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Is ObamaCare Slowing the Economy?
Townhall.com ^ | June 2, 2012 | John C. Goodman

Posted on 06/02/2012 4:53:40 AM PDT by Kaslin

Everyone knows that ObamaCare will discourage employment. Everyone who stops and thinks that is.

Yesterday's job report was genuinely awful. Here is a congressional hearing on why ObamaCare is making things worse.

By mandating that employers buy expensive health insurance for their employees, the new health reform law will raise the cost of labor and make it more expensive than otherwise to hire new workers. Plus, the law forces employees to have this expensive fringe benefit, even if they would prefer a less costly health plan in exchange for higher wages.

To make matters worse, the health plan that employers will be required to buy will not be viewed by employees as a valuable benefit if they can get the same coverage at highly subsidized rates in the newly created health insurance exchanges. A family with an annual income just over of $30,000, for example, will be able to obtain insurance whose cost is nearly $15,000 for a premium of only about $950. Government (the taxpayers) in this case will be subsidizing 94% of the real cost. If the employer provides that same insurance, there is no new government subsidy (except for very small enterprises) and the benefit is about 50% of the worker's wage!

Of course, the mandate to buy will not kick in until 2014. But is it possible that the law is already affecting employer hiring decisions? There is evidence to back up that supposition. It comes to us courtesy of University of Chicago economist Casey Mulligan, writing at The New York Times economics blog.

What do employers do in a downturn? Their first response to a slump in the demand for their products tends to be to reduce the hours of work for their employees. If the problem continues, or gets worse, they lay workers off. We've seen both responses in the recession we have been experiencing. From pre-recession levels, the number of hours worked by those with jobs fell by 2% nationwide. The fraction of the population that has a job fell by 7%.

But here is what's really interesting. The number of hours worked by those with jobs has now returned to its pre-recession level. Looking at this statistic alone, you would think that the economy has fully recovered. On the other hand, the percent of the adult population that has a job is continuing to bottom out. Looking at this statistic alone, you would think that we are still in a recession and that there has been no recovery at all!

What explains this complete dichotomy in the labor market? Mulligan offers ObamaCare as a possible explanation. Here's why.

Although the health insurance mandate makes labor more expensive, it's one-health-plan, one-worker. The cost of health insurance is independent of the number of hours worked. So if an employer increases production by increasing the number of hours each worker works, there is no additional health care cost. On the other hand, if the employer hires additional workers, he must purchase expensive health insurance for each one of them.

The new health law, then, encourages businesses to expand by increasing the number of hours worked rather than by increasing the number of employees.

But isn't there some chance that the mandate to purchase insurance will be struck down by the Supreme Court this month? There is indeed. But this isn't necessarily helping the unemployed find jobs.

In my column last week, I pointed out that this recovery is one of the slowest on record. In fact, of the past eleven recessions, recovery from this one is the worst. Moreover, a major reason for the slow recovery is uncertainty. A new index that measures public policy uncertainty has been created by economists at Stanford University and the University of Chicago and it tracks back for almost 40 years. Unfortunately, the index has been at its highest levels ever during the years of the Obama presidency.

In fact, the uncertainty surrounding what ObamaCare will do (and whether it will come into existence at all) may have more negative impact on the labor market than the law itself.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2012; abortion; bhoeconomy; deathpanels; economy; obama; obamacare; socialisthealthcare; unemployment; zerocare

1 posted on 06/02/2012 4:53:46 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

ObamaCARE = RomneyCARE = Socialized Medicine

GOPe and DNC BOTH support all of the above. ALL.


2 posted on 06/02/2012 4:55:54 AM PDT by Diogenesis ("Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. " Pres. Ronald Reagan)
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To: Kaslin

No question about it.
No business can expand or grow with this undefined health care issue hanging overhead.


3 posted on 06/02/2012 5:12:09 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
GOPe and DNC BOTH support all of the above. ALL.

Obamacare got how many GOP votes?

Obamacare and the expiration of Bush Taxes have businesses no spending nor consumers.

4 posted on 06/02/2012 5:22:12 AM PDT by scooby321 (h tones)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
No question about it. No business can expand or grow with this undefined health care issue hanging overhead.

Exactly right; no question about it. My business will not expand or grow with this undefined health care issue hanging overhead.

5 posted on 06/02/2012 5:22:34 AM PDT by Pollster1 (A boy becomes a man when a man is needed - John Steinbeck)
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To: Kaslin

Is ObamaCare Slowing the Economy?

Does a bear take an Obama in the woods?


6 posted on 06/02/2012 5:39:40 AM PDT by Iron Munro (If you want total security go to prison. The only thing lacking is freedom. D. D. Eisenhower)
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To: Kaslin

As a retired business man I can tell you the thing we fear(ed) the most was uncertainty. Economic uncertainty in particular.

Most business owners I know are hunkered way down hoping and praying for the best.

This will not be getting any better any time soon.


7 posted on 06/02/2012 5:42:52 AM PDT by upchuck (Need is not an acceptable lifestyle choice; dependent is not a career. ~ Dr. Tim Nerenz)
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To: Kaslin
I have a friend in a business affliated with homes, where it was verbalized about making a decision I think to a client to To wait until after November

No one wants to talk about it, Trump illudes to it at times that everyone is waiting this socialist ****ard out so we can get back to being America. The whole business cycle is on hold just waiting for when Comrade Zero is gone, and his draconian legislation.

