Democrats denied it while many conservatives warned it. Now, Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf is warning that the most significant economic effect of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul will be driving people from the job market:
“For the economy outside the health sector, the most significant impact of the legislation will be through the labor market,” Elmendorf said at an Oct. 22 conference sponsored by the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at the University of Southern California. “We estimated that the legislation, on net, will reduce the amount of labor used in the economy by roughly half a percent, primarily by reducing the amount that people choose to work,” he said.
“Some provisions of the legislation will discourage people from working more hours or entering the workforce, and other provisions will encourage them to work more,” he said, adding that “[t]he net reduction in the supply of labor is largely attributable to the substantial expansion of Medicaid and the provision of subsidies through the new insurance exchanges.”
As CNSNews.com notes, Elmendorf’s analysis of the health care law’s economic impact supports House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) remarks about the subsidies in the health care bill enabling people to quit their regular jobs and pursue their artistic dreams because the government would now provide their health care.
“We see it as an entrepreneurial bill,” Pelosi said, “a bill that says to someone, if you want to be creative and be a musician or whatever, you can leave your work, focus on your talent, your skill, your passion, your aspirations because you will have health care.”