US News (AEI analysts):
There has been considerable controversy in recent months about whether the Affordable Care Act is causing employers to shift towards a part-time workforce. For example, in a recent television interview on NBC's "Meet the Press," television journalist Maria Bartiromo suggested that as a result of Obamacare, we are becoming "something of a part-time employment country." In addition, a recent article in Forbes points to anecdotal evidence that a number of employers, including restaurants and universities, have been replacing full-time workers with part-time ones. This shift towards part-time work is occurring, they argue, because the ACA requires large employers to offer health insurance to full-time workers (defined as those who put in 30 hours a week or more) starting in 2015.There's been some controversy about a new study from OR on Medicaid (Harold Pollack). Small as it was, expanding medicaid in 2008 led to increased ER usage. However, that was then and this is now. Sarah Kliff explains:
But this anecdotal evidence isn't borne out in the data for the labor force as a whole. In fact, there's very little evidence to suggest that ACA has led to an increase in part-time work thus far. However, research on a state-level employer insurance mandate suggests that it could well have such an effect in the future.
Officials out in Oregon don't dispute the results -- but they do argue that the study doesn't offer a great picture of what's happening out there right now. The Science study looks at a 2008 expansion. A lot has changed in the past five years. In fact, over the past two years, Oregon has actually seen a decline in Medicaid emergency department visits this past year -- and attributes that to big changes the state has made to how it delivers care to Medicaid patients.With ACA, it's complicated, there are costs and benefits, winners and losers... but you've heard me say that before.
David Wessel, senior fellow and director of the new Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at Brookings, told Fox News that the middle class not doing better is one of the most surprising things he's learned from covering the economy for 25 years at the Wall Street Journal.Brian Beutler:
We didn't expect the gap between winners and losers in the economy to widen as much as it has. ... For a variety of reasons The growth that we have had has gone disproportionally to the people at the top, and the people in the middle have not had much of it.Asked whether this challenges the "theory of trickle down economics," Wessel replied "Yes, it certainly does. It's not trickling down ... almost every measure of inequality has widened since about the end of the 1970s."
On the contrary, if there’s one story I wish I’d been on hand to watch unfold in real time, it’s the “Duck Dynasty” debate. If you write about politics for a living, and you were bored by the “Duck Dynasty” story, or wrote it off like you might write off a gaffe or some other creation of the outrage industry, you’re in the wrong line of work. Phil Robertson’s comments about gay and black people and social welfare — and the way they pierced public consciousness — explain more about our country’s political culture than almost anything else that happened all year.and Brian Beutler:
After spending three months effusing sympathy for people who’ve had their insurance plans canceled, Republicans can’t really continue to support repeal while ignoring the (2 million? 6 million? 9 million?) who would lose their coverage as a result. But the GOP lacks a consensus replacement for Obamacare, and the plans that caucuses within the party do support don’t do anything for the new beneficiaries, and fall well short of Obamacare’s coverage expansion in the long run.Josh Marshall gets the same twitter feeds I get:
They’ve walked into a cul-de-sac planting mines behind themselves along the way.
Now, as I said up at the top, there are a lot of Obamacare dead-enders out there who just blow a gasket when they make first contact with these numbers. The first claim is that Medicaid expansion somehow doesn't count. Or it doesn't count if a 24 year old is now covered under their parents policy because well that happened a while ago or well, something.
The best dead-ender argument is that well, maybe these people who've signed up for subsidized private insurance policies won't end up paying their premiums. When the arguments get down to this level you know you're dealing with a deep and intense form of denial. I mean, what if all these people change their mind next month and decide they don't want the coverage after all? What if Obamacare is so bad they all die in the Spring? What if Spartacus had an airplane? If you really, really are hoping for bad news you can come up with anything to keep hope, as it were, alive.
And then finally, these numbers are just more administration lies.