This morning's Intelligencer editorial is another in a long line of unethical editorials which uses information not previously reported by the paper as the basis for an editorial written by a writer who then picks and chooses the information that best supports his/her thesis. (Note, I realize that this is an editorial and not a news story. That, however, does not relieve the Intelligencer of its ethical obligation to fairly present the necessary information in order for its audience to make an informed, rational decision.)
Today's editorial once again attacks Obamacare:
Worse, Obamacare is a job killer. It will force layoffs and hours-worked cuts equal to 2 million full time jobs during the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
First, I will acknowledge that the editorial at least cited evidence to make its case. Unfortunately, the evidence doesn't support what the editorial claims -- specifically the CBO never mentions forced layoffs or forced reduced working hours. As Kevin Drum argues:
There's nothing new here. Obamacare does change work incentives in certain ways, though the effect is small: about 1-2 percent of the workforce by 2025. But it doesn't force anything. There are no "broken promises" or "catastrophic failures" to rant about. Just some small marginal effects that shouldn't surprise anyone who's been paying attention.
Okay, Drum blogs at the online edition of the liberal "Mother Jones" -- certainly a biased source on Obamacare. Turn instead to a much more detailed analysis at the much more conservative Fiscal Times. (Emphasis is mine.):
But the CBO isn’t looking specifically at job loss. It’s making projections about aggregate hours worked and the total number of workers who choose to stay in the workforce: “The labor force is projected to be about 2 million full-time-equivalent workers smaller in 2025 under the ACA than it would have been otherwise,” the agency wrote. That is, fewer work hours will be logged and paid for, the rough equivalent of 2 million jobs. But those two things — reduced hours across the economy and total jobs — are different things. And it’s important to note that the reduction in hours worked is relative to the number of hours that would have been worked in the absence of the law; in either case, total work hours continue to grow into 2025, it’s just a matter of by how much.
Finally, here's what Fox News wrote:
In what will be seen as a positive by ObamaCare’s supporters, the CBO predicts that a contributing factor to the shrinkage in the labor force will be the consequence of insurance subsidies that will make it easier for some people to stop working, or work less, without losing health insurance.
“Some people would choose to work fewer hours; others would leave the labor force entirely or remain unemployed for longer than they otherwise would,” the report says.
And while the Fox News article mostly emphasizes the negative, nowhere in the article do they claim that "forced layoffs" or forced anything will occur and the article does note possible positive outcomes. How bad is this editorial when it makes Fox News look "fair and balanced" by comparison?