Testifying before the House Budget Committee yesterday, Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Elmendorf said of Obamacare, “[T]he act creates a disincentive for people to work.” He declared, “[B]y providing heavily subsidized health insurance to people with very low income and then withdrawing those subsidies as income rises, the act creates a disincentive for people to work—relative to what would have been the case in the absence of that act.”
Elmendorf, a Democrat, tried to claim that these people who would “have less of an incentive to work” would be “better off,” but Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan was having none of it.
Ryan replied, “I guess I understand the ‘better off’ in the context of health care. But better off in inducing the person not to work who’s on the low-income scale, not to get on the ladder of life, to begin working, getting the dignity of work, getting more opportunities, [raising] their income, joining the middle class, this means fewer people will do that. That’s why I am troubled by this.”