Tom Cotton and Congressional Budget Office Numbers

Feb 22, 2014

Fourth District Rep. Tom Cotton (R)
Credit Michael Hibblen/ KUAR News

Republican Representative and Senate hopeful Tom Cotton delivered the Republican Party's weekly address and used the opportunity to tout the “true grit” of Arkansans while lambasting the policies of President Barack Obama.

In particular Cotton took aim at the Affordable Care Act.

“The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projects Obamacare will cost the equivalent of at least two and half million full time jobs. What do we get for all of this pain? Obamacare will add trillions of new spending at a time of record debt,” said Cotton.

Cotton continued, saying the ACA won't help the uninsured either.

“...and the Congressional Budget Office says we'll still have 31 million uninsured in ten years. The same number President Obama used to sell the law in the first place,” said Cotton.

Interpretations of the Congressional Budget Office figures have been hotly contested since being released this month. The CBO report does say there will be a reduction in full-time workers but suggests it will largely be voluntary as workers choose to reduce hours because of insurance subsidies. The CBO explicitly rejects characterizing wording saying the ACA will cause two and half million jobs to be lost.

Q: Will 2.5 Million People Lose Their Jobs in 2024 Because of the ACA?

A: No, we would not describe our estimates in that way.

We wrote in the report: “CBO estimates that the ACA will reduce the total number of hours worked, on net, by about 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent during the period from 2017 to 2024, almost entirely because workers will choose to supply less labor.” The reason for the reduction in the supply of labor is that the provisions of the ACA reduce the incentive to work for certain subsets of the population.

The report also predicts the act will reduce the deficit in the program's second decade by nearly a trillion dollars while expanding insurance coverage from 82 percent of citizens in 2013 to 92 percent by 2017.

Cotton went on to say Republicans could move the country in a better direction.

“Republicans in Congress are committed to stopping the harms caused by the president's policies, repairing the damage and getting America working again. We're advocating reforms that trust patients and their doctors not Washington bureaucrats. We're working to get spending under control, that's because we trust you to make the right decisions for you and your family,” said Cotton.

Watch Cotton's full remarks here.