Obamacare To Crush Workforce By 2.5 Million Workers In Next Decade, CBO Admits

Tyler Durden's picture

When the "impartial" Congressional Budget Office first attempted to predict the impact on the US labor force as a result of the administration healthcare ponzi scheme, also known affectionately as Obamacare and less affectionately by other names, it estimated that 800,000 Americans would drop out of the labor force by 2021. Moments ago it just revised that projection, admitting that it was off by the usual 100% or so: the hit to the US labor force due to Obamacare is now estimated to soar to 2.3 million through 2021, and furthermore the CBO just admitted that the enrollment rate will be dramatically below the White House's baseline estimates, with 2 million fewer people signing up this year than previously estimated.

In brief, as the CBO admits (before it is forced to adversely reduce the numbers once more) the law will lead to 2 million fewer workers in 2017, 2.3 million in 2021 and 2.5 million through 2024. This represents a 1.5% to 2.0% reduction in the numbers of hours worked. As the WSJ recalls, CBO last year projected 7 million people would enroll for health insurance through health care exchanges in 2014, but Tuesday it said technical problems that plagued the program's rollout forced it to lower its estimate by 1 million people.

"Those changes primarily reflect the significant technical problems that have been encountered in the initial phases of implementing the [law]," the CBO said. It said it couldn't yet revise estimates for future years. CBO also projected 8 million new people would qualify for Medicaid and other expanded coverage this year, down from a 2013 estimate of 9 million people.

The health care law's open enrollment process began in October and runs through March, and CBO estimated "the number of [people who sign up [for coverage] will increase sharply toward the end of the period." Or not.

And here it is straight from the horse's mouth:

The ACA’s largest impact on labor markets will probably occur after 2016, once its major provisions have taken full effect and overall economic output nears its maximum sustainable level. CBO estimates that the ACA will reduce the total number of hours worked, on net, by about 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent during the period from 2017 to 2024, almost entirely because workers will choose to supply less labor—given the new taxes and other incentives they will face and the financial benefits some will receive.

What does that mean?It means this: "reduced incentives to work attributable to the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—with most of the impact arising from new subsidies for health insurance purchased through exchanges—will have a larger negative effect on participation toward the end of that period." Just don't call it a welfare program.

The above in numbers:

The reduction in CBO’s projections of hours worked represents a decline in the number of full-time-equivalent workers of about 2.0 million in 2017, rising to about 2.5  million in 2024. Although CBO projects that total employment (and compensation) will increase over the coming decade, that increase will be smaller than it would have been in the absence of the ACA.


The number of people who will receive exchange subsidies—and who thus will face an implicit tax from the phaseout of those subsidies that discourages them from working—will be smaller initially than it will be in later years. The number of enrollees (workers and their dependents) purchasing their own coverage through the exchanges is projected to rise from about 6 million in 2014 to about 25 million in 2017 and later years, and most of those enrollees will receive subsidies. Although the number of people who will be eligible for exchange subsidies is similar from year to year, workers who are eligible but do not enroll may either be unaware of their eligibility or be unaffected by it and thus are unlikely to change their supply of labor in response to the availability of those subsidies.

The CBO's mea culpa:

CBO’s estimate that the ACA will reduce aggregate labor compensation in the economy by about 1 percent over the 2017–2024 period—compared with what would have occurred in the absence of the act—is substantially larger than the estimate the agency issued in August 2010. At that time, CBO estimated that, once it was fully implemented, the ACA would reduce the use of labor by about one-half of a percent. That measure of labor use was calculated in dollar terms, representing the change in aggregate labor compensation that would result. Thus it can be compared with the reduction in aggregate compensation that CBO now estimates to result from the act (rather than with the projected decline in the number of hours worked).


CBO’s updated estimate of the decrease in hours worked translates to a reduction in full-time-equivalent employment of about 2.0 million in 2017, rising to about 2.5 million in 2024, compared with what would have occurred in the absence of the ACA. Previously, the agency estimated that if the ACA did not affect the average number of hours worked per employed person, it would reduce household employment in 2021 by about 800,000.25 By way of comparison, CBO’s current estimate for 2021 is a reduction in full-time-equivalent employment of about 2.3 million.

If you like your horrible 2010 forecast, you can keep your horrible 2010 forecast.

As for the most recent one, which too will be the source of comedy in one year's time, here it is (link).

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HoofHearted's picture

Why do I hear an eternally reapeating "D'oh!" when I think of Obamacare?

AlaricBalth's picture

No worries. By 2021 the labor force participation should be about 42% with an unemployment rate of 2.7%. Those not in the labor force will top out at 130,000,000 and food stamp participation will be around 62,000,000. Full nanny state will be in force with plenty of time for leasure activities.

Global Hunter's picture

Federal camp for some of those who have dropped out of the labour force perhaps?

Debt Slave's picture

Hey it worked for Stalin...

kralizec's picture

Yeah, what a joke.  If they said 2.5m they really mean 25m when all is said and done...plenty to exploit in labor camps...and if one dies, what difference does it make.

Forward, Amerika!

