Bloomberg View columnist Clive Crook takes on the argument made by, among others, this New York Times editorial, that the job-killing effect of ObamaCare is somehow a good thing because, as the Times editorial puts it, "The new law will free people, young and old, to pursue careers or retirement without having to worry about health coverage." Mr. Crook writes:
That just leaves one thing -- the small and strangely neglected matter of who pays for the subsidies. As a taxpayer, I'm more than happy to finance a subsidy that guarantees access to decent health care for all. I'm not so happy to subsidize your early retirement or improved work-life balance. Health care is, or should be, a basic entitlement. Your lifestyle choices aren't.
On the whole, people do need to work: not just for income but also for self-respect, to stay engaged with others, for all kinds of self-interested reasons. On the whole, people understand this and act accordingly. But society is also entitled to expect something of those who aren't too young, too old or too sick -- that people who can work will work.
If you're receiving transfers and services financed out of taxes, as we all are, you have an obligation. I can respect a person's choice not to work, but if you're going to opt out of that avoidable suffering, I wish you wouldn't do it at my expense.