GOP Lawmakers Say Obamacare Discourages People From Working

U.S. Rep Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, who won his race in the state's primary, speaks at a Republican Party victory party in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
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Republican lawmakers on Sunday said that Obamacare discourages Americans from working, based on a recently released Congressional Budget Office report.

“Anything that discourages work — and that’s essentially what the CBO found, that this discourages some people from working, not a good thing at a time when the economy’s still struggling,” Rep. Tom Cole said on ABC’s “This Week” about Obamacare.

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) made a similar claim on “Fox News Sunday.”

“I think any law you pass that discourages people from working can’t be a good idea,” he said about the health care law. “Why would we want to do that? Why would we think that was a good thing? How does that allow people to prepare for the time when they don’t work?”

Cole and Blunt’s talking points on the CBO report differed slightly from claims Republicans made last week when the report was first released. Many stated that Obamacare would cost the U.S. 2 million jobs, when the report actually stated that the law would result in fewer hours worked, largely as a result of people choosing to leave the work force.

Cole acknowledged that the U.S. would lose hours worked, but still said this is bad for the country.

“Yes, what the CBO report does say is that we’re going to lose 1-2 percent of hours worked because of this. And you know, you can argue that’s a good thing,” he said. “But you know, again, discouraging work is not something we need to be doing right now. Making our economy marginally less productive is not a good thing.”

On “Fox News Sunday” Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) argued that when people leave the workforce due to Obamacare, those jobs will not sit empty.

“The point I want to raise is that these jobs will be filled. It’s not going to have an impact on our economy,” he said. “We have people waiting to work. So, these jobs are all filled. Our economy will move forward.”

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