What Fresh Hell Is This?

February 11, 2014

Yea...The Trib's Still Misleading About The ACA

From today's Tribune-Review:
The Toledo, Ohio, Block Bugler derides “conservatives who don't want to subsidize anyone” for criticizing ObamaCare as “a proven job killer.” (The Congressional Budget Office says the law could reduce full-time equivalent employment by 2.5 million jobs by 2024. We report, you deride.) But in the process, The Bugler appears to tacitly endorse gaming the system — in which lower income workers can reduce their hours or not work at all in order to continue receiving subsidized ObamaCare — as just another “choice.” Pity the poor schmucks who choose to work and are forced to pay for ObamaCare's sloths. [Emphasis added.]
Ooo, so close - but still not close enough for their reading audience not to in mistakenly think that "Obamacare's a job-killer!"  Heck they were told only last Wednesday that the ACA would, "force the equivalent of more than 2 million workers out of the labor market by 2017."  Something we now know to be false and an assertion still left uncorrected on the pages of Richard Mellon Scaife's Tribune-Review.

For the record this is what the Post-Gazette actually said - the actual lines from which Scaife's braintrust so surgically quotes:
While it has been reported — or misreported, some now say — in terms of jobs, what the respected, nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office actually reported was a decrease in full-time equivalent employment, a figure it put at 2.3 million by 2021 and 2.5 million by 2024.

In short, it’s not that the Affordable Care Act is killing huge numbers of jobs. The jobs may remain. It’s about choices people are likely to make about the jobs in response to the incentives in the law.

Some Americans, mostly in lower-paying jobs, may choose to reduce their hours to part-time or not work at all to keep their income low enough to stay eligible for federal health care subsidies or Medicaid. That may still be objectionable to conservatives who don’t want to subsidize anyone, but that is different from calling Obamacare a proven job killer.
And about that "sloth" part?  Funny thing, the Post-Gazette addresses that in the very next paragraph:
It can be looked at this way: When Social Security was introduced, was that a job killer because older people decided to retire with dignity rather than work until they dropped, as they had formerly done with no retirement benefit? Of course not.
But let's address the real issue here.  What's being discussed is something called "job lock."  The business directory defines it as:
The inability of an employee to voluntarily terminate employment with a particular company because he or she would lose current health care benefits. This becomes an issue for individuals that have pre-existing health conditions that may not be covered under the new employer's health care coverage. This situation is possible because most insurance companies have a pre-existing health care clause that prevents them from being liable for any condition that the employee had before requesting coverage.
And it's a bad thing.  Hey, how about a health care plan that addresses it? Yea!  How about a plan that would:
...accommodate the mobility of a highly advanced economy, increas­ing productivity and particularly enhancing the ability of small businesses to grow and expand. Individuals would have a level playing field- undistorted by the tax code-to choose whether to select a health policy from their workplaces or from other sources.

Today, leaving a job or changing jobs means leav­ing behind the health insurance provided at the place of work. Individuals who wish to take a better job, change careers, or leave the workforce to raise a family or to retire early take substantial risks. They may find themselves going without coverage, pur­chasing non-group insurance with substantial tax penalties, or giving up a well-developed relation­ship with a physician or medical specialist. This health insurance obstacle to labor mobility is some­times called "job lock."
See?  Job-lock.  This plan...
...which links tax breaks directly to individuals instead of to their place of work, individuals would no longer feel obligated to stay with their employers simply because they need to keep their employer-based health insurance. If the worker lost a job, changed jobs, or retired early, he or she could buy an insurance policy and offset its cost with the McCain health care tax credit.
Wait, what?  The MCCAIN HEALTH CARE TAX PLAN?   What the heck is that?

Oh gee sorry, I should've told you.  The text about that health care plan that so easily addresses "job lock"?  That's from the Scaife-funded Heritage Foundation.

No discussion back then about how health care reform gaming the system.  I wonder why.  I guess they were against job lock before they were for it.

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