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Could ObamaCare kill jobs?

Today, we will once again help you fact-check our friends over at Politifact.comGiven that we are all still a bit in health care mode, we'll look at this old Politifact post on health care and how it relates to jobs.

"Obamacare... will kill jobs across America".  

We have all heard this before, right?   However, sometimes good rhetoric isn't based on fact so we dug a little deeper into the Politict claim.

Politifact rated this statement False, and they reported, "the best projections we’ve seen, based on how the law is actually written, do not suggest that the law will 'kill' jobs." 

As always, we recommend you read the entire piece, which you can find here - Politifact Report

Now, unlike  Politifact, we are not here to tell you what is true and what is false.  We have just seen some information that perhaps the kind and noble folks at Politifact may have missed.  Given how clever our readers are, we thought we'd put this information to you, and let you chime in.  Here is the data from the Congressional Budget Office:

Read, Verify, Learn, Vote!


From the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)

Requiring employers to offer health insurance—or pay a fee if they do not—is likely to reduce employment, although the effect would probably be small.   Those who would most likely be affected are currently paid close to or at the minimum wage.  They would be more vulnerable to job loss because their wages could not be lowered sufficiently to absorb the cost of health insurance (if their firm decides to offer) or the fee (if their firm does not) without bumping into the minimum wage.   CBO Report

Employers’ decisions to hire workers will also be affected in some cases by the health care legislation…Employer penalties, whose amounts are based on the number of full-time workers in the firm, will, over time, generally be passed on to workers through reductions in wages or other forms of compensation.  However, firms generally can not reduce workers’ wages below the minimum wage, which will probably cause some employers to respond by hiring fewer low-wage workers.  Alternatively, because firms are penalized only if their full-time employees receive subsidies from exchanges, some firms may instead hire more part-time or seasonal employees.   CBO Report, Page 32

One study estimated that 224,000 workers could become unemployed if firms were required to provide health insurance costing, on average $2 per hour worked (or roughly $4,000 a year per employee).   CBO Report, Page 4

A second study found a larger effect – a potential loss of 750,000 jobs – from a higher play-or-pay assessment ($3 an hour, or $6,000 a year), but that estimate also included increasing the minimum wage from $5.15 (the rate of minimum wage the year of the study) to $7.25.  CBO Report, Page 4

Conversely – One study of Hawaii’s employer health insurance mandate found that the employment rate grew faster than in the rest of the United States, although that result may have been due to facts other than the mandate.  CBO Report, Pages 4-5

Another study of Hawaii found an increase in part-time workers (one of the categories of workers who were exempted from the employer health insurance mandate) after the mandate was instituted.   CBO Report, Page 5

The overall impact on labor markets, however, is difficult to predict.  Although economic theory and experience provide some guidance as to the effect of specific provisions, large-scale changes to the health insurance system could have more extensive repercussions than had previously been observed and also may contain numerous pieces that would interact—affecting labor markets in significant but potentially offsetting ways.   CBO Report

More generally, the health care legislation may shape the labor market or the operations of other segments of the economy in ways that are difficult to anticipate or quantify. For example, the legislation could influence labor markets indirectly by making it easier for some employees to obtain health insurance outside the workplace and thereby enabling workers to take jobs that better match their skills. Some firms, however, might invest less in their workers—by reducing training, for example—if the probability of retaining those workers declines. To the extent that changes in the health insurance system lead to better health among workers, the nation’s economic productivity could be enhanced. It is not clear, however, whether such changes would have a substantial impact on overall economic productivity or output. Moreover, many of the effects of the legislation may not be felt for several years because it will take time for workers and employers to recognize and to adapt to the new incentives.  CBO Report, Page 33


When you read the entire Politifact report, you will see at the top that they mention how projections are really speculative.  In other words, nobody really knows until we get there.  But we wonder then, how is it that nobody really knows, yet Politifact somehow knows and can therefore report to their readers that the health care law will not kill jobs.  Because if you are a follower of Politifact, when you are checking over their home page and you see their False rating to the statement "Obamacare... will kill jobs across America", surely you could easily be led to conclude that it would not. 

Now that you have read through some of the CBO data, we want to know what you think.  Do you think that it is a fact that the new health care law will not kill jobs? is a registered trademark of the Tampa Bay Times and the Times Publishing Compay, St. Petersburg, FL

NOTE:  This question was originally worded "The new health care law will not kill jobs" and was rated by readers as "Mostly Fiction".  However, we decided that using the word "might" was more appropriate for informing people who choose not to read the facts in the post.


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Voting Key

Fact = 100% - 92% True
Mostly Fact = 91% - 75% True
Slightly Fact = 74% - 60% True
Split = 59% - 50% True
Slightly Fiction = 49% - 30% True
Mostly Fiction = 29% - 10% True
Fiction = 9% - 0% True