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What We Read Today 06 February 2014

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number accepted.

Today our focus "behind the wall" is on the ACA (Affordable Care Act).

  • Global PMI roundup (Houses and Holes, Macro Business) Credit Suisse is quoted as saying the drop from 53.2 in December to 52.1 in January represents a decline of one standard deviation, a major move for global outlook.


Behind the wall today are ten articles on the latest new about Obamacare.

The lack of detailed information on this topic is indicated by the lack of tabular or graphic presentations in what is being published. This creates fertile ground for demagogs, which we have tried to avoid on this reading list. Because they are just not easy to find there is only one article with a graphic.

The hullabaloo about employers cutting the long-held standard 40-hour workweek to beat costs of the ACA has now hit the fan. According to the CBO, those lost work hours due to the ACA will amount to job losses equivalent to more than 2 million jobs by 2017.
... be wary of overblown claims about what it means-Obamacare might be driving down employment, but the decrease is because American workers have reasons to stay home, not because their bosses have decided to cut them loose.
  • Hill Republicans Hammer Health Law’s 'Risk Corridors' (Julie Appleby and Mary Agnes Carey, Kaiser Health News) Republicans don't like ACA provision that limits insurance company losses and limits their profits - a so-called "risk corrider". It turns out that the governemnt actually profits by a net $8 billion from this provision while insurance companies do not have to add risk buffers to their premiums. See article at The Fiscal Times.


House Majority Leader Eric Cantor falsely claims that a new report confirms the long-held Republican belief that "millions of hardworking Americans will lose their jobs," because of the Affordable Care Act. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office report says more than 2 million people will decide not to work, or will decide to work less, due to the law - not that they will "lose their jobs."
Sen. Tim Scott claims that the Affordable Care Act's taxes of $800 billion hit small businesses and families. But that's misleading on several levels: It overlooks the tax credits available to both; much of the 10-year tax figure Scott cited affects individuals earning more than $200,000, a small fraction of all taxpayers; and there are few taxes directly affecting small businesses.
  • GOP Budget Revives ‘Obamacare’ Claims ( Members of both parties accused of distortions. Those who want to keep score by political party can do that. Econintersect does not see that act does anything to move the discussion forward.
  • Obama Says Extent of Health Care Website Flaws Unexpected (Roger Runningen, HIX, Health Insurance Exchange) A position related to that of all the economists who couldn't see the financial crisis coming. It's like being able to know that you don't know something quite basis and important.

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