End of the Age News
By Jim Stigleman
Obamacare May Cause 2 Million Workers to Reduce Work Hours by 2017
The Congressional Budget Office stated on Tuesday that by 2017 the American workforce could be diminished by 2 million full-time workers because of President Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Law, better known as Obamacare. The number rises to 2.5 million by 2024. In an effort to avert the loss of governmental subsidies provided by Obamacare, many employees, especially those with lower paying jobs, will reduce their work hours.
If Obamacare causes a slowdown in employment growth because of this work hour reduction, it could undoubtedly become a main campaign issue in the 2014 Congressional elections. While this CBO report seemingly adds fuel to the fire for those who oppose the Healthcare Bill, the White House refutes its claims.
Speaker of the House, John Boehner said, “The president’s healthcare law creates uncertainty for small businesses, hurts take-home pay, and makes it harder to invest in new workers. The middle class is getting squeezed in this economy, and this CBO report confirms that Obamacare is making it worse.”
The CBO also reports that considerable healthcare assistance is available for those with lower incomes and is gradually “phased out” as incomes increase. “The phase out effectively raises people’s marginal tax rates (the tax rates applying to their last dollar of income), thus discouraging work,” the CBO report said.
CVS to Stop Selling Cigarettes
A decision was made by CVS, America’s no. 2 drugstore chain, to stop selling cigarettes in its 7,600 stores by October 2014, becoming the first nationally recognized drugstore to do so. The decision was well received by both President Obama and healthcare experts across the nation.
“Today’s decision will help advance my Administration’s efforts to reduce tobacco-related deaths, cancer, and heart disease, as well as bring down healthcare costs,” Obama said.
Pharmacies across America have viewed themselves for quite some time as health information experts and many have gone so far as to offer walk-in clinics to their customers. In addressing the issue, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Frieden stated, “I think CVS recognized that it was just paradoxical to be both a seller of deadly products and a healthcare provider.”
This decision by CVS is expected to have a ripple effect among other drugstore chains.
IRAN DEAL IMPERFECT BUT, IT BUYS TIME
Iran Deal Imperfect But It Buys Time
Iran has gained nearly $7 billion in sanction relief, which began in January, in exchange for curbing its nuclear activities. This interim agreement was signed by major world powers and Iran on November 24th, 2013 and a full agreement is to be reached within a year.
Many in Congress are angry that sanctions have been reduced before Iran has made significant progress in reducing its nuclear program. Idaho Senator, James Risch, said during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting, “I was stunned when I saw what the agreement was. I’ve been disgusted as we’ve gone forward.”
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and chief U.S. negotiator with Iran, Wendy Sherman, says, “We see this as a first step so we don’t consider the gaps that exist loopholes because this is not a final agreement.” She further stated, “This is not perfect, but this does freeze and roll back their program in significant ways and give(s) us time on the clock to, in fact, negotiate that comprehensive agreement.”