GOP MYTH: The health reform law destroys jobs.
FACT: To the contrary, there has been month after month of private sector job growth since health reform was enacted:
207,000 jobs in the health care industry have been created since enactment of health reform. By contrast, under President Bush, 673,000 private sector jobs were lost. (BLS)
The economy has grown by an average annual rate of 2.7% since enactment of health reform. (BEA)
Republicans pushing to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul warn that 650,000 jobs will be lost if the law is allowed to stand [citing CBO]. But the widely cited estimate by House GOP leaders is shaky. …
The budget office, which referees the costs and consequences of legislation, never produced the number. … What CBO actually said is that the impact of the health care law on supply and demand for labor would be small. Most of it would come from people who no longer have to work, or can downshift to less demanding employment, because insurance will be available [under reform] outside the job.
‘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,’ budget office number crunchers said in a report last year. That’s not how it got translated in the new report from Speaker John Boehner ….
‘The Republican translation doesn’t track,’ said economist Paul Fronstein of the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute. ‘People voluntarily working less isn’t the same as employers cutting jobs,’ he explained. For example, CBO said some people might decide to retire earlier because it would be easier to get health care [under reform], instead of waiting until they become eligible for Medicare at age 65. The law ‘reduced the amount of labor supplied, but it’s not reducing the ability of people to find jobs, which is what the job-killing slogan is intended to convey,’ said economist Paul Van de Water of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.
When it comes to truth in labeling, House Republicans are getting off to a poor start with their constantly repeated references to the new health care law as “job-killing.”
Independent, nonpartisan experts project only a “small” or “minimal” impact on jobs, even before taking likely job gains in the health care and insurance industries into account.
The House Republican leadership, in a report issued Jan. 6, badly misrepresents what the Congressional Budget Office has said about the law. In fact, CBO is among those saying the effect “will probably be small.”
The GOP also cites a study projecting a 1.6 million job loss — but fails to mention that the study refers to a hypothetical employer mandate that is not part of the new law.
The same study cited by the GOP also predicts an offsetting gain of 890,000 jobs in hospitals, doctors’ offices and insurance companies — a factor not mentioned by the House leadership.
Despite what Republicans say, the 2010 health care law isn’t necessarily a job killer.
Republicans have titled their effort to overturn the law the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act,” and that’s their favorite talking point against it. The House of Representatives will start debate on repeal Tuesday and probably vote Wednesday.
Saying that the law is a job killer doesn’t necessarily make it one, however, and independent experts say that such a conclusion is at least premature, if not unfounded.
“The claim has no justification,” said Micah Weinberg, a senior research fellow at the centrist New America Foundation’s Health Policy Program.