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Controversial CBO Report - Last step into Political Bizzaro World

  1. GA Anderson profile image87
    GA Andersonposted 3 years ago

    The gist of the new Congressional Budget Office, (CBO), report on the effects of Obamacare on the U.S. economy is that it will cause a reduction in works hours equivalent to about 2 million jobs by 2017.

    Here is just one link from a Washington Post story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plu … mployment/

    The Republicans are dancing like it is Christmas again, and the Democrats are spinning like tops. (my opinion)

    But quotes from the Post article seem to step into the reverse realities of Superman's Bizarro World.

    Like this quote from  the CBO director:
    ..."Under questioning today before the House Budget Committee from Dem Rep. Chris Van Hollen, CBO director Douglas Elmendorf confirmed that in reality, his report suggests Obamacare will reduce unemployment:..."

    "...On page 124, the report estimates that the ACA will “boost overall demand for goods and services over the next few years because the people who will benefit from the expansion of Medicaid and from access to the exchange subsidies are predominantly in lower-income households and thus are likely to spend a considerable fraction of their additional resources on goods and services.” This, the report says, “will in turn boost demand for labor over the next few years.”

    “When you boost demand for labor in this kind of economy, you actually reduce the unemployment rate, because those people who are looking for work can find more work, right?” Van Hollen asked Elmendorf.

    “Yes, that’s right,” Elmendorf said...."


    Now, in plain-speak, isn't the director saying that instead of people using their own money to pay for something - the government will pay for it for them, so they can then spend that money buying other goods - boosting the demand for consumer goods and the economy?

    And is Van Holland implying with "...this kind of economy..." that there are multiple versions of the U.S. economy? (or is he snidely admitting to the Bizarro World scenario, and daring folks to catch on?)

    Gee, I can let the government pay for my healthcare, instead of me paying for it - and I can then use the money I would have spent on my healthcare to buy a 60" flat screen TV - and I will be patriotically boosting consumer demand and helping the economy too!

    And then the director says that because folks will choose to work less - in order to meet premium subsidy guidelines, (again to let the government pay for something they were paying for), it will lower unemployment because there will be more work hours available for new workers. 

    So is he really saying that the government is reducing the unemployment rate by paying for something folks would have been paying for themselves, and since they don't have to pay for it now they can choose to work less? And that is a good thing?

    I remember in Superman's Bizarro world every surface was cracked, and the logical became the illogical.

    I'm going to wear a bio-suit to field these responses.

    GA

    1. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      If anyone is saying the government will pay for your health care they are lying through their teeth.

      Yes, my obamacare insurance will be subsidized (heavily) by government, but by the time I pay my own share, there is nothing left for health care.  Just worthless insurance that won't pay a penny of the first $5,000.  While the insurance will be of value in a catastrophic illness, the total OoP price of $10,000 up for such an illness will bankrupt me whether insured or not.

      So no, there is no help for health care, only profits for the insurance company.

      1. GA Anderson profile image87
        GA Andersonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        True, I should have said "healthcare premiums," but did that make the point of the post less clear? Or less pertinent?

        It still boils down to saying government support, even at the cost of personal responsibility, is a good thing.

        GA

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          A good thing for some, as always, but not for the man in the street.

          I'm sorry - been struggling for some way out of this particular catch-22 and not finding a thing.  Our wondrous leader has just forced me to pay $4,000 for absolutely nothing but to add profit to insurance companies.  I'm not a happy camper.

          1. GA Anderson profile image87
            GA Andersonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            You have my sympathy, and understanding. I am not an Obamacare supporter either, and for reasons that have nothing to do with partisan positions.

            I try not to enter into Obamacare discussions that are purely partisan, but the Democrat spin on this CBO report was just too easy a target to pass up.

            Although it was to be expected, to see the politicos brazenly declare black is really white was just too much of a red flag for me.

