New report about Affordable Care Act controversial

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Alex Paterson's picture
Kathleen Wilbur

On Tuesday, February 4, congressional budget analysts revealed that more than 2 million Americans will become jobless due to new health benefits that are available under President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office concluded that because of the Act, those who have previously relied on their job for health insurance will either stop looking for work, reduce their hours or quit working entirely.

Politicians from both sides of the aisle have come forward with intense opinions on the latest news concerning the controversial healthcare act that was passed in 2010. According to the Washington Post, the White House tried to defend the Act by saying that the report proves it will work as its supposed to by allowing people to leave work and retire, care for their children or begin their own businesses.

“The Affordable Care Act today, right now, is helping labor markets, is helping businesses and is helping jobs,” said the President’s Chief Economist Jason Furman.

Republicans are spouting less optimistic responses.

“[The report] confirms what we’ve known all along: The health care law is having a tremendously negative impact on economic growth,” said Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee.

The “negative impact” may, however, be less dramatic than Republicans are leading the American people to believe. Factcheck.org reports that, despite advertisements like those by North Carolina Senate candidate Thom Tillis claiming “2 million jobs lost due to Obamacare,” the idea they are perpetuating is false.

“The CBO said more than 2 million people will decide not to work, or will decide to work less, due to the law—not that they will ‘lose their jobs,’” said Factcheck.org in a recent post.

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada defended the Act while setting straight the mixed interpretations of the CBO’s report.

“Republicans talk about losing millions of jobs. That simply isn’t true,” he said. “[The report] rightfully says that people shouldn’t have job lock. We live in a country where we should be free agents. People can do what they want.”

Despite the clarifications concerning the large number of job “losses” that will result from the Affordable Care Act’s implementation, many Republicans are still warning citizens of the bill’s dangerous potential that they have been aware of for years.

“No matter how you calculate this number or how the administration tries to explain it away, it’s about two and a half times as high as the number was when they looked at it the first time,” Missouri Senator Roy Blunt said. “They can say anything they want, but this number is a lot worse than anybody thought.”

“For years, Republicans have said that the President’s health care law creates uncertainty for small businesses, hurts take-home pay and makes it harder to invest in new workers,” said Speaker of the House John Boehner. “The middle class is getting squeezed in this economy, and this CBO report confirms that Obamacare is making it worse.”

The budget office additionally estimated that 6 million Americans will enroll in one type of health insurance plan or another in the first year while 8 million will enroll in Medicaid and other public programs. The original estimates for both were 7 million and 9 million, respectively.

Despite the volatile reaction to the news of the changing employment numbers, good news for Democrats was still found in the office’s report. It was also estimated that the budget deficit will fall to $514 billion from the $1.4 trillion it was in 2009, a number that, according to the New York Times, many economists “consider to be sustainable in the long term.”

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