This excellent article by WP's Greg Sargent, does a fine job of explaining what the today-released CBO report actually says regarding Obamacare.
From the article: The CBO report actually says that the impact of the ACA will be “almost entirely” due to a decline in labor that “workers choose to supply.” It says explicitly that the ACA’s impact will not be felt as an “increase in unemployment” or “underemployment.”The relevant passage of the CBO report is below the squiggle.
From page 117 of the report:
Although CBO projects that total employment (and compensation) will increase over the coming decade, that increase will be smaller than it would have been in the absence of the aCA. The decline in full-time-equivalent employment stemming from the ACA will consist of some people not being employed at all and other people working fewer hours; however, CBO has not tried to quantify those two components of the overall effect. The estimated reduction stems almost entirely from a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply, rather than from a net drop in business’ demand for labor, so it will appear almost entirely as a reduction in labor force participation and in hours worked relative to what have occurred otherwise rather than as an increase in unemployment (that is, more workers seeking, but not finding jobs) or underemployment (such as part-time workers who would prefer to work more hours per week).CBO director Douglas Elmendorf is testifying before the House budget committee tomorrow. Let's hope there are clarifying questions asked that take away the 2.5 million jobs lost R talking point.
The major papers already have the 2.5 million jobs lost R talking point out there. Can we turn it around and get the nuance of the report clearly expressed?
Update: As noted by DK poster More Questions than Answers, the WP's Glenn Kesslerhas issued three Pinocchios any claiming that the ACA will reduce the number of jobs by 2.5M. What the report says is that 2.5M fewer will participate in the workforce, but there will still be essentially the same number of jobs.