Will Obamacare Really Kill 1.6 Million Jobs?

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As Congress debates whether or not to repeal last year's health care reform law, one key point of contention is: Will Obamacare really kill jobs?

The Republicans certainly feel that it will, and they've put a number to the claim: 1.6 million jobs lost. They've sponsored a bill they call the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act, which is likely to come up for a vote early next week. The bill will probably pass the House, where the Republicans have a majority, but will likely fail in the Democrat-controlled Senate. Even if it passed the Senate, though, President Obama would certainly veto the proposal.

The Republicans have based their claim that the law will kill 1.6 million jobs on an August 2010 report by the Congressional Budget Office, which said the Affordable Care Act would reduce the amount of labor in the economy by about 0.5%, because more people would choose to retire earlier, thanks to the reduced cost of health insurance.

But as an analysis by FactCheck.org points out, having people leave the job market because it has become financially possible for them to retire is entirely different from killing jobs. The FactCheck report says, in part: "The House Republican leadership. . . badly misrepresents what the Congressional Budget Office has said about the law. In fact, CBO is among those saying the effect 'will probably be small.'"

An Impediment to Hiring


The GOP's political leaders aren't the only ones who have issues with Obamacare. Another criticism has been made by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a private business-lobbying group. The chamber maintains that one provision -- that small businesses with more than 50 full-time employees must provide adequate health care coverage for their workers or face a penalty of between $2,000 to $3,000 per worker -- is causing many small firms to stop hiring.

"We believe that because of the employer mandate, many of the small businesses that have 40 to 42 employees are not looking to expand their companies and not looking to hire additional individuals because if they get up to the 50 full-time employees level, they will then be required to pay the penalty," says Katie Mahoney, the chamber's director of health care regulation.

Supporters of the law disagree. Karen Davenport, director of health policies at the Center for American Progress, says she doesn't think the employer mandate will be such a problem for the economy. "For those businesses at the threshold, it probably is a very important issue," Davenport says. "But if you look at the big numbers, it is not going to drive the employment dynamics in the country."

Awaiting Details from the Regulators

Davenport notes that while there are more small businesses in the U.S. than large firms, the large firms have the most employees, and they already provide coverage to most of their workers. The center has published a study by Harvard economist David Cutler suggesting that if the health care reform law were repealed, heath insurance costs would resume their upward climb, costing the country an estimated 250,000 to 400,000 jobs a year.

Mahoney says in addition to the problem facing businesses with just under 50 employees, general confusion about how the law will be implemented has caused many companies to postpone hiring decisions as they wait to see how the thousands of regulations still being written by different agencies will affect them.

"I would say that the uncertainty businesses are facing in complying with the new requirements is leading to a limited expansion because it's not clear what the new requirements are going to be," Mahoney says. "Regulations are being promulgated every day, and they are interpreting the statutory language in ways that many would say are unexpected."

In some cases, Mahoney asserts that regulators such as the Department of Labor have gone beyond what's in the Affordable Care Act and adopted language in their regulations that was present in draft versions of the bill, but eliminated from the final legislation. Uncertainty is never a condition conducive to business planning, so the true impact of health care insurance reform will likely remain unknown at least until the law's provisions are written into regulations.

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Rob

I have been demoted to an as needed employee as of yesterday .... I was full time ... So I didn't really lose my job I just lost most of my income .... So thank you Obama .... You are doing wonderful things for me and my family .... Like you even care .....what could I or anyone else say to you that would make a difference ? You as the President of the United States of America just took a job away from one of your citizens ....do you hear me cry as I tell my children that the things they once had are going to be taken from them .... Do your hear me cry when I can't put food on my table to feed my family ...... Do you hear me ?

April 18 2013 at 9:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
conman0412

all this crap for so little and even less

October 12 2011 at 8:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
weisjjw

o.k. time too think out side the box .times are changing .if we allow the poor and the uninsured to be seen at military hospitals. and at the same time build state of the art hospitals near and around military hospitals and bases and at the same time offer large incentives to young brite people to join the military and have a career in the medical field. this in retun will create lots of construction jobs on the hospitals campusses and on housing in the area. lets face it most of are mititary hospitals are 70 years old and must cost alot to maintain them,this must be in the military budget . we still have g.i"s getting injured but not like ww II. think the g.i"s would be proud to go to one of these hospitals . now allow medical patients to visit the hospitals so we the people dont have to pay retail for treatment.and with alot of doctors costs across the board should go down

April 25 2011 at 12:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Richard

How can a company provide healthcare when it's employees all have different lifestyles, addictions, etc? only way is to cover the employee, rest is up to them, fair, yes indeedy!!

