The Spectacle Blog

White House Obfuscates on Obamacare and Jobs

By on 2.20.14 | 3:07PM

“You can’t say the Affordable Care Act has killed job growth,” Phil Schiliro, White House health care advisor, announced yesterday.

Schiliro’s adamant declaration was based on one fact: 8 million jobs have been created since the bill was signed into law.

The problem is, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who thought Obamacare would stall job growth altogether. That, and many people realized the damaging effects of such legislation would not necessarily be immediate, but have a negative ripple effect on the economy in years to come.

“No one would say the Affordable Care Act created those jobs, but you can’t say the ACA has killed job growth,” Schiliro added.

Oh dear. Schiliro entangled himself in his own words. He is correct in saying that no one would give the ACA credit for creating jobs (certainly not in light of another Georgia hospital shutting down, leaving plenty of health care workers unemployed). However, many people would argue that Obamacare’s web of fines and regulations will devastate the future job market.

Why else would Obama unilaterally change parts of the law? He knows that the regulations on businesses encourage lay-offs, and in the wake of Healthcare.gov’s botched roll-out, he had to do something to save face.

Former CBO chief Douglas Holtz-Eakin told CNSNews.com that Obamacare was likely to encourage joblessness the same way welfare has:

“Many low income workers will figure out that if they work more, they’ll have to give up their tax credits and some Obamacare subsidies. They’ll add up the benefits and conclude it’s not worth it to work another day or another shift,” the economist said.

The current CBO report (pg. 133) says the same thing—some people will choose to quit working and others will choose to work fewer hours than they would have before Obamacare became the law of the land. By 2021, nearly 2.3 million full-time workers will leave the workplace (although some will become part-time employees).

Not only will more federal dollars make their way into the pockets of non-working Americans, those who might have liked their jobs and wanted to keep them could find themselves unemployed. At every turn, Obamacare encourages laziness and government dependence. 

But yes, I concede: The Affordable Care Act has not “killed” job growth. Even still, we will be stuck limping around on one leg for years to come if something doesn’t change. The economy is still fragile; somehow throwing rocks at it seems imprudent.

This is my sixth post on Obamacare’s failed attempt to socialize health care effectively, and at this rate, many more are yet to come. 

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