8 posted on 06/02/2012 5:51:36 AM PDT by taildragger (( Palin / Mulally 2012 ))
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To: taildragger

That is my impression too


9 posted on 06/02/2012 5:59:04 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Iron Munro

So all that has to Happen to get Obama reelected is for the Supreme Court to Throw out Obamacare and the Marxist will get reelected because the Economy will Explode just before the election


10 posted on 06/02/2012 6:04:26 AM PDT by ballplayer
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To: Iron Munro

ROFL. Beat me to it. Great minds and all that.


11 posted on 06/02/2012 6:13:32 AM PDT by khelus
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To: Kaslin
The linked article Reason for Slow Recovery: Bad Government describes a new "Index of Economic Uncertainty" by Baker, Bloom and Davis:

.

Obama's war on fossil fuels is also creating huge economic uncertainty, probably as large as Obamacare. Nobody knows where their energy bills are going to be a year or two from now with the shutdown of so many conventional generating stations and the prevention of Keystone construction. So business can not only not predict their labor costs, they cannot predict their energy costs. Ergo, no hiring.

Note that at NO TIME during the Obama regime has economic uncertainty gone below the level post-9/11! This is what you get when you turn government over to communists.

12 posted on 06/02/2012 6:17:16 AM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: Kaslin

Obama (who hates America) wants to enslave the entire working class. By striking down Obamacare, the Supreme Court can free us all from slavery.


13 posted on 06/02/2012 6:22:57 AM PDT by abclily
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To: abclily

It can indeed


14 posted on 06/02/2012 6:27:55 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

I used to think at first this administration is simply in a cocoon or bubble that did not let in any other information that falls outside of their radical ideology

There is so much information on why we are in the place we are economically out there to look at and so many people saying the same thing...one must conclude they are purposely tearing down our economy and standard of living.... To what ends is beyond me .... They must understand at some time Americans will not allow this to continue

We are not like Europe.....


15 posted on 06/02/2012 6:30:58 AM PDT by Popman (When you elect a clown: expect a circus...)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

There is no way the debt limit raise was a spike that big. Bigger tha the 2008 collapse? Bigger than wars? Bigger than 9/11? BS


16 posted on 06/02/2012 6:33:53 AM PDT by ilgipper
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To: Kaslin

Slowing the economy? You judge.

NOAA closed the red snapper fishery from North Carolina to Key West three years ago. Since then the so called “best available science” it was based upon has been proven to be bogus. This information has repeatedly been presented to the responsible NOAA officials from the Director of NOAA, Dr. Jane Lubchenco on down.

They refuse to acknowledge it and the closure continues.

In New England, NOAA fishery policy has created an another “Economic Disaster” resulting in a sizeable portion of the fleet tied to the dock.

Results: 84% of American seafood is imported while we export over $11 billion annually to China, Vietnam and other countries in the trade deficit.

They are not just slowing the economy they are killing it on all fronts.


17 posted on 06/02/2012 6:53:22 AM PDT by Captain7seas (FIRE JANE LUBCHENCO FROM NOAA)
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To: Kaslin
Obamacare is economic terrorism right along with the current tax code. The coming year it will become even worse.

What amazes me is how the Aztecs knew about obamacare when they predicted "the end of the world".

The private sector business world, at least.

18 posted on 06/02/2012 7:36:24 AM PDT by Caipirabob (I say we take off and Newt the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure...)
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To: Kaslin
Is ObamaCare Slowing the Economy?


19 posted on 06/02/2012 7:42:55 AM PDT by Cheerio (Barry Hussein Soetoro-0bama=The Complete Destruction of American Capitalism)
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To: Pollster1

Even if it doesn’t take effect until 2014, business owners are being forced to see each new hire as a potential $1000/month additional stone around their necks in 18 months, in an economy where many are barely making payroll. The risk isn’t worth it in most cases.


20 posted on 06/02/2012 8:10:13 AM PDT by nodumbblonde ("The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity." - Ayn Rand)
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To: Kaslin

Where is that bear pooping in the woods photo?


21 posted on 06/02/2012 8:57:52 AM PDT by vpintheak (Occupy your Brain!)
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To: Diogenesis

Its hard for a politician to turn down such a power grab. Unheard of for a northern leftist politician.

That being said while Obamacare is a large part of the reason for the slow to non-existent recovery the other issue is federal trade policy and most of all the welfare system changes Obama made that encourages people not to work.


22 posted on 06/02/2012 11:30:52 AM PDT by Monorprise
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To: Captain7seas; Finny
Ping to a scary post.

Captain, I'm brushing up a bit on my Romney knowledge.

This was chilling ... If you're knowledgable about Agenda 21 you will see that most of the above is directly linked to its implementation in America. In the NAFTA Preamble you will see that promotion of “Sustainable Development” is cited as a Goal. Sustainable Development is the Agenda 21 implementation plan....”

I've been around enough hard-core well-meaning environmentalists to understand what "sustainable" ultimately means in their political view. It means the total overtake and regulation of food production and energy production and consumption, world-wide.

The scariest post is:

“I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that,” he told a crowd of about 200 at a town hall meeting in Manchester, New Hampshire. “It’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may be significant contributors” -Romney

Naive, desperate, and hopeful Republicans are telling themselves that conservatives could "guide" Romney to the right. They're all on the brink of voting for him on that single BLIND faith.

And if they're wrong expecting him to be a team player with conservative Republicans ...

... kiss the whole charade goodbye. Enough Republicans buy into the Green hornswaggle, and Romney is certainly arrogant enough to pride himself on leading neanderthal conservatives into the 21st Century's "environmental awareness."

I sure as hell hope people wake up in time. Romney is a frigging disaster. Talk about frying pan into the fire. :^(

23 posted on 06/12/2012 7:18:48 PM PDT by Finny (A deal with the devil is ALWAYS a losing proposition. Voting for Romney to avoid Obama is just that.)
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