The Denver Post is calling out the Chamber of Commerce for running an on behalf of Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) that falsely claims that the Affordable Care Act will undermine job growth. Opponents often cite the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office report from August 2010, which does estimate that on net, the law “will reduce the amount of labor used in the economy by a small amount — roughly half a percent.” But as the Post points out, the analysis also found that the law does so “primarily by reducing the amount of labor that workers choose to supply,” not by reducing the number of jobs created. Watch the ad:
In other words, CBO believes that increasing access to health insurance could lead some people who are working to maintain access to health coverage to retire early or “take jobs that better match their skills, because they would not have to stay in less desirable jobs solely to maintain their health insurance.” Under the law, those individuals would be able to find coverage through the exchange or Medicaid.
What percentage of Americans would actually choose to do this, is of course unclear (Medicaid, after all, has only a 65 percent participation rate and CBO admits “overall impact on labor markets, however, is difficult to predict“), but leaving a job that you’re at simply because of the health coverage it provides is certainly different than businesses closing shop as a result of the law. Other studies have also estimated that modernizing the health care system would create hundreds of thousands of jobs each year.