Obamacare's woes grow daily, but liberals celebrate denial. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) peered into its crystal ball to see what the president's health care takeover holds in store for the economy, and the answer isn't pretty.
These nonpartisan experts foresee a worsening, jobless economic "recovery."
Thanks to the perverse incentives and higher costs of socialized medicine, everyone's wages, salaries and fringe benefits will shrink, with the poor, as usual, suffering most.
"CBO estimates that [Obamacare] will cause a reduction of roughly 1 percent in aggregate labor compensation over the 20172024 period," it says, "compared with what it would have been otherwise." The CBO says "the largest declines in labor supply will probably occur among lower-wage workers."
So, say goodbye to 2.5 million jobs. "The decline in full-time-equivalent employment stemming from [Obamacare] will consist of some people not being employed at all and other people working fewer hours."
The CBO notes that this is the result of "voluntary" choices — businesses choose to require employees to work part time to avoid penalties and employees cut back their hours to qualify for subsidies. The net effect is less work, less productivity for the economy.
The figures give the lie to the rosy scenario presented when Mr. Obama's legislation was pending before Congress, and it could be worse by the time Obamacare takes full effect in 2016. This makes the liberals — or the "progressives" as they sometimes call themselves — break out in a painful itch.
The conservative group Americans for Prosperity has been buying ads to raise awareness of the 219 members of the House and their votes for this fiasco.
A television commercial running in the district of Rep. Gary Peters, a Michigan Democrat who's running for Senate, quotes him, accurately, as having promised that "The Affordable Care Act bars cancellation of insurance policies."
That's news to the millions who have received cancellation notices from their individual market health care provider. MSNBC calls the ads as taking "the low road." Perhaps, but it's the road Mr. Peters chose. The New York Times insists that 225,000 Michiganders didn't actually lose their insurance but "were actually told that they could change to a better policy."
Americans for Prosperity responds with the actual letter sent to Blue Cross and Blue Shield customers. "I'm writing to tell you," the form letter states, "that your current plan does not meet all the requirements of the health care reform law and will be discontinued on December 31, 2013. We are sorry for any inconvenience that might result."
That sounds like a cancellation to us, not the good news of something better.
There are of course more expensive and less desirable insurance options the company is more than happy to sell, but that's not a true choice. This distortion of the language is similar to the ban on incandescent light bulbs, which the Obama administration insists isn't a ban at all, but a "new option" of imitation bulbs made with mercury, which is poisonous.
If it's mandatory, it's not a choice.
Democrats realize this ad campaign strikes at their tender underbelly. Their fibs are a little too obvious.
If endangered congressmen want to hold on to their jobs, they ought to think about a compromise to render Obamacare a smaller job-killer, while there may still be time.
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