On Feb. 4, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated a decline in employment of about 2.3 million jobs by 2021 because of Obamacare.

The report explicitly states that the estimated reduction in jobs “stems almost entirely from a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply, rather than from a net drop in businesses’ demand for labor” and that “there is no compelling evidence that part-time employment has increased as a result of ACA.”

On Feb. 5, Douglas Elmendorf, CBO director, said to Congress: “With the expansion of insurance coverage, more workers will choose not to (work) and others will choose to work fewer hours than they might have otherwise. The reason we don’t use the term ‘lost jobs’ is there is a critical difference between people who like to work and can’t find a job – or have a job that’s lost for reasons beyond their control – and people who choose not to work.”

Even former Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan conceded that point in part, saying: “Just to understand, it is not that employers are laying people off.”

The Republican/Fox News disinformation machine jumped on the CBO numbers, with Fox saying, “Bombshell CBO report predicts 2.3 million jobs will be lost under Obamacare,” and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor saying: “Under Obamacare, millions of hardworking Americans will lose their jobs, and those who keep them will see their hours and wages reduced.”

Actually, the CBO report gives us good news because many people without other need for employment will no longer have to work just to have affordable medical insurance.

Unfortunately, a column by Dana Milbank, whom I generally respect, reinforced the anti-Obamacare story, with a negative Press Herald headline doubling down on it (“CBO, the arbiter embraced by White House, validates health law complaint,” Feb. 6). Fair reporting would not present a good thing as a bad thing.

Meredith N. Springer


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