The Affordable Care Act’s Step Forward

walmartIn a new piece for the Huffington Post, Irv Katz, President & CEO of the National Human Services Assembly, takes a look at the media’s recent convergence on the CBO’s report that cited the impact of the Affordable Care Act on jobs.

The Olympics are great but the political shows are my favored competition. Not that anyone medals, but it is fun to watch the level heads of a David Brooks, a Paul Krugman, or an Andrea Mitchell set the record straight when political hacks, partisan pundits, and think-tank ideologues “skew” the meaning of current facts…

IRVKATZ1I’m not an economist or a labor expert. I’m in the field of human development, where employment and work are among the fundamentals. However, as a taxpayer, citizen and human service professional, it is clear to me that the economy has changed and is changing in fundamental ways. Despite the improved economy and reductions in unemployment in some areas, technology, the war on terrorism, the increasing concentration of wealth, and other factors are constricting workforce growth and this appears to be a sustained reality. Companies are making better profits but are not expanding as they did in the past and, as a result of that and cuts in government employment, unemployment, at rates all would rather not see, is probably here to stay, at least until the next major structural economic shift.

So let’s put partisan misrepresentation aside. If the ACA “allows” people the option to leave the workforce to better care for their families or better themselves, perhaps in ways that saves society’s costs or improves an individual’s earning power in the long run, it is a good thing. Not to see this is the proverbial penny-wise-and-pound-foolish. And to overlook the fact that jobs left are jobs available is, to use another colloquialism, failing to see the forest for the trees.

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