In a hearing of the House Budget Committee today, Paul Ryan asked CBO director Douglas Elmendorf about that claim, saying that some people have argued the new law “will create jobs and increase labor force participation. But if I recall from your analysis, it was quite the opposite. Is that not the case?” Elmendorf answered “Yes.”
Rep. John Campbell then asked him to expand on that point:
Campbell: 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 one half of one percent. Given that, I believe you say, there’s 160 million full-time people working in 2021, that means that, in your estimation, the health-care law would reduce employment by 800,000 in 2021. Is that correct?
Elmendorf: Yes. The way I would put it is that we do estimate, as you said, that household employment will be about 160 million by the end of the decade. Half a percent of that is 800,000.
oh it gets worse
However, the CBO prediction is a little more nuanced. Last summer's CBO report said the projected labor reduction is "largely" the result of more people voluntarily staying out of the workforce because the healthcare reform law gives them better healthcare options through an expansion of Medicaid and new state-run health insurance exchanges.
So we get job killing and working people paying for people who choose not to work. Nice.