A new report by the Congressional Budget Office confirms what many analysts and activists have long hoped for: affordable healthcare, untethered from a full time payroll job, will allow millions of Americans now shackled by company sponsored group health insurance to pursue more rewarding work and early retirement:
WaPo — “The estimated reduction stems almost entirely from a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply, rather than from a net drop in businesses’ demand for labor, so it will appear almost entirely as a reduction in labor force participation and in hours worked relative to what would have occurred otherwise rather than as an increase in unemployment (that is, more workers seeking but not finding jobs) or underemployment (such as part-time workers who would prefer to work more hours per week).”
This is good news all the way around. There are millions of baby-boomers in sight of age 65 who have lucked out in their 401-K’s, who are able to retire, but not yet eligible for Medicare. Now they can go ahead and retire or switch to a more fulfilling part-time job if they wish without worrying about unplanned medical disasters. The same availability of affordable healthcare gives millions more, younger and older alike, the final critical tool needed to stop working for someone else and start their own small business. Best of all, it reduces the supply of labor which is always beneficial to those who remain in the traditional workforce.
Naturally, zillionaire wingnuts and their corporate toadies jumped on the report, twisted the findings to claim Obamacare will cost millions of jobs, and eagerly spread that negative propaganda far and wide in a massive coordinated attack. That they were able to do that virtually unopposed really, really disgusts a lot of people like me.
The idea that corporate thugs and professional liars will distort any news, good or bad, about Obamacare is as predictable as sunrise and sunset. No one in the White House or the democratic party who knew this report was being prepared and the good news about to be released should have been caught off guard or out maneuvered. Yet here we are, again, so-called professional strategists and party leaders who are paid enormous salaries and enjoy every perk in the book counting on part-time volunteer writers and poorly paid bloggers out in the sticks to go on defense and play catch up with the mighty Fox Noise machines and Kochwhores, after they fumbled the ball and handed over possession deep in their own territory.
The President or the Vice-President or the Sec of HHS could have easily held a series of press conferences right before the report was released. The Debbie-Wasserman-Schultz’s and Chuck Shumers of the world could have been on Meet the Press or Rachel Maddow last week highlighting how cool this will be for everyone in the 99%. But not a peep, not a single email heads up that I know of to the progressive volunteer blogosphere, not until it was armed by right-wing misinformation specialists to blow up into headlines screaming that Obamacare will cost millions of Americans their jobs and the CBO proved it.
If beltway democrats and administration experts are not going to be prepared, despite all the resources at their disposal, and pull the trigger when the time is right, then how about at the very least they keep those of who are willing to fight Goliath – for, at best, pennies a day – in the information loop so we can better clean up after them? Because I for one am sick of seeing bumbling apathetic assholes getting paid six and seven figures to practice gross political negligence at my expense.