Liberating the 60 year old from employer health insurance

2014

The flap over what the CBO analysis says or doesn’t say about Obamacare and jobs is entertaining. Spin on both sides is in full swing. But I have a favorite. That’s the one where a 60-year-old can now retire early because he can buy health insurance through a ACA exchange. That’s true of course, but is it good? If the sixty-year is forced to retire, that’s one thing. Indeed the exchange coverage will be a benefit far more valuable than limited time COBRA coverage at 105% of the employers premium.

However, to say the ACA now frees up individuals to retire at age 60 is ludicrous. What that assumes of course is the individual is financially prepared to retire in the first place. It also means that you and I will be supplementing his or her early retirement through the Obamacare tax credits. Following are a couple of examples. Note the amount of tax subsidies each couple receives (and these are the lowest cost plans). Now we have a new entitlement that encourages people to stop working, live on a reduced income and receive substantial subsidies paid by people who are working … all available as a result of the early retirees individual choice. Is that what we mean by health care reform?

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And keep this in mind, the worker could have a substantial net worth, but be living on an average income and still be subsidized…. by you❗️

But CBO’s lost workers are splendid, Mr. Furman argued, because it means they will simply be making a rational decision to drop out or cut back, and “that, in their case, might be a better choice and a better option than what they had before.” Liberals cite the 60-year-old who can retire early before qualifying for Medicare or the second-income spouse who quits to spend time with her kids.

20140208-120721.jpg In his column, Paul Krugman says,

The budget office report didn’t say that people will lose their jobs. It declared explicitly that the predicted fall in hours worked will come “almost entirely because workers will choose to supply less labor” (emphasis added). And as we’ve already seen, Mr. Elmendorf did his best the next day to explain that voluntary reductions in work hours are nothing like involuntary job loss. Oh, and because labor supply will be reduced, wages will go up, not down.

Gee Mr Krugman, rather than the labor supply going down and raising wages, wouldn’t you think all the millions of unemployed and those who dropped from the workforce would fill the void?

In addition, if you are correct it seems the need to raise the minimum wage would simply take care of itself with all this pressure on the labor market. Hip, hip hooray❗️Everyone 60 and older retire, and all working women who are second income earners quit … Full employment is assured because people no longer need to work. All because they can get a tax subsidy for a high-deductible health plan. And they are going to pay their share of the premium and out-of-pocket costs how⁉️

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