Exercising your fundamental American right to tell your boss to "take that job and shove it"

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

There's been this big ol' Washington DC tempest-in-a-teapot political fight this week.

It seems that the Congressional Budget Office -- the neutral budget scorekeeper -- put out a report this week that contained this one line:

The reduction in CBO’s projections of hours worked represents a decline in the number of full-time-equivalent workers of about 2.0 million in 2017, rising to about 2.5 million in 2024.

Republicans, of course, went all crazy about it -- "ObamaCare is Destroying Jobs!!1!11!" -- which isn't what the report said at all. Not even close.

(Paging Politifact... I think we have an early frontrunner for Lie of the Year...)

As TPM noted, the key is that some people are working now just to keep their health care -- and with ObamaCare, they can finally stop doing that:

"I think it’s important to distinguish between people choosing to work less and jobs being lost," Larry Levitt, vice president at the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation, told TPM. "That is something important to keep an eye on, since you don’t want to discourage work. But, it’s not in all cases a bad thing."

"For example, some people in their late 50s and early 60s would like to retire because they have health issues but have kept working for the health benefits. Some of them can now retire because they can’t be discriminated against for having a pre-existing condition and may get help paying their premiums."

Or as our own Senator Ron Wyden put it, in a video promoting his own health care plan back in 2008, universal health care allows Americans who are "chained to jobs they hate by health coverage they can't afford to lose" to finally, at long last, "exercise that fundamental American right to take a job and shove it".

It's still one of the great political videos of all time. Watch it again:

Senator Wyden wasn't able to make his plan the law of the land, but the principle is (somewhat) still true for ObamaCare. (Wyden would have abolished employer-based health care altogether, and it's true that in some cases, employers are offering better plans than exchange plans, but now we're getting excessively wonky...)

We now have individual health care plans available on the exchanges that are affordable and won't discriminate against pre-existing conditions. That means that someone working a job they hate can now retire, go back to school, become a stay-at-home parent, start a small business, or hit the road to follow Phish. Whatever.

That's the very definition of freedom. And you'd think the Republicans would recognize it when they see it.


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