Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"Job-killing" bill continued: GOP lies to the American people

Last week I wrote about the unfortunate title of the Republicans' repeal of the health reform law. The title included the phrase "job-killing," which in the aftermath of the Arizona shootings that killed half a dozen people conjures up images of violence that many on the right had promised not to do during this debate anymore.

But the bill wasn't just inappropriately named -- it was also factually inaccurate.

A recent article from the Associated Press explains why the "Repealing the Job-killing Health Care Law Act" is flat-out wrong, because the health care law that passed will not in fact hamper job growth:
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.


[The GOP cites] the 650,000 lost jobs as Exhibit A, and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office as the source of the original analysis behind that estimate. But 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 outside the job.


That's not how it got translated in the new report from Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other top Republicans.

CBO "has determined that the law will reduce the 'amount of labor used in the economy by.roughly half a percent.,' an estimate that adds up to roughly 650,000 jobs lost," the GOP version said.


The Republican translation doesn't track, said economist Paul Fronstin of the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute.

"CBO isn't saying that there is job loss as much as they are saying that fewer people will be working," explained Fronstin. "There is a difference. People voluntarily working less isn't the same as employers cutting jobs."

For example, the budget office said some people might decide to retire earlier because it would be easier to get health care, instead of waiting until they become eligible for Medicare at age 65.
Because job creation is on everyone's minds these days, the Republican Party is trying to tie in their pet issues to jobs and the economy. By calling the health care law "job-killing," the GOP is hoping that the American people will buy into the idea that the law signed by President Obama early last year will diminish job growth. In fact, the claim made by the Republican Party is a lie, an attempt by Boehner and company to pull one over on the American people -- and they ought to be ashamed of themselves.

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