Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Monday called the idea that the Affordable Care Act will lead to fewer jobs in the United States a “popular myth.”
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, speaks at a news conference on enrollment in affordable health coverage in Cleveland, Feb. 3, 2014 (AP)
“There is absolutely no evidence, and every economist will tell you this, that there is any job-loss related to the Affordable Care Act,” Sebelius told a group of reporters in Orlando, Fla. “Part-time physicians are actually down since 2010, not up. The number of full-time workers continues to increase. I know that’s a popular myth that continues to be repeated but it just is not accurate.”
Sebelius stressed that there is “absolutely no evidence” that Obamacare will hurt the nation’s employment levels.
Her remarks seem to contradict the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office's report earlier this month which stated that there would be a reduction in the full-time workforce beginning in 2017 as a result of the law.
“CBO’s current estimate for 2021 is a reduction in full-time-equivalent employment of about 2.3 million,” the report said. “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.”
The report said that Obamacare would lead to more employees working part-time hours and leaving the workforce altogether.
“CBO estimates that the [Affordable Care Act] will reduce the total number of hours worked, on net, by about 1.5 to 2 percent during the period from 2017 to 2024, almost entirely because workers will choose to supply less labor — given the new taxes and other incentives they will face and the financial benefits some will receive,” the report said.
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