For years, the White House has trotted out the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office to show that Obamacare would cut health-care costs and reduce deficits:
“CBO Confirms Families Will Save Money Under Health Reform.”
“CBO Update Shows Lower Costs for the New Health Care Law.”
“CBO Confirms: The Health Care Law Reduces the Deficit.”
Live by the sword, die by the sword, the Bible tells us. In Washington, it’s slightly different: Live by the CBO, die by the CBO.
The congressional number-crunchers, perhaps the capital’s closest thing to a neutral referee, came out with a new report Tuesday, and it wasn’t pretty for Obamacare. The CBO predicted the law would have a “substantially larger” impact on the labor market than it had previously expected: The law would reduce the workforce in 2021 by the equivalent of 2.3 million full-time workers, well more than the 800,000 originally anticipated. This will inevitably be a drag on economic growth, as more people decide government handouts are more attractive than working more and paying higher taxes.
This is grim news for the White House and for Democrats on the ballot in November. This independent arbiter, long embraced by the White House, has validated a core complaint of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) critics: that it will discourage work and become an ungainly entitlement. Disputing Republicans’ charges is much easier than refuting the federal government’s official scorekeepers.Gallup reports:
President Barack Obama defended his signature legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act, before Congress and the nation last week in his State of the Union address, but public opinion toward the law is little changed since November. Americans are still more likely to disapprove (51%) than approve (41%) of the law.
The latest results, from a Gallup poll conducted Jan. 31-Feb. 1, show that even though many provisions of the law are now in effect, Americans' views of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as "Obamacare," still tilt negative.
Underpinning this lack of overall support is the fact that most Americans believe the law so far has had no effect (64%) or a harmful effect (19%) on their family. These opinions are broadly consistent with Gallup polling dating back to February 2012, when fewer provisions of the law were in place.