In what should be one of the major news stories of the day, but won’t be, CBO director Doug Elmendorf testified before the House Budget Committee that Obamacare, if implemented, will destroy 800,000 jobs by 2020. Here is the key exchange with Congressman John Campbell:
REP. CAMPBELL: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, we’ll — and Dr. Elmendorf — and we’ll continue this conversation right now.
First on health care, before I get to — before I get to broader issues, you just mentioned that you believe — or that in your estimate, that the health care law would reduce the labor used in the economy by about 1/2 of 1 percent, given that, I believe you say, there’s 160 million full-time people working in ’20-’21.
That means that, in your estimation, the health care law would reduce employment by 800,000 in ’20-’21. Is that correct?
ELMENDORF: Yes. The way I would put it is that we do estimate, as you said, that the household employment will be about 160 million by the end of the decade.
Half a percent of that is 800,000. That means that if the reduction in the labor used was workers working the average number of hours in the economy and earning the average wage, that there would be a reduction of 800,000 workers.
In fact, as we mentioned in the — in our announcements last summer, the legislation also creates (inaudible) that might affect the number of hours people work might affect the tendency to work with lower and higher income people. We haven’t tried to quantify those things.
But the impact is that these 800,000 might not be exactly the number…
REP. CAMPBELL: Sure…
ELMENDORF: … but the equivalent of withdrawing 800,000…
REP. CAMPBELL: Sure, but that’s your best estimate at this point. You just pointed out that the health care law, also beyond 10 years, increases the deficit.
More unemployment, higher deficits: that is the legacy of the Obama administration.