Obamacare Creates Two Million Free Agents

According to the CBO, Obamacare will be responsible for eliminating 2 million jobs. The CBO also tripled the number of working hours lost due to Obamacare. Republicans are of course saying “I told you so.” Harry Reid seems to think that Obamacare doesn’t cost people jobs, it simply turns them into “free agents.” Unemployment has officially been changed to free agency. The White House response isn’t any better. Losing 2 million jobs isn’t “cause for concern” you see because workers have a “new set of options” and will therefore make the “best choice” given those options. One of those options appears to be unemployment or in Democrat newspeak “free agency.”

For those in the individual health market, Obamacare has already cause a substantial increase in premiums and deductibles. For those who get insurance from their employer, when the employer mandate kicks in two million are going to become unemployed “free agents.” The White House is pretending like this is a good thing because it means people are free to make “choices.” That the choice not to work is likely going to be involuntary isn’t of much concern to the Obama administration, likely because the unemployed swell the ranks of welfare and medicaid rolls. The newly unemployed, free agents no less, are future Democrat voters in the eyes of the progressive left.

What exactly was the point of Obamacare? In 2008 all we heard about was that 30 million were uninsured. Obamacare hasn’t fixed that, not by a long shot. If anything it’s increasing the number of uninsured through canceled policies and price increases. We didn’t need government to create a health insurance marketplace, we already had that via free enterprise. People who don’t get insurance from an employer already bought insurance on the open market, they bought what they wanted for a price they could afford. Amazingly without the aid of a government website or obnoxious regulatory mandates.

No, really, what is the point of Obamacare? We’re going to lose two million jobs because of this law. Spin it as free agency all you want, it doesn’t change the fact that two million jobs will be lost. Premiums have increases, deductibles have increased. We get less of the coverages we want and more of the coverages we have no use for. We’ve made adults children until they’re 26 years old. People don’t have to buy insurance until they’re sick, thus increasing the cost for everyone due to the absurd requirement that insurers sell to people with pre-existing conditions. Costs are up, fewer people are insured, the employer mandate will cost millions of jobs and the website still doesn’t work.

Obamacare is a mid-term disaster for the Democrats, which is why the Republicans need to focus on it rather than outraging their base with amnesty for illegals. No one is foolish enough to believe that losing jobs suddenly creates “free agents” with “choices.” People were outraged when they got policy cancellations late last year, just wait until tens of millions more get them this year when their employer insurance is canceled. We really need to ask ourselves and the President what the point of Obamacare is. It didn’t create a new market and it’s caused nothing but trouble. The Republicans were right all along.


11 thoughts on “Obamacare Creates Two Million Free Agents

  1. “Obamacare will be responsible for eliminating 2 million jobs” != “reduction in labor supply”

    The former is your statement. The latter is what the report actually says….repeatedly. Hell, it is even quoted at the Washington Times article to which you link: ““CBO estimates that the ACA will reduce the total number of hours worked…almost entirely because workers will choose to supply less labor…”. This is not companies moving overseas or reducing the number of jobs to be filled – the jobs are still there to be filled. People who would like to leave are now able to without fear of losing access to healthcare. The report could not be more plain about this.

    I understand you (and the websites you read) are ideologically required to detest Obamacare, no matter the evidence, but this report actually suggests that the PPACA helps correct a market dysfunction (i.e. people working for health care access they are unable to get via other channels) and will make jobs available to currently unemployed would like those full-time jobs. I don’t see how that is a bad thing.

    • Obamacare will effectively eliminate 2 million jobs by enticing people not to work in order to obtain subsidies. That’s a massive problem because in not working as many hours people don’t earn more money and have less opportunities to get ahead. That’s the fundamental problem with what Obamacare is doing. There aren’t legions of people looking to quit work but don’t because they’re “afraid” of losing health insurance. The Obamacare tax forces them to pay for a health policy whether they’re working or not. Not working or working less means qualifying for a taxpayer funded subsidy. In other words, what Obamacare is doing is incentivizing sloth and welfare. To the tune of 2 million lost jobs in 2017, 2.5 million in 2025.

      • “Obamacare will effectively eliminate 2 million jobs…” That is not what the report says. It just isn’t. The jobs aren’t going anywhere. Will people vacate? Yup. Will those jobs be filled by others? Yup. Net change in unemployment? Zero.

        I’ll leave the moralizing about the government’s role in mitigating “sloth” and encouraging people to work at an appropriate level to those of you who feel worthy and entitled to judge. I don’t.

