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Republicans double down on Obamacare

Published: Thursday, Feb. 6 2014 1:50 p.m. MST

House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. listens as Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Douglas Elmendorf testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington in this Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 file photo, before the committee. Adding fresh fuel to the political fight over House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. listens as Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Douglas Elmendorf testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington in this Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 file photo, before the committee. Adding fresh fuel to the political fight over "Obamacare,” Republican lawmakers have seized on a Congressional Budget Office report that predicts nationwide job losses because of the health care program. (J. Scott Applewhite, Associated Press)

A Congressional Budget Office report released Tuesday was widely interpreted as showing Obamacare to be a job-killer and while many are now questioning the initial reports, some on the right are doubling down.

The New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn makes the case that, at least in the present, no one can be confident of a certain outcome and that the CBO did not make a projection of the total impact of Obamacare on jobs.

Cohn then asks, “Will Republicans stop making these arguments? Or will they at least acknowledge some uncertainty about them? Nope. And that's a prediction in which you can feel very confident.”

It seems he would be right about Republicans.

According to The Daily Caller’s Sarah Hurtubise, the CBO report has nothing to do with “job-lock,” a term used to describe those employees tied to a job solely based on healthcare benefits.

“The numbers demonstrate that the equivalent of over 2 million full-time employees will be better off financially if they quit work entirely — not a particular job — in order to get more taxpayer subsidies for health care,” writes Hurtubise.

While accepting the other point of view that Obamacare doesn’t kill jobs, but rather that some will chose to work less, editor of the National Review Rich Lowry wrote in Politico that Democrats have become "The Party of Less Work."

“The old jobs crisis was people not having jobs; the new jobs crisis is people having to work,” Lowry writes. “The party devoted to combating inequality is now blithely unconcerned about a law discouraging people — especially people down the income scale — from earning more. So much for its championing of economic mobility.”

According to National Review’s Charles C. W. Cooke, Obamacare is attacking work ethic.

Cooke writes that “leaving work because Uncle Sam is helping you out on the side is not the same thing as electing to leave without assistance; and winning the fruits of success without the hard work that has traditionally served as a prerequisite is no victory at all.”

And it’s not just political punditry.

The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent reported that the first campaign web-ad using Obamacare to attack a Democrat has already been uploaded.

An ad by Rep. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, running for Sen. Kay Hagan’s seat, attacks her for voting with President Obama, especially on Obamacare, citing the CBO numbers as proof the healthcare law is a “job killer.”

Erik Raymond is experienced in national and international politics. He relocated from the Middle East where he was working on his second novel. He produces content for DeseretNews.com. You can reach him at: eraymond@deseretdigital.com @RaymondErik

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