            GA

            1. wilderness profile image95
              wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              But...but...they will say that every time black comes up.  And claim black when white comes up.  sad

              It really is rather sad when our brainless leaders decide FOR me that it is better that I spend my limited health care monies on a worthless insurance policy than on health care.  Guess the level of care, already limited to maybe a minor procedure and a few office visits, just dropped again.  It used to be fair, until Obamacare came into being, the employer insurance doubled in price in just one year and was dropped as a result.

              Oh well.  I'm pretty healthy for an old man - maybe I can hang on for a few more years without a doctor.  Haven't been back to the cardiologist since the heart attack 4 years ago and it's worked so far.

              1. junko profile image79
                junkoposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                If I can buy my own health care coverage at a reasonable rate I can retire early at 62 and let my grandson have my barely above minimum wage job. I thought I'd have to work until I was 65 because I couldn't afford to pay what the insurance company quoted me because of pre-existing health problems. My grandson needs the entry level job more then I do, I just couldn't quit working because my job was the only way I  would have health insurance. The ACA will free myself and millions of other slaves to deadend jobs, I can be a chimney sweep cut grass to help me live and add to my early retirement. The ACA is here to stay and I'm glad to be able to insure myself for less than I paid on the job.

                1. wilderness profile image95
                  wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Good luck with that.  After hours of searching for a way out of the trap, I've come up blank - there is no "insurance" plan I can afford that will also leave some money left in the budget for actual health care.  I suspect that when you dig into it you will find the same, at least if you are using a government subsidy.

                  And no, the ACA is NOT here to stay.  Not as written; at best the country could only afford that fraudulent piece of crap for a handful of years before going bankrupt and the people being forced to pad the insurance company pockets won't allow even that.

                  1. junko profile image79
                    junkoposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    wilderness: The ACA if not here to stay it will be replaced by Socialize Medicine paid for by tax collection and reform, also regulation of Capitalism. Unregulated Capitalism has killed jobs in America and perpetually priced everything too high for the common man to pay without government handouts. Capitalism as is is unsustainable.

          2. profile image83
            Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            The Left will say that you aren't compassionate.

    2. Quilligrapher profile image90
      Quilligrapherposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Hi Gus, I am happy to have this chance to say hello.

      By now, we all know that the early GOP statements about the ACA killing 2 million jobs were false.

      As stated in the WP link you provided, “As noted here yesterday, Republicans went mad with glee at the new Congressional Budget Office report on deficits and the Affordable Care Act, with multiple GOP officials claiming it showed the law will kill over two million jobs. That was false.”{1} [Bold emphasis added.]

      I see no reason to dwell on 2 million lost jobs because that is not a fact. However, I would like to skip over the unanswered hypothetical questions you created and just highlight a few facts found in the report.

      Here is what the CBO report says sans all the partisan spin.

      REDUCTION IN LABOR SUPPY

      “The CBO report found that Obamacare — through subsidizing health coverage – would reduce the amount of hours workers choose to work, to the equivalent of 2.5 million full-time workers over 10 years. This was widely spun by Republicans as a loss of 2.5 million jobs.” This passage actually predicts a reduction in the labor supply.

      INCREASE IN LABOR DEMAND

      “Van Hollen cited the report’s findings on Obamacare’s impact on labor demand, rather than supply. On page 124, the report estimates that the ACA will “boost overall demand for goods and services over the next few years.” This actually predicts an increase in the demand for labor at a time when the supply declining.

      LOWER UNEMPLOYMENT

      An increase in demand for labor means a lower unemployment rate. Van Hollen noted, “When you boost demand for labor in this kind of economy, you actually reduce the unemployment rate, because those people who are looking for work can find more work.”

      RESULT IS HIGHER WAGES

      When the reduction in the supply of labor intersects with an increase in the demand for labor, the result is higher wages and incentives.

