Posts Tagged ‘CBO’

Bad News for Jobs Due to ObamaCare? Take the Long View.

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

So, it’s been a rough January — a second month of anemic job creation, a new CBO report saying that ObamaCare could cost 250,000 jobs and continuing blasts of arctic froideur that have shut down even the redoubtable Alter Group offices for days.

This is when perspective matters: Cassidy Turley takes a 6-month long view in the US Employment Tracker to find good news:

Taking this approach, the U.S. economy is creating a monthly average of 178,000 net new jobs, consumer spending is growing at an annual rate of 3.1% and the ISM manufacturing index has been a robust 60.6.” Also, after the usual revisions in the economic data, we found that “real GDP grew at an annualized rate of 3.2% in the final quarter of 2013, driven by the largest increase in consumer spending in three years. Business confidence is now at an 11-year high; consumer confidence has held up; fiscal policy is less of a drag; and the Fed is now tapering because it generally likes what it sees. Commercial real estate fundamentals have been consistently tightening for three straight years. Although the past few weeks have allowed some doubt to resurface, the outlook remains upbeat.

Then there’s the matter of looking at the right statistics for you. Such as the fact that office-using jobs that drive so much of commercial real estate have been on a tear recently — 34,000 in January. Overall office-using jobs have surpassed pre-recession levels (after bottoming out in 2009).

We can’t take a long view on bone-chilling temperatures but let’s look at the Obamacare costing a quarter million jobs. Here’s portion of the CBO report, “The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2014 to 2024.”:

The ACA’s largest impact on labor markets will probably occur after 2016, once its major provisions have taken full effect and overall economic output nears its maximum sustainable level. CBO estimates that the ACA will reduce the total number of hours worked, on net, by about 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent during the period from 2017 to 2024, almost entirely because workers will choose to supply less labor —given the new taxes and other incentives they will face and the financial benefits some will receive.

And therein lies the key phrase — “choose”. In other words, it is not jobs that will be eliminated but workers who will elect to retire, stay at home to raise the kids or go to a 3-day schedule so they have time to get another degree. They won’t feel tethered to their current employment because of the fear of not having health coverage.

What Would Repeal Look Like?

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has issued a report that the House Republicans’ bill to repeal President Obama’s health care reform legislation would increase the deficit by roughly $230 billion through 2021.   According to the CBO statement, “The March health care legislation would have a net cost of about $780 billion over the 2012-2019 period. Repealing that legislation would eliminate such costs. But [the health care legislation] also included a number of provisions to reduce federal outlays (primarily for Medicare) and to increase federal revenues (mostly by increasing the Hospital Insurance payroll tax and imposing fees on certain manufacturers and insurers); in March, CBO and JCT estimated that those provisions unrelated to insurance coverage would, on balance, reduce direct spending by about $500 billion and increase revenues by about $410 billion over the 2012-2019 period. If that legislation was repealed, such reductions in spending and increases in revenues would not occur. Thus, H.R. 2 would, on net, increase federal deficits over that period.”

Undeterred, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), ranking member on the Finance Committee, said if Republicans gain control of the chamber next year, their efforts to replace the healthcare overhaul will focus on cost control, instead of coverage expansions. Hatch was the author (along with Ted Kennedy) of SCHIP, the largest expansion of taxpayer-funded health insurance coverage for children in the U.S. since Medicaid began in the 1960s. Hatch is in position to lead the committee with primary jurisdiction over federal health policy if Republicans retake the Senate, which Republicans would do if they net only four Democratic-held seats.

As evidence of ObamaCare’s inability to reduce overall healthcare costs, Hatch cited the 9.5% increase in the cost of an average family health plan to $15,073 last year over its cost when the law was enacted.

The first cost-control efforts he would undertake would come in Medicare and Medicaid, he said. Those steps include increasing physician pay and removing “government-dictated prices” in Medicare that increases costs for the privately insured when providers pass along the cost of caring for Medicare and Medicaid patients.

Congress and its Dueling Healthcare Plans

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

There are so many healthcare reform trial balloons being launched in Washington, D.C., that it’s difficult to keep up with who wants what.  Following is a rundown of what the current proposals say.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee’s proposal would require most people to have qualifying healthcare coverage, though with some exceptions.  People who do not participate face a tax penalty of at least 50 percent of the average yearly premium cost of the basic plan.  Employers would have to offer healthcare coverage and pay a minimum of 60 percent of the premium, or $750 for every full-time employee.  Individual and small business coverage would be managed through state-based “gateways” that provide consumers with information to help them decide on the right plan.  This is likely to cost $1 trillion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

The House Tri-Committee bill would require individuals to carry “acceptable health coverage”. People who opt out would pay a penalty of 2.5 percent of their modified adjusted gross income to the cost of the average national premium for individual or family coverage.  Employers must offer healthcare coverage and pay a minimum of 72.5 percent for single coverage and 65 percent for family coverage into the cheapest qualifying plan.  Alternatively, employers would pay eight percent of payroll into a health insurance trust fund.  The CBO estimates that this plan will cost $1 trillion over 10 years.  Medicare and Medicaid savings would pay for this, with the remainder covered by a surcharge on high-income individuals and families.

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Several other proposals are under consideration.  The Senate Finance committee is debating allowing people aged 55 – 64 to buy in to Medicare, as well as taxing insurance companies to fund the healthcare plan.  Conservative Democrats on the Energy and Commerce committee want the government to pay rural healthcare providers at a higher rate to assure better access to quality care.

With no vote expected prior to Congress’ annual August recess, we may see even more evolution in the proposals currently on the table.