Saturday, December 28, 2013

GDP, full-time jobs up despite Obamacare

Gee, whaddya know? Obamacare's employer mandate hasn't cratered growth or employment as predicted by naysayers. Somehow, the U.S. economy grew by 4.1 percent in the third quarter of 2013. Writes business professor Anthony Orlando [emphasis mine]:

For one thing, the cost of Obamacare has been greatly exaggerated. The law states companies with more than 50 workers must offer health insurance to their full-time employees or pay a fine of $2,000 per employee. That may sound like a lot, but it's a heck of a lot less than most companies are already paying for health insurance, which costs an average of $15,073 per worker.

"You've got 5.7 million firms in the U.S.," says health economist Mark Duggan. "Only 210,000 have more than 50 employees. So 96 percent of firms aren't affected. Then if you look among those firms with 50 or more employees, something on the order of 95 percent offer health insurance."

When you add it all up, the "employer mandate" probably affects less than 1 percent of the workforce.

Definitely not enough to make a dent in the economy.

So it shouldn't come as a surprise there is no evidence Obamacare is turning us into a "part-time" economy. Since President Obama signed the law, the economy has added millions of full-time jobs, while part-time jobs have actually declined. A lower percentage of workers are part-time than they were under President Reagan in the 1980s.

It's a similar situation with the individual mandate. If you recall, the maximum number of potential Obamacare "victims" -- those paying paying higher prices for lesser coverage -- is 2.4 million people, but most likely much fewer. That's less than 1 percent of the U.S. population.

The upshot: those most irate about the employer and individual mandates are journalists, politicians, pundits and cranks who themselves aren't affected by it. Their apparent concern for the plight of others is almost... liberal.

By Anthony W. Orlando
December 27, 2013 |  South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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