      The ACA in intended to provide access to healthcare insurance to millions of poorer Americans through online exchanges and government subsidies. This week’s CBO report confirms the ACA…

      Is providing all Americans with access to healthcare insurance;
      Will provide subsidies to less fortunate Americans to help them pay premiums;
      Will reduce unemployment;
      Will increase the demand for goods and services;
      Will apply pressure for higher wages;

      Thank you for your attention, Gus.
      http://s2.hubimg.com/u/6919429.jpg
      {1} http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plu … mployment/

      1. wilderness profile image95
        wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Quill, I'm a little confused.  It sounds like the CBO is saying that giving people "free" money to buy health care will result in them choosing not to work to support their own needs, thus lowering unemployment and raising wages.  And this is a GOOD thing.

        I am at a total loss as to how to equate supporting able bodied people that could work with public funds and that "GOOD thing".  The two simply do not match, will result in falling productivity rates and eventually a lower standard of living for all because of that. 

        You seem to have a handle on this - help me out?

      2. GA Anderson profile image87
        GA Andersonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Quill, (as you would say, "May I call you "Quill?"), I must admit your response has puzzled me. It is not like you to ignore the context of a discussion, (which is how your response appeared to me), in order to rehash the foundational points  of the link.



        So the report says "equivalent to... full-time workers" and the Republicans say "jobs."
        And I posed the questions as a difference in perceptions - not hypotheticals.

        Are you just arguing semantics?




        Yes, I quoted this part of the report too. But from my perspective, and further explanation from the Congressional questioning, it was explained as a boost in demand caused by folks spending money for consumer goods rather than healthcare premiums. Both the boost in demand for consumer goods and labor are facilitated by the government paying, (premium subsidies), something folks could/should, (and in CBO justifications - were), be paying for themselves.

        Since I did not dispute the language of the report quote - would your response have been more relevant if you had included your perspective of the explanation?




        Come on Quill, ...context, context, context. Of course that is a true statement, on its face. But in the context of the report, and this discussion, it is just a rationalization trying to avoid the reality that the cause and effect are directly related to government paying for something folks were paying for.

        Is your furnished quote your way of saying you believe it is true - in the context of the original discussion?




        Yes, yes, and yes, but how do you feel about this truism, as applied to to context of the discussion?




        1) Yes, but as more than a few anecdotal examples have shown - access does not equate to affordable equivalent coverage for all Americans. *of course I understand this is a very subjective and debatable statement - but I think there is enough controversy to warrant qualifying the claim.

        2) Once again, yes, even for a family of four with an income of a minimum of $78k, and perhaps as much as $94k, (depending on who is doing the talking) - Does not sound so "less fortunate" to me.

        3, 4, 5) Baloney, all pure spin. In my opinion of course.

        Since you force me to "read between the lines," - you just restated facts that I did not dispute - I disputed the spin put on them, and returning to the context of my OP, does your response represent that you believe the CBO explanations are valid? Or is this just a battle of semantics?


        GA

      3. HowardBThiname profile image88
        HowardBThinameposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Jesus Quill, you quoted WaPo? Come on, man. Then you had the nerve to claim those quotes were "sans all the partisan spin." Surely, you jest.

        The best practice - if you want to get at the truth - is to go to the source. WaPo is as, or more, partisan than many other rags.

        The bottom line is that even if people *choose* to work less in order to qualify for specific benefits, our nation STILL has a 2.5 million person job deficit. That translates into the poor becoming poorer (if they work more - they won't qualify) and reduced production.

        It's not a good thing any way you look at it.

        WaPo's spin is one of the most intellectually dishonest I've read, and I've read quite a few. The projected increase in the demand for goods and services only ensures higher prices, which will make it even harder for the poor to afford the things they need to survive.

        Quill, you are deeply entrenched in a practice of calling evil - good. The only time a reduction in the workforce is beneficial is when there is a greater reduction in the population.

        What the CBO alludes to will increase the span between the "haves" and the "have nots."

        Anyone who still defends and supports this fiasco - simply isn't paying attention.

        Fiscally, this plan cannot survive. As Wilderness said - its days are numbered.

    3. rhamson profile image76
      rhamsonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      As Abraham Lincoln said "you can please most of the people, most of the time, some of the people, some of the time, but none of the people all of the time". Obamacare can in no way provide for all conditions just as the law cannot provide for equal justice for all. The government with its corruption and pay offs to the slime bags who voted on it did not even know most of what was in it. With a track of history like that how could this mandate ever work?
      The move the unproductive onto the roles of the freeloaders and open up new opportunities for those who would fill their place in the work force is a Ponzi Scheme at best. This is how we improve the economy? But then again we have the best government money can buy. The sheeple will just whimper and cower in the corner while their lives and country are sold down the river.

      Term Limits, Publicly Financed Campaigns and Lobby Reform are our only hope.

      1. GA Anderson profile image87
        GA Andersonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        While your opinion of politicians is clear, the OP was about the interpretive "spin" (my description), of the report's conclusions, not on the ACA itself.

        Do you think my perception of the Democrat response was wrong?

        ps. the use of "sheeple" is, to me, a credibility killer. Buzzwords are seldom helpful when not preaching to the choir.

        GA

        1. rhamson profile image76
          rhamsonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          I thought it was clear that to try and interpret what is being offered by both parties is impossible as the spin is always focused to marginalize the others platform and does little to address the real problem. The real problem here is how can you make the unaffordable, affordable? The insurance lobby entrenched themselves in this to only get more customers and in the process insure less until they hit a spending plateau. This was the Ponzi Scheme as you get the younger healthy ones who don't need major medical coverage on average pay for the ones who are older and spending money of which they did not contribute enough. In the mean time the younger insured people don't have affordable medical insurance for basic maintenance unless they are in the poor category.

          The spin is meant to confuse and exacerbate the argument so as usual nothing gets done while the corporations get richer from it.

          As far as my credibility? That should not be biased by the vernacular I choose but by the context and content it displays. As far as preaching to the choir I don't know what we have in common so I can't speak to that.

          1. GA Anderson profile image87
            GA Andersonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Of course the choice of words or "vernacular" one chooses will reflect on credibility. Does not a response consisting of buzzwords and talking points, (not implying yours did), typically convey a repetition of other's  opinions, rather than your own?

            "... preaching to the choir" was in reference to  buzzwords appealing more to like-minded folks than to folks with differing opinions - not to whether you and I have any common perspectives.

            GA

            1. rhamson profile image76
              rhamsonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Sometimes words can paint a picture that defies description. Grouping the word to others opinion would be a prejudice some may take offense to and judge the user I agree. But the word itself is explanatory of behavior that other descriptions fall short of. I happen to believe in the words validity and care not of the implication it may group me in. Sorry to offend or hurt the flavor of your post but expression never comes in a clear package.

    4. Josak profile image60
      Josakposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Obviously if people have more money they can spend more money...
      That inevitably boosts jobs...

      1. GA Anderson profile image87
        GA Andersonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Glad to hear from you Josak,
        Does your reply mean you agree with he Democrat interpretation of the report findings? And that you think the why and how they have more money to spend are unimportant?

        GA

        1. Josak profile image60
          Josakposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Honestly I don't like to comment on things before I understand them properly. I have not read the complete Democrat opinion or the full debate so I will withhold judgement.

          All I was pointing out is that there is no Bizarro in it.

          1. GA Anderson profile image87
            GA Andersonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            hmm... you have not read the full report, (neither have I, I responded to a Washington Post article), or digested the Democrat debate about what it means, and you say you feel unprepared to comment on it until you do - yet you can state there is no "Bizarro World" aspect to what I have described as bizarre democrat spin?

            as a side note; days after this initial article and debate, another Democrat interpretation is making the news - it says the report shows that workers have been "liberated," (Democrat speaker's term), from the responsibility of having to continue working, or work more hours than they would like, to keep their healthcare.

            or as - *shudder* - Rush Limbaugh says; "... liberated them from continuing the adult responsibility of working to pay their bills" *I am not a Rush fan, and I prefer not to make it a habit of quoting him, but in this case, is he wrong?

            GA

            1. Josak profile image60
              Josakposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Again just on the basis of what I know I agree with the Democrat statement. That is I don't believe people should have to be employed to have healthcare, should they lose their jobs that should not mean they have no medical protection.

              So yeah I think it is a good thing that in these uncertain times for work people won't die for not having insurance. Something which tens of thousands die from every year previously.

              1. GA Anderson profile image87
                GA Andersonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                I understand that sentiment, but that is not the case. If they are unemployed, or lose their job, they will have access to healthcare through the Obamacare exchanges - exactly the same access they will have by quitting or reducing hours.

                This topic has nothing to do with guaranteed access to healthcare. It has to do with people quitting or working less hours, on purpose, so they qualify to have their healthcare premiums subsidized by the government. Premiums they were currently paying themselves.

                The article reports the CBO director's statements:
                "The CBO report found that Obamacare — through subsidizing health coverage – would reduce the amount of hours workers choose to work, to the equivalent of 2.5 million full-time workers over 10 years. "

                Then further states:
                "Now, it’s true that elsewhere in his testimony — when questioned by Paul Ryan — Elmendorf confirmed that the subsidies from Obamacare would reduce the incentive to work, and that this would reduce economic growth. "

                It was the Democrat spin that this is a "good" thing - relinquishing personal responsibility in exchange for government support that prompted my foray into Bizarro World.

                Then that was compounded by the Democrat view that the folks leaving or reducing hours to qualify for subsidies was another good thing because it would make room for unemployed folks to get their jobs/hours and cease being unemployed...

                So it would seem that the unemployed would already have access to subsidized healthcare - because they are unemployed. And if they are now employed, replacing someone else's reduced hours they will probably still qualify for subsidies.

                So it seems like the employed number would still be the same, as it was just an employed worker swapping places with an unemployed worker. As they say a "zero-sum" exchange, except that now there are two subsidized people because the first one decided to quit or reduce hours in order to qualify for the government to pay their premiums.

                At least that is how the report and the CBO director's statements read to me.

                And it still feels like "Bizarro world" where black must really be white because someone says so.

                Of course I could be the one with a bizarre perception of what is good or bad. Imagine believing that standing on your own is better than relying on government support.

                GA

                1. Josak profile image60
                  Josakposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Right I see what you mean, still OK with it. People should not be forced to work a job which is abusive or exploitative because otherwise they might die if they get sick. Funnily enough I think that has a bigger impact on the free market than the entitlement.

                  1. GA Anderson profile image87
                    GA Andersonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    You were too quick for me. I was editing to add this quote: (again from the same Washington Post link)

                    "Now, it’s true that elsewhere in his testimony — when questioned by Paul Ryan — Elmendorf confirmed that the subsidies from Obamacare would reduce the incentive to work, and that this would reduce economic growth. "

                    ...where do you get the "abusive or exploitative" qualifiers? Nothing in the report or my comments used that description.

                    The report is just talking about reduced work hours. It has nothing to do with abusive or exploitative qualifiers. Or anything concerning work conditions.

                    But then again, you did say you weren't up to speed on the topic.So I shouldn't press it any more.

                    GA

                  2. HowardBThiname profile image88
                    HowardBThinameposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    You don't seem to give people much credit. I've been in dead-end jobs. I made the choice to find other jobs that were better. Why do you think anyone is trapped, or forced, to work a specific job? No one is forcing them. They can look for other jobs. That's what we have the right to do in a free country. And, we do it.

  2. GA Anderson profile image87
    GA Andersonposted 3 years ago

    I wish I had thought to include this with the OP...

    http://s4.hubimg.com/u/8718047_f248.jpg


    GA

 
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