Monday, February 17, 2014

ACA - The Good, The Stupid and the Smackdown!

By Jeff Simpson

The Affordable Care Act, ie..Obamacare has obviously been all over the news and recently we had the pleasure of seeing the extreme's  

First the Stupid:  

Local fiction writer and unexplainable Journal Sentinel Columnist and Bradley Foundation gopher Christian Schneider took a shot at the Democrats and Obamacare(and miserably failed). 

 Given that the language of modern progressivism is hopelessly rooted in the past, it's no surprise Democrats exhumed this calcified nugget of wisdom last week. In response to a Congressional Budget Office report that estimated Obamacare could effectively reduce the number of American workers by 2.5 million over the next decade, Democrats immediately began explaining how much better off workers will be when they are freed from the suffocating shackles of employment.

Then in response to his silly red-baiting and spewing of excrement, our friend Jay Bullock laid the smackdown on Schneider.  

 Lacking even a trace of self-awareness, early in his op-ed Schneider writes that "the language of modern progressivism is hopelessly rooted in the past," and then he proceeds to red-bait contemporary Democrats in a way that would make the 1950s jealous. Within a few dozen words, Schneider moves easily from Nancy Pelosi to genocide ("The collectivism of agriculture in Russia in the early 1900s led to the murder and starvation of tens of millions of peasants") as if the first thing Nancy Pelosi will do if the Democrats take back the House this fall is organize the death squads.

While its always fun, and yet too easy, to make Schneider look like a fool, the reality of it is, the CBO did NOT say that the ACA will cost 2.5 million Americans their jobs at all!   As Dean Baker puts it:

The CBO assessment was that because people could now get access to health insurance through the exchanges rather than having to get insurance through their jobs, many people might decide not to work or to work fewer hours. This voluntary reduction in work hours is one of the goals of Obamacare, it is not an unforeseen consequence.
There are millions of people who struggle at their jobs with serious health conditions in the hope of reaching age 65 when they can qualify for Medicare. The exchanges will make it possible for many of these people to get insurance at prices they can afford, since insurers are not allowed to discriminate based on pre-existing conditions. As a result, some of these older workers will opt to either retire or to possible work fewer hours at a job that doesn't provide insurance. Giving people this option was one of the main goals of health care reform.
Similarly, there are many workers with young children who would like to be able to either take time off from work to spend with their kids, or alternatively to work at a job part-time. However they may not have this option if their only way to afford insurance is by working at a full-time job. As a result of the ACA these people will work fewer hours.
This also was also one of the goals of Obamacare. Advocates of health care reform thought it would be good if the parents of young children had the opportunity to work less to be with their kids, if that is what they choose to do.
When CBO did its analysis and said that Obamacare would lead to some reduction in work hours, it was saying the ACA would have its intended effect. It was freeing people from health care related job-lock. This is a feature, not a bug.
It really is too bad for all of WI, that Christian Schneider is allowed column space!

Photo from Christianschneiderblog! 

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