Monday, March 15, 2010


From a health care op-ed in today's Washington Post by Representative Paul Ryan, reputed to be a rare thoughtful straight shooter on economic matters:

This legislation includes a range of job-killing tax hikes and controls on all Americans -- to fund this new entitlement and to penalize employers and individuals who don't play by Washington's new rules. The CBO said last July that "requiring employers to offer health insurance, or pay a fee if they do not, is likely to reduce employment."

If you go to the link Ryan provides (a PDF of a CBO report), you can read the sentence Ryan quotes -- in its entirety:

Requiring employers to offer health insurance -- or pay a fee if they do not -- is likely to reduce employment, although the effect would probably be small.


(Emphasis added.)

The closest thing to a pure estimate in the CBO report says that pay-or-play might reduce employment by 0.2% -- although a pay-or-play mandate has been in effect in Hawaii since 1975 and the state actually seems to have done better in terms of employment than the rest of the nation. No mention of that from Ryan.

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