To what extent is Obamacare actually a ‘job killer?’

Q. To what extent is Obamacare actually a “job killer?”

A: The idea of Obamcare as a “job killer” gained a lot of traction in early 2014 after the non-partisan CBO (Congressional Budget Office) released a report that said there would be about 2 million fewer jobs a decade down the road as a result of the ACA. Obamacare opponents pounced on that data, decrying the law as bad for American workers.

ACA open enrollment guide

The Insider’s Guide to Obamacare’s Open Enrollment, from author Louise Norris, offers time-saving strategies for selecting coverage during open enrollment. (Click the image for a free download.)

But the CBO quickly released additional clarification, noting that the decrease would be due almost entirely to workers choosing to supply less labor, as opposed to involuntarily losing their jobs. There are numerous benefits that arise when people have more employment flexibility.

And the CBO reiterated in their most recent report (see page 32) that the most significant impact of Obamacare on the labor market will be workers adjusting the amount of labor they choose to supply.

Obamacare is not a job killer, and unemployment is down to 5.3 percent, the lowest it’s been since 2008. The labor market grew more in 2014 than it had since 1999, and the healthcare sector in particular is rapidly adding jobs: 311,000 of them in 2014.

That’s on the heels of 203,000 new healthcare jobs in 2013 (for reference, there were a total of 11.8 million healthcare jobs in the U.S. in 2011). Out of the 2.95 million jobs that the U.S. added last year, more than 10 percent of them were in healthcare, driven largely by the increased demand for healthcare as more Americans gain insurance.

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