Huffpo Reporter Claims 'ObamaCare Opponents Freak Out' Over Workers' New 'Freedom'

February 5th, 2014 7:36 PM

Michael McAuliff, a former New York Daily News reporter who now writes for the liberal Huffington Post website, stated on Wednesday that people who oppose the Affordable Care Act refer to a report released by the Congressional Budget Office that the shift of full-time employees to part-time work would result in employees losing working hours equivalent to about 2.5 million jobs during the next 10 years, “thereby raising unemployment and forcing others to pay for their health care, and adding to the federal deficit.”

However, McAuliff -- who covers Congress and politics for the site -- quoted CBO director Douglas Elmendorf, who in a hearing on Wednesday “asserted that this is not so: His office's report, he noted, says that ObamaCare will actually produce a net increase in employment and cut the deficit” while giving workers the freedom to do things most Americans praise, such as spending more time with their children or starting their own businesses.

“It appears that at the heart of these complaints” about the ACA “lies the belief that a large number of Americans will simply up and quit their jobs,” the reporter stated, “thereby raising unemployment and forcing others to pay for their health care, and adding to the federal deficit.” McAuliff continued:

There would be older, sicker Americans who only work now because it's the only way they can get health care.

People with multiple jobs could cut that number to one. And many people would be able to take advantage of the new health-care safety net to start their own businesses -- 1.5 million, according to one estimate from the Urban Institute.

"There is a critical difference between people who would like to work and can’t find a job, or have a job that is lost for reasons beyond their control, and people who choose not to work," Elmendorf said.
"If someone comes up to you and says, 'Well, the boss said I’m being laid off because we don’t have enough business to pay me,' that person feels bad about that, and we sympathize with them for having lost their job," he continued.

However, if someone "comes to you and says, 'I’ve decided to retire,' or 'I’ve decided to stay home and spend more time with my family,' or 'I’ve decided to spend more time doing my hobby' -- they don’t feel bad about it, they feel good about it,” the CBO director noted.

“And we don’t sympathize, we say congratulations,”  Elmendorf declared. “And we don’t say they’ve lost their job, we say they’ve chosen to leave their job."

"It's not that they have no incentive to work, it's that they have a smaller incentive to work," the CBO president said.

McAuliff also wrote:

And despite the current freak-out over ObamaCare giving people more choices, conservatives in fact used to laud the idea of separating health insurance from work.

A Heritage Foundation report on similar provisions in Sen. John McCain's health-care proposals during his 2008 presidential campaign called the link between employers and health insurance "job lock" and said breaking it would give "more power to families."

Of course, quoting from a moderate Republican presidential candidate who was summarily pounded by his liberal Democratic opponent isn't usually the best way to make a point.

The debate continued
on the website, where McAuliff stated: “There's an irony in the GOP complaining that ACA lets people quit jobs. I mean, what's wrong with freedom?

Asrf_Qwerty replied by stating: “Ummm ... people who work for themselves are still, you know, working. They are not part of the 2M productive jobs lost.”

@Shannon Bream quoted White House press secretary Jay Carney regarding ObamaCare's impact on jobs: "This is not anything but an added choice people have -- more oppty because of that freedom.”

Meanwhile, @thegoldfarb dug straight to the heart of the matter: "So people will chose not to work and pay for their own health care because I will pay for it? And that’s the White House spin?”

“To liberals, pro-choice now means dead babies … and 2.5 million fewer jobs,” @czechov noted.

@Matthops82 simply asked: “Are you high?” while @AspiringThrawn claimed that McCauliff's tweet “is Pelosi-level stupid.”

Questioning the concept behind the new “freedom” was @ThePantau, who asked: “How many tens of Americans work *only* to get cheaper health insurance?”

@Will _Antonin pointed out: “It's not 'freedom' to the children now saddled with the debt foisted upon them by a self-indulgent media class.”

One poster who was obviously familiar with McAuliff's left-leaning background as a Washington correspondent for the New York Daily News, where he covered New York Democratic senator Hillary Clinton, the 2008 presidential campaign and the fight over the 9/11 health and compensation law before he moved to the site founded by liberal activist Arianna Huffington.

“Good hire, Arianna,” @RepRepublic stated sarcastically.