Best Obamacare News This Week — February 7th, 2014 Edition

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The media is abuzz with news of the Congressional Budget Office’s report that emphasizes the impact of Obamacare on the workforce. There are a lot of voices and opinions out there, but Nerdwallet’s Vice President of Health, Christina LaMontagne, sorted through the news this week to find you the articles that best explain both sides of the debate.

 

CBO: Obamacare is a Tax on Work, May Cut Full-Time Workforce by 2.5 Million 2/4/2014 on forbes.com @ScottGottliebMD (Scott Gottlieb)

 

Gottlieb breaks down what the CBO meant when it said that Obamacare is a tax on work. “The old employer sponsored system forced people to stay in jobs they didn’t like because they needed the health insurance coverage. The new Obamacare system will force people to stay out of jobs they do want because they need to maximize their subsidies.” The CBO report also states that the flawed rollout of HealthCare.gov will lead to 1 million fewer enrollees than originally projected.

 

Who Will Work Less Under Obamacare 2/6/2014 on money.cnn.com @Luhby (Tami Luhby)

 

If you like visuals, Tami Luhby offers an infographic that helps put the CBO report in perspective. Using a family of four, she explains how it is that some people can work less and make more. It’s not just families either. Since 2009, there’s been 20% drop in employment for young adults insured through Medicaid expansion in Wisconsin. Luhby reminds readers that while there’s no doubt Obamacare will affect the work habits of Americans—enticing some to leave the workforce entirely—the reduction in the workforce is mainly marginal.

 

Obamacare Doesn’t Kill Jobs 2/5/2014 on cnn.com @aaronecarroll (Aaron E. Carroll)

 

Carroll states that too many people are enticed by the large numbers that the CBO presents, but aren’t being objective. What the report actually says, “…(on page 48 for those interested), [is] that the ACA would reduce the amount of labor used in the economy by about one-half of 1%, mostly “by reducing the amount of labor that workers choose to supply.” He further argues that people voluntarily leaving the workforce isn’t necessarily a bad thing considering the type of people that would be leaving the workforce.

 

House Report: ObamaCare Subsidies Via Federal Exchanges ‘Unauthorized’ 2/5/2014 on foxbusiness.com @KateRogersNews (Kate Rogers)

 

In non-CBO news, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform took a stance on the debate over the IRS’ authorization to provide subsidies to those enrolling through federal exchanges. In response to a number of nationwide lawsuits, the chairman of the committee said that, “The IRS’ unilateral decision resulted in millions of dollars in unauthorized funding,” and Rogers explains that the IRS and the Treasury Department were not thorough enough in their analysis and essentially bypassed legislative law when the law was signed back in 2010.


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