Thursday, January 20, 2011

Affordable Care Act A Job Killer? Not So Fast


Original Article

Politifact: Cantor's claim that Affordable Care Act a "job killer"? False.

by Joan McCarter     Thu Jan 20, 2011
Eric Cantor, the darling of beltway insiders who still treat Republicans as people who have real policy ideas, has used his position as the "deep thinker" in the GOP to push the lie that the Affordable Care Act is a "job killer." How do we know it's a lie? Well, AP and McClatchy have both concluded so, and now are joined by Politifact:

The Republican report is right that the CBO has determined that the law will reduce "the amount of labor used in the economy," but the GOP report leaves out many important qualifiers. The CBO report actually says:

"The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that 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....

Basically, the CBO is saying that some people right now are working mostly to keep their health insurance. Once they have other options -- to enroll in Medicaid, or to qualify for tax breaks to buy insurance from a health exchange -- they might choose to work less. The CBO describes this as a "small segment" of the population. And, because the CBO is describing reduced hours rather than lost jobs, it never uses the 650,000 number that the Republican document cites....

Now let's turn to the other piece of evidence, the study that claims that the health care law will result in 1.6 million lost jobs. That number comes from a study by the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

The problem with this study is that it isn't based on the law that passed. It was published on Jan. 26, 2009, before a finalized House or Senate bill had even been proposed....

We asked Cantor's office about whether the bill was "job-killing." A spokesman insisted that it was, pointing to individual business owners who said they would face increased costs under health care....

Republicans have used the "job-killing" claim hundreds of times -- so often that they used the phrase in the name of the bill. It implies that job losses will be one of the most significant effects of the law. But they have flimsy evidence to back it up.

The phrase suggests a massive decline in employment, but the data doesn't support that. The Republican evidence is extrapolated from a report that was talking about a reduction in the labor supply rather than the loss of jobs, or based on measures that weren't included in the final health care law. We rate the statement False.

Cantor is now saying that the CBO he once lauded is relying on "budget gimmickry," but according to Politifact, all the gimmickry seems to be coming from him.