Job Loss Estimates Under Obamacare

healthy lifestyle shown by health care reform computer button
healthy lifestyle shown by health care reform computer button
Last Tuesday February 4, the Congressional Budget Office gave a report on the future status of Obamacare and its impact on the country. In 2011, the CBO predicted that the ACA would lead to the loss of jobs for 800,000 full-time equivalent workers However, today they estimate that the law will lead to the loss of roughly 2.5 million full time jobs. This estimate has fueled Republican debate over whether Obamacare will hurt employment rates.

‘“House Speaker John Boehner say[s] that Republicans had argued for years 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. The middle class is getting squeezed in this economy, and this CBO report confirms that Obamacare is making it worse.”’

Some takeaways from the CBO report include:

  • Labor supply will be reduced by 2 million full-time equivalent employees in 2017 and up to 2.5 million in 2024. This is not to say that people will be laid off or lose their jobs because coverage is too expensive. This is suggesting that people will choose to decrease work hours or voluntarily leave their jobs because the cost of medicaid would be less expensive than the cost of health insurance through an employer.

  • It is estimated that in 2014, only 6 million people will sign up for health coverage through the exchange due to the website issues in 2013. This is 1 million people less than 2013.

  • Average health insurance premiums may be lower than expected in 2014. No reports have been made on exact premiums.

Many have worried that the employer mandate would be the primary cause of job loss among Americans. They have argued that employers would prefer to hire fewer full time employees and decrease the hours of full time employees rather than face the penalty for not offering the required benefits. However, the CBO suggests that this may not be the case.

Ultimately, the future impact of Obamacare on Americans is inconclusive. For more information on the current status of enrollments or how to enroll on the exchange, please feel free to contact us.

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