Letter: Obamacare increases options, dignity

February 11, 2014 

The Congressional Budget Office recently released a study indicating that several million people will leave the work force in the next decade as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Republicans immediately jumped on this as "lost jobs because of Obamacare." The convoluted reasoning that led them to this conclusion suggests that Republicans' declining strength on America's political scene has engendered dangerously irrational behavior.

The idea that an American nearing retirement age might feel sufficiently strong financially to retire earlier than he/she might otherwise have retired because access to affordable health care is no longer an obstacle, is obviously a good thing. That is not an increase in unemployment; it's creation of a job opening for a younger worker. It really takes a jaundiced, Limbaugh-like eye to view this possibility as a negative.

The freedom to choose your life-path without fear of inadequate health care is comparable to the freedoms afforded by Social Security or Medicare.

The ACA obviously brings an increase in dignity, not an increase in unemployment. Our problem is not workers who leave our aging work force; it is finding suitable replacements. The answer is education and immigration, but let's hold that for another letter.

MARTIN BENSKY, Richland

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