January 18 2011 at 3:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
blditrt1

I am employed by a company with under 50 employees. Jan 1, 2011 marked 13 years with the company. Health insurance had been part of my employment package, up until Sept 2010. At that time, my employer dropped health care insurance on all of the employees. The stated reason was that it had not been affordable for some time, and the cost had now become prohibitive. While the company stand on this issue has now created a hardship, it is understandable. Health insurance costs have gone up. All business related costs have gone up. Unfortunately, with the current economy, small business has been forced to absorb many of the costs that had previously been passed on to their customers. With the current economy, passing those increased costs on to the customer may very well kill the business. On the other hand, to absorb the additional costs strangles the business and may very well result in a slow painful death! While health care is an important issue, it is not an issue that should be front and center during the time that a struggling economy exists. It will further strangle that struggling economy. Currently, a more important topic of discussion - an issue that has been swept under the "rug" - is FUEL PRICES! ALL OF THE PROBLEMS THAT THE BUSINESS THAT I WORK FOR, HAVE FUEL PRICES AS THE ROOT PROBLEM. Fuel prices are up, and as a result, so are the prices of everything else! When will this issue be addressed? Personally - I AM SICK AND TIRED OF BEING SICK AND TIRED OF THE MEDIA PROPHESIZING ABOUT HOW MUCH HIGHER FUEL PRICES WILL BE, AND NO ONE ADDRESSING WHAT CAN BE DONE TO REDUCE FUEL PRICES TO HELP RE-ENERGIZE OUR ECONOMY! In minimal - what good is health care if one can not afford to drive to see the doctor?

January 18 2011 at 10:49 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Hi Millionaires

We focus on the loss of jobs which common sense says there will be losses---BUT WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF THIS VIA FOR CONTROL OF THE PEOPLE???

NOONE WAS GOING TO LOOSE THEIR COVERAGE, PREMIUMS WERE NOT GOING TO GO UP, SENIORS WOULD ONLY LOOSE $500 MILLION FROM MEDICARE. NOW WE HEARD DIFFERENTLY FROM THE TEA PARTIES, ORGANIZATIONS, DOCTORS AND TALK RADIO. AMAZING IT HAS PROVED TO BE TRUE.

1. PREMIUMS WILL RISE AND WHAT ABOUT THE DEFICIT. DOESN'T THAT COUNT? WHAT DOES THIS COST? PROBABLY AT LEAST 4 TIMES MORE THAN WHAT THEY PROCLAIM.

2. SENIORS ON MEDICARE ADVANTAGE WILL LOOSE THEIR PROGRAMS, NOT MAYBE BUT WILL. THEY WILL BE FORCED ONTO THE GOVERNMENT PROGRAM PERIOD. YES, OUR PREWMIUMS WILL RISE AND SENIORS WILL HAVE NO CHOICE.

3. NO "DEATH PANELS". YES THEIR ARE DEATH PANELS AND OBAMA TOOK THEM OUT OF THE BILL ON HIS OWN EXECUTIVE ORDER AFTER THEY WERE REVEALED, PROBABLY THEY ARE PUT IN SOMEHWERE ELSE IN ANOTHER BILL BECAUSE YES, THEY WERE DOING THAT TOO. WHAT IS A DEATH PANEL. REFER TO THE INTERVIEW OF TOM DASCHLE ABOUT A HYPOTHETICAL CASE. AN 80 YEAR OLD MAN REQUIRES A HEART BYPASS. WHAT ARE HIS OPTIONS ON OBAMACARE? TOM SAID HE HAS OPTIONS, HE CAN GO ON HOSPICE!!!!! THE INTERVIEWER SAID THAT IS DYING. TOM SAID, NO THAT IS ANOTHER HOSPICE. THE INTERVIEDWER ASKED WHAT TOM WAS TALKING ABOUT AND HE EVADED THE ANSWER!!!!!! I WONDER WHY. THE CONCLUSION WAS THAT THE 80 YEAR OLD MAN WOULD NOT RECEIVE THE BYPASS BUT HE WOULD RECEIVE COUNSELING ABOUT DEATH AND PREPARING HIS WILL AND TURST.

WHAT KIND OF HEALTH INSURANCE IS THIS?

LOOK BEYOND THE JOBS THAT WILL BE LOST BECAUSE THE PREMIUMS WILL BE TOO HIGH FOR THE EMPLOYER. THAT'S ONLY PART OF THE PICUTRE.

AND REMEMBER, "YOU WILL KNOW WHAT IS IN THE BILL WHEN YOU VOTE FOR IT." AND CONGRESS VOTED. NEED I SAY MORE.

OBAMA NOW IS ADDING IN HIS OWN IDEAS AS PART OF THE BILL--LAWS WENT OUT THE WINDOW.

REPEAL IMMEDIATELY THE TOTAL BILL. KEEP OUR COVERAGE, ADD PRE-EXISTING AND THE GOOD PARTS WHICH ARE FEW, DELEATE ABORTIONS FOR FREE AND MONITOR DOCTORS, PHARMASEUTICAL, ETC. AS WELL AS CONGRESS AND THE GOVERNMENT.

