Will Obamacare make us lazy?

According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, Obamacare, when fully implemented, will cost the equivalent of 2.3 million jobs.  Not so much from businesses cutting back hiring but because people will not want to work so much.

Older people will no longer feel they need to keep working until they can get on Medicare, so they can retire early.  Middle class people will work less so as to purposefully earn less–that way, they can qualify for a subsidy.  Rich people will also work less to earn less so that, given the increased tax rates to pay for Obamacare, they won’t have to pay so much in taxes.

This is the benefit of making everyone dependent on a government program:  The economic disincentives built into the welfare system will now apply to everybody!

From CBO: Health Law To Cut Into Labor Force – WSJ.com:

Incentives in the law that cause people to choose to work fewer hours would be more significant than people losing their jobs or having their workweeks reduced because of the law. It pointed to older workers, in particular, as a group that might feel they don’t need to keep full-time jobs to easily maintain health coverage.

A 64-year-old with a pre-existing health condition, for example, may have been unable to buy coverage on the individual insurance market before 2014 or could have been able to find a policy but considered the price of that coverage unaffordable.

As a result, that worker may have previously decided to work until reaching the age at which they could enroll in Medicare, the federal insurance program for the elderly.

The agency also said some workers might decide they were better off working fewer hours because a smaller paycheck might qualify them for Medicaid, the federal-state program for low-income Americans that some states are expanding under the health law, while other workers might eye the law’s income-based subsidies toward the cost of private insurance premiums and decide to change their hours to affect their eligibility. Meanwhile, higher-income workers whose tax rates were increased to help pay for the law may also choose to work less, the CBO said.

 

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.


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