House Budget Committee ranking member Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), visibly angered by Ryan's argument, said the CBO report really finds that workers will have increased choices after 2017. He said this benefit of more broadly offering people health insurance was an idea once endorsed by the conservative Heritage Foundation.
"This isn't employers cutting jobs, this is workers being empowered," Pascrell said.
An agitated Ryan shot back at Pascrell that the lower-income workers are less likely to take on more hours because they will fear that higher incomes could deprive them of health insurance.
The CBO is projecting overall significantly weaker growth over the next decade, and labor force participation decreases are a big part of that. Elmendorf made clear that the major reason for this is the long-standing issue of retiring baby boomers not being replaced by enough young workers.