LASTLY, OUR GOVERNMENT, CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT WILL NOT BE ON THIS BILL.

THAT SAYS IT ALL,,.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

January 18 2011 at 10:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TED

What would you accept as a limit to the percentage of taxes that should be confiscated?

60------or 90%???

Most that want to soak the rich are uninformed, have no ambition to be anything other than a parasitic looter (that collects the crumbs our government is willing to confiscate from others), want to maintain political power or have an unrealistic view that every problem of society could and should be solved if they just had enough of other peoples money.

Earned income is your property. FACT!!!

The uninvited taking of ones property is still theft. Does the motivation void the moral issue? Just because it makes you feel good to help someone with somebody else's money does not make it moral. Charity comes from the heart not from theft of personal property to redistribute in the name of kindness.

Can you legally rob someone to help a poor homeless family pay for sleeping bags, firewood, food or a hotel room for the night? Of course not, then why can the Federal government do it to you and me? If it's morally wrong in any context then why can it be done, federally, to all taxpayers without a legal moral objection?

Contrary to popular beliefs, Robin Hood was still a common thief regardless of the romantic legend.

With socialism we all equally share the misery of socialistic poverty rather than participate in the unequal sharing of capitalistic prosperity. The rising tide of capitalistic prosperity lifts all boats regardless of the socialists acknowledgement or awareness.

Most that fit the poverty criteria in the USA are considered wealthy in most of the world. A fact that seems to fall on many, leftist agenda driven, deaf ears.

Most socialistic based societies have free healthcare, housing, transportation and education but those that want something better seem to always end up in the USA. Why? Because socialist (free) systems are usually far below adequate for the masses and much further below the standards that most US citizens would accept for the norm. The rest of the world knows it but for some reason the left rejects it.

China is the exception because they allowed capitalism to be introduced and they will probably be a free capitalistic society in another generation or two. The Chinese have embraced the freedom and prosperity created with capitalism thanks to President Richard M Nixon, another convenient fact the left forgot.

Where would the world be today if the US capitalistic system had not been created and the feudal systems of Europe had spread and fallen, like Russia, into a failed corrupt communistic society and emerged a more corrupt Mafioso like society. Capitalism generally raises the bar while socialism generally lowers the bar.

The failed socialistic systems have a much bigger problem to overcome due to the systemic lack of incentives for creativity and personal ambition which may take generations to overcome. Many have been re-educated to embrace the nanny state entitlement mentality, which has been deeply indoctrinated.


Every citizen of this country has the opportunity but it's not a guarantee of producing wealth. Only you can change your life and participate in the capitalistic system but the taking of wealth from those that have earned it is theft regardless of whether it's legislated theft or just plain gunpoint thuggery.

When you are forced to work without pay, it's called slavery. It makes no difference that it shows up on the pay stub, it was still taken with out consent.
Slavery is an immoral act regardless of the motivation or social justice reasoning, it's still slavery by forcing an act of free labor, whether legislated or not.

It is foolish to think that wealth can be created by destroying the wealthy, that more jobs can be created by imposing higher taxes and ridiculously unreasonable regulations on job creators or that exponentially increasing the size of the Federal Government plus more Washington spending is really a way to reduce a $17 Trillion Federal debt?

Where did common sense get off track??? We need a serious reality check people !!!!!!!!

January 18 2011 at 10:01 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
TED

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

NEED WE SAY MORE??

January 18 2011 at 9:59 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
GoGirlsVacations

Please stop referring to the Health Care act as "Obamacare." The word is biased and attempts to delegitamize what is overall a good plan. The Health Care Law is not perfect, but neither is the current state of affairs with health insurance companies gouging their customers. Some sort of national health care plan is necessary given the continued rising costs of health care that's being powered by insurance companies. We already have Medicaid and Medicare, which are, in fact, government run health care plans. I find it strange that many of those who are protesting the loudest against the president's health care law are already covered by one of the aforementioned government run health care plans. It's time to insure that the majority of people have the option of good health care, not just the very wealthy, underemployed or politicians.

January 18 2011 at 9:49 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to GoGirlsVacations's comment
TED

OBAMACARE, OBAMACARE, OBAMACARE, OBAMACARE, OBAMACARE....

January 18 2011 at 10:09 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
pvcinc1

Complain, complain. All I know is that my health insurance bill was reduced by $600 a month!!!!!!!!( I'm 62 and single payer) this year. The insurance company told me it was because of provisions in the new health care law.
That's a bad thing? That's a job killing thing? Well, Obamacare made one dude pretty happy!!!!!!!!!!
What do you uninformed , repeat after Glen beck and Sarah Palin cattle say to that?

January 18 2011 at 9:37 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to pvcinc1's comment
fconnor804

I'd like to see your bills.

January 18 2011 at 9:41 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply