Following the recent CBO report which delivered information that both the left and the right were able to use to their advantage, Republicans took the spin that the Affordable Care Act was detrimental to the workforce.
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) was asked about the recent report released from Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that noted that due to "Obamacare," the equivalent of 2.3 million job hours would be lost in the work force. Blunt, following the conservative talking point, stated that "Obamacare" was a job killer and was making people lazy by allowing them to leave the work force.
“I think any law you pass that discourages people from working can’t be a good idea...Why would we wanna do that? Why would we think that’s a good thing? How does that allow people to prepare for the time when they don’t work?”
To refute his claims, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) stated that many of those leaving the work force would do so on their own volition, noting that many people work an extra job only because they need to hold onto the benefits that it offers.
“They’re in employment solely because they get health benefits, this is a voluntary choice...In some cases, these people might have two jobs because of these health benefits. Now, they don’t need to work two full-time jobs to get their health benefits.”
Blunt fired back, continuing his theme that Americans were just being lazy by quitting their additional jobs.
“The best face you can probably put on that is that people who don’t wanna work don’t have to work .Surely that’s not what we wanna encourage.”
The CBO's report was correct that there will be people leaving the work force due to the Affordable Care Act, but not because they will be forced out. Many Americans hold two or three jobs just to receive health care benefits, others keep off retirement for the same reason. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, workers can now leave their jobs without fear of losing their benefits. With jobs now opening up, those positions could be filled by those who need the work as opposed to being filled by people who just needed the benefits.
Blunt and Republicans will continue to push the narrative that the Affordable Care Act is a "job killer," but until there is concrete evidence you can only chalk up their claims as more Republican talking points.