WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Healthcare reform will reduce the U.S. unemployment rate, Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas W. Elmendorf testified Wednesday.
In an appearance before the House Budget Committee, Elmendorf said the Affordable Care Act will enable some full-time workers to cut back their hours or even quit working, opening up jobs for the unemployed.
The non-partisan CBO issued an economic outlook Tuesday, saying the ACA will result in the reduction of the equivalent of as many as 2.5 million workers, a large percentage of them older workers who no longer need to worry about getting affordable healthcare coverage between now and when they become eligible for Medicare.
Under questioning from Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Elmendorf agreed the result will be people who are looking for work will be able to find it.
Elmendorf also noted the ACA provides some disincentives for people at the low end of the economic scale to work more since earning more could reduce Medicaid eligibility and the level of subsidies for insurance purchased through the HealthCare.gov.