Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison defended Obamacare against the Congressional Budget Office’s finding that “more than 2.5 million people are likely to reduce the amount of labor they choose to supply to some degree because of the Affordable Care Act.”
Ellison told ABC’s “This Week” panel Sunday morning that ACA will lead to “working more reasonable hours.”
“Americans work way more than the average of industrialized countries around the world,” he said. “What the Congressional Budget Office is saying, we’re going to discourage kids from being [in] latchkey. Have parents come home working reasonable hours. People can retire. People may be able to cook dinner rather than get takeout. The fact is is that if Americans can have more choices to open up a new business they have been wanting to start, this is a good thing.
“If you look at international comparisons country by country, Americans work way more than the average of industrialized countries around the world,” he continued. “We might to want look at our work-life balance, and this is something that gives us a great opportunity.”
Last week, several Democrats used a similar talking point in reaction to the CBO announcement by attacking job stability as “job lock.”
On Wednesday during the White House press briefing, press secretary Jay Carney spun Obamacare’s impact to employee hours as something Americans should “celebrate”:
“The benefit of having the freedom and choice and opportunity that health insurance security provides outweighs those considerations,” Carney said. “If you are somebody locked in a job and has to keep that job in order to make sure your family has healthcare, but you either can’t stand the job or you have a great idea to start a business, but you can’t go out and started because you lose healthcare if you get your job, this creates the opportunity for entrepreneurship that did not exist prior to the Affordable Care Act. That should be something conservatives celebrate. We do.”
During a CBO hearing on Wednesday, Democratic congressmen also claimed Obamacare is preventing job lock.
“The Affordable Care Act does end that job lock, allows Americans to choose to spend more time with their family or pursue their dreams,” said Maryland Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen.
“It could be someone on the lower end now working two part-time jobs instead of three part-time jobs, and what that means instead they might be able to tuck their child in bed at night and read a bed time story or go to an activity, which means they’re better off,” added Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan.