The Obamacare vs. jobs debate


As health coverage becomes accessible to more Americans and disconnected from employment, people will rely less on their jobs to get coverage. The impact will be a smaller workforce by 2017, a Congressional Budget Office report said last week.

Though some think such a development would be a detriment to the economy, Jared Bernstein, a CNBC contributor and a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, doesn't think it's all bad.

(Read more: The silver lining ofthe Affordable Care Act)

The negative effect, which is the one many are emphasizing, is a "higher marginal tax rate," Bernstein said on CNBC's "Squawk Box." "So the after-tax income goes down, and that means some people will work less than they'd like to."

However, it does undo "job lock for some people who would like to do something else but are working more than they'd like to keep health insurance," he added. "There are people who, once they figure out that they can get health insurance outside of their job for less money, will quit their job and do something else. That something else will make them happier."

Effects of US unemployment

Former U.S. Controller General David Walker thinks the problem with joblessness goes beyond health-care reform.

"We've got structural problems with unemployment ... our education system, our training system, our critical infrastructure," he told "Squawk Box."

(Read more: Hatzius on jobs: 'We've hit a pothole')

Government programs do not encourage people to work, Walker said, and those who want to work don't necessarily have the required skills.

"Let's start dealing with the disease," he said, "rather than trying to treat the symptoms."

By CNBC's Silvana Ordoñez. Follow her on twitter @newsdumonde