HyBrasilian's picture

FOARWard ~ There, Fixed it

GetZeeGold's picture



Even less jobs will be available when we get amnesty.....hot dog!

Stackers's picture

You have to pass the law to find out whats in it.


Like playing pinata with a nest of killer bees

EscapingProgress's picture

The purpose of Obamacare is to kill people.

ebworthen's picture

It was designed to fail.

redpill's picture

Yep it too thoroughly fucks us to be an accident.

Dangertime's picture

Looks like employment rates will drop at the same rate as the white population percentage of the country.  Things that make you go hmmmm

Son of Loki's picture

The traditional Middle Class American had a steady job with a decent paycheck and spent that money on crap he saw on the propganda ads on TV.

However, as the traditional Middle Class had disappeared, it's been replaced by extremely frugal foreigners who don't give a hoot about the new soap or deodorant and so on on TV.

Consumer spending will continue to plunge from what I read. Fewer people to spend as well as lower wages and a flood of immigrants flowin gin.

This is one reason why retail has a bleak future.


aVileRat's picture


Remember that as middle class Americans develop savings pools, 1 in 10 will become a capital class either in retirement by investing those pools into yielding securities and/or starting their own ventures. Disrupt the middle class, and the ability for migrants to become growth innovators will drop to zero. Something the Obama economic council is grossly overlooking in the forecasts of AHA's net effect.

That number is going to get closer to 8mm workers as unions & labour increase their wage (and inflation) expectations.


chubbar's picture

Here's a Doctor that's had too much of the Obamacare Fiasco.

"The following letter to Aetna from Dr. Held has been reprinted in full.

Dear Mr. Bertolini,

With a deep sense of sadness, I must inform you that I will no longer serve as a physician for Aetna patients under the terms of our contractual agreement, which you most recently unilaterally changed.

I have been privileged and honored to care for thousands of patients covered by Aetna policies since the 1990’s. I have devoted my life to providing the very best, state-of-the-art care to these individuals. We have formed a patient-doctor relationship, which I hope many will chose to continue in spite of my severing ties with Aetna. You see, health insurance has evolved such that insurers and government have inserted themselves smack-dab in the middle of the once sacred patient-doctor relationship. I am called a provider- not a doctor. My patient is now yours- not mine. What I can do as a physician now has strangulating strings and nonsensical numbers attached- to you and government and money-not the best interests of the patients.

Obamacare, the “law of the land”, contains ever-changing-at-the-whim-of-HHS, politically-expedient mandates, rewards, penalties, rules and regulations with which I cannot rationally or morally treat my patients and run a practice, much-less interpret, implement, or comply.

Millions of Americans have lost coverage because of the healthcare law and must now shop on a defective, insecure government website and sign up for more expensive policies through Federal and State exchanges. Only by logging in as a prospective patient did my office manager and I discover that Aetna was selling plans for which I am a provider-effectively selling my services without even asking, much less informing  me that my services would be sold on such a site, under the auspices of new terms with which I will not comply.

Then, after the fact, I received a form letter informing me of Aetna’s “new allowables”. I will not sell my services under such terms. While treated as such, patients and doctors are not commodities worthy of such impersonal, inconsiderate, and cavalier treatment. We choose dignity and personal service over disrespect and form letters.

So here we are, you are getting new business offering health insurance plans featuring my services without my consent under terms which are unacceptable to me. Accept this as my official written notice that the changes that you have unilaterally made to our contract are unacceptable to me and make our contract null and void.  You must explain this to your patients. You must tell them that they have purchased a product that was misrepresented to them and that you cannot deliver. It saddens me to think of the decreased access to care from actual physicians and the shockingly increased costs Aetna patients will now experience because of your choice to collude with big government rather than collaborate with patients and physicians.

Kristin S. Held, MD"

Lux Fiat's picture


Sad, but certainly understandable.  I wonder how many doctors are doing the same thing.  Fed Gov't should not be in the healthcare or welfare business.  Some claim that only 30% of "welfare" spending actually goes to recipients (of which who knows how much is squandered or fraudulent).  Give ACA a few more years, and I'm sure the overhead will be become even larger than it already is - both on the giving and receiving end.  http://libertariananswers.com/is-private-charity-more-efficient-than-government-welfare/

Occams_Chainsaw's picture

Smokin hot doc to boot....

ebworthen's picture

Damn, you ain't kiddin', and I missed my chance for a hernia check (*cough*).

AlaricBalth's picture

Doc Held is an ophthalmologist. Am making an appointment in San Antonio to go see her.

"Hi Doc. I have something in my eye. It's your image of beauty and I can't get it out."

How's that for a corny pick up line???

(Already down arrowing myself)


FlipSide's picture

That was bound to happen anyway with or without obamacare. It's not the parts store it use to be but merely a glorified cell phone store.

Montgomery Burns's picture

Reply to Dr. Held from Aetna. " Its ok, we have docs from India,Pakistan,China, Russia, etc, lined up waiting to practice in the US. Good luck trying to get people to pay you in cash what you think you're worth."

