Desperately working to keep his patient from bleeding out, the Washington Post's William Branigin set about emergency surgery on ObamaCare's public perception in his February 6 page A4 article, "CBO director: Health law will boost employment."
"Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf testified Wednesday that the new health-care law will spur employment by boosting overall demand for goods and services," Branigin approvingly opened his 7-paragraph story, explaining that the chief of the nonpartisan CBO was "answering questions from Democrats who were trying to counter claims by Republicans that the Affordable Care Act will cost jobs."
"Elmendorf said he thinks the effect of the law will be to 'reduce unemployment over the next few year,'" Branigin noted.
Of course, folks who drop out of full-time work to part-time work are not factored into the unemployment number, which only measures those actively seeking work who haven't yet found it. As such the number accordingly doesn't account for the long-term unemployed who have simply given up even looking for a job.
Indeed, part of the drop in unemployment in the past few months has been precisely because of folks dropping out of the labor force altogether. Accordingly, dropping unemployment may be a fine stat to cling to out of its larger context, but it's problematic when the labor force participation rate is cratering and more and more Americans are settling for part-time work with less pay and benefits.
But never mind that. To Branigin the story was how liberal Democrat Rep. Chris Van Hollen rode to the rescue in yesterday's hearing by "zero[ing] in on the CBO's finding that the law will 'boost overall demand for goods and services over the next few years'.... [B]ecause people benefiting from its expansion of Medicaid and insurance subsidies will probably have extra money to spend.'"
Of course, an explosion in Medicaid spending and in federal subsidies means an explosion in federal spending, which ultimately will be paid for by the taxpayer, a consideration Branigin completely omitted from his story.