Hayes Admits Obamacare Full Time Job Losses 'Not Some Right Wing Attack'

...But follows up by asking 'how much do we want people to work?'

February 5, 2014

MSNBC host Chris Hayes fully admitted Obamacare subsidies will cause some people to work less and incentivize others to drop out of the labor force all together Wednesday on All In.

Hayes asked The Federalist writer Ben Domenech to explain the nuances of the CBO Obamacare report. Domenech noted the reason a projected 2.3 million people will drop out of full time positions is not because the jobs will cease to be available, but because Obamacare will incentivize those workers to work less or abandon their job to attain subsidies.

The news some workers may be see a net benefit for working less seemed to be positive news for Hayes, who followed up by asking Domenech "how much do we want people to work?":

CHRIS HAYAES: [...] How much do we want people to work? Check this out, this is average hours worked, right ok? It's not like Americans are layabouts in any way, ok? We work a lot more than other of people. So the question is like, is the good here the weird subtext of this whole thing, once people actually understand what the CBO report was saying, seems to be this kind of idea that "like man, we need Americans working more hours." I just don't see that as a political good.

BEN DOMENECH: Well I think the real question Chris for you is, how many jobs are too many jobs. How few jobs are too few jobs. It's one of these situations, in terms of the evaluation that the American people are going to make for themselves, my own perspective is, I would rather have that family working more hours, because it's going to increase their income over the course of time. It's going to lead to better outcomes for their family. The perspective on the other side is, well, they're working fewer hours, but they're going to have health insurance, they're going to have Obamacare there for them. But I think that's really a question of what kind of economy do you want? Do you want one where people are working more hours for themselves or their families? Or do you want one where some people are going to be working more hours, paying for their subsidies, and some people are going to be working fewer hours but they'll have healthcare?

There are few economists who dispute the idea higher labor participation means everyone, including the poor, reap the benefits of a stronger economy.