WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 (UPI) —
The Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday the Affordable Care Act would reduce employment by about 2.3 million jobs over 10 years.
The new estimate nearly three triples the previous CBO estimate of 800,000 jobs that the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, was to have cost the economy, the Hill newspaper reported.
The controversial healthcare law is expected to slow the economy and cause many people to leave the workforce, the impact being felt mostly by low-wage workers, the Washington Post reported.
The agency also said the healthcare law would see 1 million fewer sign ups this year than previously expected due to the clumsy launch of the federal Web site last year.
Eventually, the number of sign ups will catch up to previous expectations, but 6 million people are now expected to sign up in 2014, rather than 7 million, which was the previous estimate.
By 2017, the number is expected to swell to 24 million, the CBO said.
The CBO said the economy would grow at a rate of 3.1 percent in 2014, a downgrade from the 3.4 percent growth previously expected.
The agency expects unemployment to end the year at 6.7 percent, where it is now. Last year, the CBO predicted the unemployment rate would end 2014 at 7.6 percent.
The agency also expects a s smaller federal deficit compared to its previous forecast.
The 2014 federal deficit is now forecast tat $514 billion. It was previously estimated to come in at $560 billion.