WASHINGTON (AP) - Congressional analysts say several million American workers will cut back their hours on the job or leave the nation's workforce entirely because of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.
The Congressional Budget Office says the workforce changes would mean nationwide losses equal to 2.3 million full-time jobs by 2021, in large part because people would opt to keep their income low to stay eligible for federal health care subsidies or Medicaid. It had estimated previously that the law would lead to 800,000 fewer jobs by that year.
Republican Congressman John Kline of Minnesota says it's the latest indication that "the president's health care law is destroying full-time jobs." The chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee says, "This fatally flawed health care scheme is wreaking havoc on working families nationwide."
The White House says the possible reduction would be due to voluntary steps by workers rather than businesses cutting jobs, and it says people would have the freedom to retire early or spend more time as stay-at-home parents because they'd no longer have to depend only on their employers for health insurance.