House Republicans passed a bill to repeal healthcare reform because they said it was job-killing and budget-busting.
FactCheck.org found their claims were false. The site has details, but here is a quick summary.
Republicans used two sources to project between 650K and 1.6M lost jobs.
The first was a quote in an August CBO report. “The legislation, on net, will reduce the amount of labor used in the economy by a small amount—roughly half a percent—primarily by reducing the amount of labor that workers choose to supply.” The problem is this wasn’t about lost jobs. It was about workers choosing to either retire or switch to part-time because under the bill they were no longer dependent on their employer for affordable healthcare coverage.
A January 2009 report from the National Federation of Independent Businesses contained the 1.6M projection. The NFIB is the nation’s largest small business association and a fierce opponent of healthcare reform. Their report assumed that all employers would have to provide health insurance. The final bill excluded businesses with less than 50 employees from regulation. The NFIB has not revised their report even though these “smallest” businesses accounted for the largest portion of projected job losses.
Factcheck.org also found that Republicans ignored the 890K new jobs that the same report said the bill would create. FactCheck.org summarized, “The 1.6 million figure is a gross exaggeration of the likely effect of the law, even using the NFIB’s study as a guide.”
FactCheck.org found Republicans used “mostly bogus” data to come up with the projected $700B deficit increase.
First is a claim that Medicare savings were being double counted which FactCheck debunked.
Next, $200B of the $700B came from the cost of upcoming Medicare reimbursement adjustments. Both parties agree that it’s necessary, but the adjustment wasn’t part of the healthcare bill. Suggesting that repealing the healthcare bill will somehow avoid this expense is serious misinformation.
Finally Republicans claim that the bill will cost $115B to administer. The same CBO which they quote in their “job killing” claim listed administration costs between $10B and $20B.
Republican couldn’t kill the healthcare bill with ideology and name-calling. Now they are trying to kill it with “Big Lie” politics about jobs and deficits. Fortunately, the American people are starting to see through this too with polls showing support for repeal dwindling to 26%.
Hopefully sites like Factcheck.org will help force the honest debates we desperately need on how best to control the rising cost of healthcare.