      • If all these people are going to work less in order to qualify for Obamacare subsidies and those jobs don’t go anywhere but others will take them how is the net change in unemployment zero? The fact is that when the employer mandate kicks in they’re going to work people less in order to avoid paying for Obamacare policies. That’s where most of these 2 million people are really going to be found. There are companies already planning layoffs and hour reductions in anticipation of the employer mandate. It’s coming and it’s probably a significant amount of those 2 million. But by all means convince yourself all of these “free agents” are quitting work voluntarily. Some will because there’s incentive not to work. Most however aren’t working less voluntarily.

      • You are challenged by 1-1+1= 1? The CBO says the 2M are almost exclusively people opting, voluntarily, out of the workforce. If the job is still there (i.e. labor demand is constant), which is what the report says, somebody gets hired to fill that job or those hours. Could be an unemployed person or promotion from within or poaching from another company, but ultimately, that pulls a currently unemployed person into the workforce to fill the gap.

        Everything from “The fact is…” in your comment is your surmise and not from the CBO report.

      • You’re trying desperately to spin the CBO report as good news. The CBO report is simply confirmation that Obamacare isn’t going to work. You’re looking at 2 million jobs lost, let’s say all of them are voluntarily. Why would 2 million people quit work or cut back on their hours? Because Obamacare subsidies are set up in such a way as to create incentives not to work. When you have people who, if they earn one extra dollar suddenly see their Obamacare policy skyrocket in price there isn’t any incentive to earn that extra dollar. In fact, there’s no incentive to earn several thousands of dollars because those dollars go directly to a health insurer. By not working the extra dollar, by cutting back on hours to avoid paying extra for health insurance Obamacare is going to keep people from getting ahead.

      • “You’re trying desperately to spin the CBO report as good news.” No. I am just acknowledging what the report actually says. Period. Demand for labor constant, supply of labor down. No jobs taken away, nobody laid off, no downsizing or shipping of jobs overseas. A reduction in ‘job lock’ due to health care worries and more job freedom.

        As with many CBO reports, you ideologues got it so freaking wrong that the officials have to come out in testimony to try set the record straight, which CBO Director Elmendorf did yesterday:

        “On page 124, the report estimates that the ACA will “boost overall demand for goods and services over the next few years because the people who will benefit from the expansion of Medicaid and from access to the exchange subsidies are predominantly in lower-income households and thus are likely to spend a considerable fraction of their additional resources on goods and services.” This, the report says, “will in turn boost demand for labor over the next few years.”

        “When you boost demand for labor in this kind of economy, you actually reduce the unemployment rate, because those people who are looking for work can find more work, right?” Van Hollen asked Elmendorf.

        “Yes, that’s right,” Elmendorf said.”

        So, if you are so very concerned about the number of people who are able to satisfy their desires to be slothful, there are actually going to be fewer of them thanks to the ACA. So, you should be celebrating and congratulating the government on incentivizing work!!!

        Some other highlights:
        1. upward wage pressure (supply down -> price up)
        2. net cost of coverage provisions are lower than expected
        3. “risk corridor” program will net payments to the government from insurance providers

        Overall, you were eager to accept and lean on the CBO report when you liked what you thought it said. Will you have the nerve and honesty to accept and lean on it when you learn what it really says?

  2. As an aside, I really like how in one paragraph you state that it was free enterprise nirvana before the PPACA (i.e. everybody could buy the insurance they wanted at an affordable price) and then in the next lament the “…absurd requirement that insurers sell to people with pre-existing conditions…”. So, in your world nobody with pre-existing conditions wanted the readily available affordable insurance that the government is now absurdly forcing insurance companies to actually offer. Nice work.

    • Those with pre-existing conditions could always buy insurance, they couldn’t always afford it. There’s a difference. As it stands now there’s no reason to buy insurance until you’re sick because the insurance company can’t reject you. That creates massive additional costs for everyone. It’s also important to note that it was only in the individual market that people with pre-existing conditions had trouble buying policies. The employer market generally always had a large enough pool to offset pre-existing costs.

      • Given that enrollment via the exchange is only available during windows and non-exchange policies are much more expensive and there are increasing penalties for not having insurance, waiting until you get sick is kinda stupid. “No reason” indeed….

        “Those with pre-existing conditions could always buy insurance, they couldn’t always afford it. There’s a difference.” Yes, there is. And one of those differences is that it makes this statement by you wrong: “People who don’t get insurance from an employer already bought insurance on the open market, they bought what they wanted for a price they could afford.”

        I agree that it was people with pre-existing conditions in the individual market who had trouble getting insurance again. Also, of course, any underemployed or unemployed people. And poor people. And exactly why did they have a such a problem in your open market again? Oh right – they weren’t profitable. And that should be the key determinant of access to healthcare – whether you are profitable. Sucks to be them, eh?

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