Obamacare: The sly poverty trap

As astute readers know, the Congressional Budget Office spoiled the party for Obamacare cheerleaders last week when it reported, among other things, that 2.5 million full-time workers (FTEs) would leave the workforce by 2024 as a result of Obamacare.

It was a punch in the gut for those using previous CBO reports to ask the public for patience. Obamacare will not be as ugly as it looks right now. Given time it will work.

And how did the White House respond to the CBO bombshell?

Well — and I am not making this up — Obama’s spokesperson Jay Carney said that losing 2.5 million people from the workforce will be a good thing.

A good thing? How so, sir?

Obamacare, he said, now allows people who are “trapped in a job” to not work and still have health care insurance.

Of all the strange arguments the White House can make, this is one of the strangest.

In no way is that a good thing.

One of the ways Obamacare was sold to us came in the idea that insurance would be portable — it could move from job to job. No longer would an employee have to wait for an approval period, etc.

You could go from job to job without worrying about health care coverage. Job to job, not job to unemployed wards of the state. Of all the unintended consequences (if indeed they are unintended) this may be the worst because it saws off two or three rungs in the ladder of success.

Instead of providing a good way for people to climb up the employment ladder — take a promotion, make more money, etc. — Obamacare subsidies could produce the weird situation in which people on the lower end of things can’t afford to move up the ladder because the promotion won’t cover the loss of welfare.

That’s the poverty trap President Obama is laying for Americans. It needs to be fixed, not defended.

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