor demand remains the same, how will the labor market clear? Higher wages. In other words, employment will be lower & the economy smaller, but employers will be competing harder for workers.”

          Doubt that; simply bring in more supply by legalizing undocumented worker. That solves supply and keeps wages low.

          • My tomatoes got blight last summer.

            Obama’s fault!

            I got mayo instead of mustard on my burger at the fast food joint. Obama’s fault!

            I stepped on a tack in my garage and had to go to the doctor. Totally Obama’s fault.

  6. Single payer is the answer. No more third parties. No insurance companies. No government bureaus. Just you and your doctor. You (singular) pay, then the doctor performs the medical service. No one else involved.

        • Yeah seriously. The worst thing that has ever happened to health care is for your employer to own and maintain your health insurance. Well, it was the worst thing until Obamacare. Worse than Obamacare will be when the government owns your healthcare.

          One owning one’s own health insurance with a high deductible and a medical savings account would be much more cost effective and realistic.

    • Naturally you start out good then get extreme while you’re choking your blow up doll.

      “Single payer is the answer.” – Good deal.

      But doctors aren’t going to barter chickens, eggs, (but hopefully hemp) for the pleasure of sticking their finger up your __ to check for prostate cancer.

      Single payer is the answer, but can you imagine now-a-days even a surgeon paying out of his pocket for his wife’s breast cancer.

      I’ve never liked you Bill, and today isn’t any different.

  7. Yoda says:
    February 5, 2014 at 12:28 am
    And how does ObamaCare in its present form change anything.

    ObamaCare in its present form needs to be revamped Yoda by and with both sides working together to do it.

    For example: If ObamaCare would have had a $200,000 dollar yearly limit per individual instead of no life time cap, medical bankruptcies would have been kept at a minimum and more people not qualifying for subsides would be able to afford coverage.

    ObamaCare did me no good personally because my income is too high but I’m glad for the people it is helping even though if enough young people don’t sign up, it will probably get crushed from its own weight.

    I wish there were an alternative, but since congress has voted every year since 2003 on a single payer system and it has been rejected by wide margins, ObamaCare is the only avenue in town for saving our national health care system from itself.

    Scary stuff man.

    • The VA and the Congress are both single payer. How are those two programs at providing cost effective services? You are correct that this mess will collapse on itself unless the President himself is willing to suck it up and do some big changes. The congress is not going to do this. The Republicans in the house will not pass anything sane and the Senate will not pass anything that the House passes. Then there is the President’s VETO pen waiting for any sanity that comes from Congress. The best case will be if the Republicans take the Senate by a slim margin and the President works with them to preserve his legacy.

      • The VA is a totally socialistic government run and controlled health care system like some European countries have Yoda.

        Congress has always had a system that parallels ObamaCare in that they have a variety of different plans to choose from each year and they are subsidized by the tax payer with each member basically paying in the $400 dollar a month range for their health care out of pocket.

        Medicare is the best example of the single payer system.

        • Yes, I know. I have never been to the VA for myself but I have also never heard anyone who has say a decent word about it. I even know people who opt to pay cash for health care to avoid the waits and the ugliness of dealing with the VA. Think about that. These are vets who have earned free care who reject it because of the inefficiencies and the impersonal way services are delivered.

          As for Medicare it is somewhat popular. We as a people have become accustomed to handing our health risk over to the government in our golden years. Part of the reason for it’s popularity is that it is a privately delivered service paid for by taxpayers. Try sending the old people to the VA if you want to see them go crazy. Another reason there is less finger pointing with Medicare is that seniors realize that they all need care on a somewhat equal level from 65 to death and the PAID FOR IT when they worked.

          Medicaid and the Health Department are very different animals than Medicare but are single payer. The difference is that most of the “customers” do not pay and are from the entitlement minded part of the population.

          Ever taken your kids to the Health Department for school shots driving a nice car and dressed well? Try it sometime and it will teach you much about the “customers” they cater to. You will get dirty looks, insults, and be treated like a thief by people standing in line for free services.

  8. Regulator, I detested Bush Jr., and his presidency has been used by many a liberal with the words, of “What about Bush?”, or “blame Bush!” So much for that past presidency. Fast forward,–The Obamacare disaster was enacted without any Republican input allowed, passed in the middle of the night with the addition of Ben and Mary’s votes being “bought” by largess given to their respective states, and now that’s it been “passed to find out what’s in it”, You expect it to be “fixed” by both sides working together?
    Now I’ll go back in time,–why didn’t the Democrats read it and seek a consensus with the other side to make it work then, and not after the fact? It’s a “Train Wreck” and it belongs exclusively to the Democrats,–and they will deservedly reap what they have sowed in the 2014 elections.

    • I was healing up from a near death condition during the year and a half the ACA was being debated and created. I watched it on C-Span every chance I got. The Republicans added 160 amendments to it and made sure the public option wasn’t attached to it then sat back and waved bye bye to people like Ellsworth who voted for it.

      You are correct, in the general public’s eye, it is a totally Democratic exclusive and they own it.

      • Honestly, something needed to be done, but Obamacare isn’t the answer, as flawed as it is also, I seriously believe expanding Medicare incrementally would have been a better route.

        • Me to.

          Unlike Medicaid, with Medicare everyone “has some skin in the game”, as they say.

          • Many signing up for ACA are being enrolled in Medcaid instead. They are discovering that nw their homes and assets are in danger of being attached by the government at the event of their death. I am not good with being forced under penalty to sign up for something that will result in my family being stripped of their inheritance by the government.

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