Stoploss's picture

Barrycare is the closer. It's what finally brings the country down in the end, via an end run around domestic jobs.

It's over, but no one wants to admit it yet.

Look around, it's open season on the job creators, not to mention crackers..



Occams_Chainsaw's picture

You forgot step 2....grant amnesty....then we are every version of toast you can think of.

donsluck's picture

"Job creators" who only shipped them overseas. By "crackers" I assume you mean white (fucking racist), and further assume that they are being shot (!?!?). If you were clearer, one could engage you. As it stands, you have said NOTHING.

Canadian Dirtlump's picture

It's a scary thought, but I think more and more that Obamabortioncare is working out precisely and exactly as planned. They could not have not known that mandating all the coverages would make costs soar, and doing the 30 hour work week would make employers start cutting with chainsaws - and all the rest of it.


It is remarkable at the seeming attention to detail that they did make in fucking up so comprehensively. That is why it can't be an accident.

FuzzyDunlop21's picture

If you like your job, you can . . . go fuck yourself

Pure Evil's picture

Well, lets be honest. It was heading in this direction anyway within the next 5 to 10 years. Obamacare has just speeded up some aspects of kiosk mechinization.

Since a large majority of the population knows how to use iPhones and apps how long before people start demanding the ability to interact with a kiosk instead of an 8th grade education high school graduate, with an attitude and chip on their shoulder to boot.

And worst yet, seeing how the country is being invaded by hordes of 3rd worlders that move into ethnic enclaves and refuse to learn English once they get here. If you think I'm full of shiite then why do states with large hispanic populations need ESL classes? (English as a Second Language).

Are you going to want to give your order to someone that can barely speak or understand English. Think of all the fun you have when you speak with Hindu's in India trying to get technical support.

I work in the technical industry and see this all the time. I see people coming over from asia that I can barely understand much less hold a cogent conversation with. But, if I say anything then I'm considered intolerant and a racist.

I just received official government documents from Medicare and they came with instructions for six different languages. The Federal government is enabling people to avoid assimilating into the Native American culture.

Offthebeach's picture

"...press 6. If you want to hear English, press 7....."

Bad Attitude's picture

If you think I'm full of shiite then why do states with large hispanic populations need ESL classes?

What ESL classes? I live in one of those states with a large hispanic population. I'm experiencing more Spanish speakers, more Spanish language advertizing, more evidence of Mexican gang activity. I feel like a foreigner in my own land.

kareninca's picture

What I see is that the ESL classes are for people who come here as adults.  My mom volunteers as a tutor to a guy from Puerto Rico; he has been here for decades and is in his 60s and has always wanted to speak better English.  He is typical in the program she volunteers for.  The young Hispanic people who were born here or who came here as kids, speak perfectly good English.  At least in Silicon Valley, I don't see the enclave thing; I just see parents who want their kids to speak good English so they can get ahead.  I don't think you could keep young people from learning English unless you forced them; they want to be familiar with popular culture, which is in English.

I volunteered at one point teaching Cambodian ladies English.  They were stuck at home for various reasons, and had come here as adults, and they spoke almost no English (but they desperately wanted to learn).  Their kids spoke like regular Americans.

I do agree that trying to communicate with someone in an call center in India can be impossible.

KnightTakesKing's picture

And on the flip-side, in a few years you won't be seeing a Medical Doctor but a RN if you're luckly. Otherwise, some Chinese made robot programmed by some dumb fuck in India making $2/hr will be your new ObamaCare doctor.

Welcome to 21st Century American Healthcare.

Blues Traveler's picture

Great comment Fuzzy, wish  that was a bumper sticker

Jumbotron's picture

Collapse guaranteed by 2020.  Just look at trendlines in total federal debt, Medicaid and Medicare and Social Security funds ( I know....they're empty now....but even the computers will start calling bullshit by 2020)....declines in not only the easy oil fields, but the Shale oil plays will be shown to be flash in the pans which means higher energy prices to fuel the magical lifestyle.....and now this data.  Moar of everything bad that drags an economy down......but that economy was going down regardless due to techenology, robots and global wage arbitrage ( otherwise known as the New Wage Slave Trade).

It could all certainly break earlier as brittleness in anything, from metals to economies, can never be truly predicted.  You just know it's inevitable.  But all the data lines for all the above and more prove to me that by 2020 and certainly beyond.....the jig is up and the Great Reset will be common knowledge.  The only question becomes is how will the Powers That Be destroy the world trying to keep their Utopian dreams from melting like ice cubes in hell?

El Vaquero's picture

One can only hope that it collapses so fast that the assholes don't get a chance to destroy everything.  Life is going to be tough enough without having to worry about whether or not what you are eating has fallout in it, assuming you survive the MRVs. 

whatthecurtains's picture

Lean forward.... and bend over.

Debt Slave's picture

Don't worry. The doctors that drop out of the current medical system will be replaced by quality people who attended the University of the Congo.

Debt Slave's picture

The Congo, Chicongo, same difference.

knukles's picture

That's just wrong.
But funny.


And likely not too far from the truth

Blano's picture

As soon as I stop laughing, I'm stealing that.