By David Morgan and David Lawder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s healthcare law will reduce the American workforce by the equivalent of 2 million full-time workers in 2017, the Congressional Budget Office said on Tuesday, prompting Republicans to paint the law as bad medicine for the U.S. economy.

In its latest U.S. fiscal outlook, the nonpartisan CBO said the health law would lead some workers, particularly those with lower incomes, to limit their hours to avoid losing federal subsidies that Obamacare provides to help pay for health insurance and other healthcare costs.

White House officials characterized reduced hours as a reflection of new choices for workers. CBO officials pointed to older workers as one example, saying some nearing retirement could decide to keep their work hours shorter to maintain healthcare subsidies until they qualified for Medicare.

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