With Republicans and the media both woefully mischaracterizing the Congressional Budget Office’s report on Obamacare, the editorial board of the New York Times did its part Wednesday to set the record straight.
No, the Times reminded, the report did not really say that the health care law will cost 2 million jobs.
The report clearly stated that health reform would not produce an increase in unemployment (workers unable to find jobs) or underemployment (part-time workers who would prefer to work more hours per week). It also found “no compelling evidence” that, as of now, part-time employment has increased as a result of the reform law, a frequent claim of critics. Whether that will hold up after a mandate that requires employers to provide coverage, which was delayed until 2015, kicks in is uncertain.
What the CBO really said is that, as a result of Obamacare, Americans will choose to stop working jobs simply to receive health coverage. Some might see that as a good thing, as the Times spelled out.
The new law will free people, young and old, to pursue careers or retirement without having to worry about health coverage. Workers can seek positions they are most qualified for and will no longer need to feel locked into a job they don’t like because they need insurance for themselves or their families. It is hard to view this as any kind of disaster.