Republicans and conservative wonks have long supported de-linking health insurance from employment in order to give workers more economic freedom. But now they're attacking Obamacare for ... doing just that.
Republicans seized on a Congressional Budget Office report Tuesday to attack Obamacare for "destroying" or "costing" jobs. The reality wasn't so simple; in fact, CBO didn't project any pink slips; it said some 2 million workers would voluntarily exit the full-time labor force (over a decade) because Obamacare will make them less dependent on their employer for health insurance. They can retire early, start a business, pursue a degree or spend more time with their families without the fear of losing health care coverage.
It has been an important conservative goal -- before and after the Obamacare debate poisoned intra-GOP politics -- to give workers more flexibility and freedom to retain health insurance if they switch jobs or quit. Indeed, existing health care alternatives by conservatives would have similar effects on workers.
"De-linking health insurance from employment has been a big theme in conservative proposals, and frankly liberal proposals too (e.g. single payer plans)," said Larry Levitt, senior vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation.
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