CBO Predicts ACA Could Reduce Workforce by 2M Jobs Over 10 Years
According to CBO, the total U.S. workforce is projected to decrease by just under 1% as a result of new coverage expansions, mandates and changes in tax rates under the law. CBO noted in the report that because of the ACA's provisions, some U.S. residents "would choose to work fewer hours; others would leave the labor force entirely or remain unemployed for longer than they otherwise would."
CBO noted the projections are based on uncertain evidence, such as not knowing how many U.S. residents will respond to work incentives created under the ACA.
Republicans cited the report as evidence that the ACA is harming U.S. residents. Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-Utah.) said, "When the President's health law hurts the labor force at the same time it increases health care premiums and taxes, it's clear the law is not working for the American people."
However, the Obama administration has said the CBO figures reflect more flexibility available to workers under the ACA. Further, the administration has pointed to millions of jobs that were created as a result of the law, as well as millions of individuals who gained health coverage under the law (Ferris, The Hill, 12/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.