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Sunday, December 10, 2023
HomePolicyEvil, Knee-Jerk, Wingnut Libertarians and Conservatives Are Wrong to Say ObamaCare is a Total Job Killer

Evil, Knee-Jerk, Wingnut Libertarians and Conservatives Are Wrong to Say ObamaCare is a Total Job Killer



Time for a mea culpa. In the past, I’ve criticized ObamaCare for a variety of reasons.

But I’m not here to apologize for those views. Instead, I feel obliged to issue somewhat of a retraction for my assertion that Obama care is a job killer.

Some of you may be scratching your heads, particularly if you read these passages from an article earlier this week in The Hill.

ObamaCare will force a reduction in American work hours — the equivalent of 2 million jobs over the next decade, Congress’s nonpartisan scorekeeper said Monday. The total workforce will shrink by just under 1 percent as a result of changes in worker participation because of the new coverage expansions, mandates and changes in tax rates, according to a 22-page report released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). …the law changes incentives over the years for the workers themselves both in part-time and full-time positions.

And if you go to the actual CBO report, you’ll see that the story is accurate. And the CBO report is very consistent with some of the academic research on the issue. So why, then, am I issuing a mea culpa on ObamaCare and jobs? Well, some readers may have concluded from my writings that ObamaCare is an absolute job killer.

Yet, as we see from this story in the Kansas City Star, there may be some jobs being created because of the so-called Affordable Care Act. Here are some relevant excerpts.

H&R Block expects more customers to feel the impact of the Affordable Care Act when they do their taxes early next year, providing a source of growth for the Kansas City-based business. A year ago, Block invested in marketing and training its tax preparers… “We think we’re going to start to reap the benefits of that investment,” Block chief executive Bill Cobb said Tuesday during a strategy session with analysts. …the company said an early effort will be aimed at getting back customers the company lost last year.

To be sure, H&R Block isn’t explicitly saying that it will have additional employees, but I think we can infer that some new positions will be created as the company takes advantage of the fact that many taxpayers will be overwhelmed by the complexities and penalties that are part of ObamaCare.

With this in mind, I’m going to be very careful in the future to state that the President’s law is a net job killer or a relative job killer.

After all, I wouldn’t want anyone to accuse me of being unfairly or inaccurately critical of government-run healthcare. Even in cases when the jobs being created are evidence of bad legislation rather than a good economic climate.

P.S. I’m not a big fan of H&R Block. Assuming they didn’t support Obamacare, I don’t blame them for enjoying the extra profits they’ll earn because of the law. But the company has supported government rules to block competition in the tax-compliance industry. And I remember many years ago being part of a debate in Louisiana where a representative from H&R Block argued against the flat tax.

Gee, I wonder why?

Read Also — CBO ObamaCare Report Says Law Destroys 2.3 Million Jobs

Written by
Contributing Economist

Daniel J. Mitchell is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, and a top expert on tax reform and supply-side tax policy. Mitchell’s articles can be found in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Investor’s Business Daily, and the Washington Times. He is the author of "The Flat Tax: Freedom, Fairness, Jobs, and Growth," and co-author of "Global Tax Revolution: The Rise of Tax Competition and the Battle to Defend It."

Latest comments

  • ROFL… ‘overwhelmed by the complexities and penalties’….

    SOOO complex. Sign up for insurance or pay a penalty…. Oh, the complexity! Do I sign up for insurance… or… pay the penalty…. or maybe I sign up for insurance…. or I pay the penalty… on the other hand I could sign up for the insurance… or….maybe…. I think… perhaps… i could pay the penalty. It’s all to overwhelming….

    Almost as hard as knowing how to ‘browse that interweb thing’… or drive a car at night…. those bright lights, blinding!

    Well thankfully, now that all the jobs have been killed, i won’t have to worry. I’ll just have no insurance and won’t be able to pay a penalty. Worst case they’ll come and put me in jail… or maybe make me work community service… then I could spend my time cleaning up the millions of ‘Help Wanted’ signs that have been posted to every telephone pole and tree in America over the last 6 months….

    Such a clown…..

    • I knew it would kill jobs. Why would an employer want to increase his cost of labor while getting nothing for it. Large corporations can and did cut down on full time employees in order to keep from paying the cost of additional insurance. No brainer there. Walmart is a good example. Very very few of their employees are full time. that is generally reserved for management. It created an additional burden on the individual wage earner as well. They couldn’t afford heath care before they still can’t so let’s penalize them and take even more of their money. However not everyone is subject to the penalty. There are earnings limits regarding that penalty. Obamacare is also affecting the availability of insurance. In my state I have seen 5 companies withdraw from providing health care. Why? because they don’t have the money to pay the bills of all the lazy well fare collecting bums that race to the doctor every time they have a hang nail so they can get free prescription drugs to feed their addiction. Having spoken to several health care providers it is the reason they give for not accepting various insurances – – non payment of the bills. The insurance companies say they can’t pay the bills because the customers aren’t paying their premiums. What the f$%^ did you expect? They didn’t pay it before Obamacare they aren’t going to pay it now. They are on the dole and expect to be given everything because “I be black” or “yo soy mexican”. Government has no place in a free enterprise system which worked just fine. Most of the individual states had healthcare programs in place for the poor. Oh and I know I’m not politically correct, so don’t make a bunch of comments pointing out the obvious. I’m not changing , and political correctness is just a smoke screen for what we are all thinking. Just be honest speak your mind. and then maybe things will change.

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