Conservative Distortions on Health Care Reform and Employment

Republicans have tried every matter of distortion possible to try to kill health care reform, from false claims of death panels to untrue claims that the law represents a government take over of health care. They have also ignored any Congressional Budget Office reports which have been favorable to the law (or favorable to any other measure opposed by the right). Now they citing, and distorting, testimony from  CBO Director Doug Elmendorf to claim that the Affordable Care Act will reduce employment.

The Affordable Care Act will lead to some people not working, but most of the cases won’t be because the law is providing any disincentives to hiring. In the long term it will strengthen the economy by putting American businesses at less of a competitive disadvantage compared to companies where there is universal health care (i.e. the rest of the industrialized world). Those who leave the work force will primarily be people who are now continuing to work because of not currently being able to obtain insurance coverage on the individual market. People won’t be forced to continue working regardless of their age or health in order to obtain health insurance through employers, and some will choose to discontinue working.

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24 Comments

  1. 1
    Nitish says:

    from page 66 of the <a href=”http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/117xx/doc11705/08-18-Update.pdf”>August 2010 CBO report</a>:

    The expansion of Medicaid and the availability of subsidies through the exchanges will effectively increase beneficiaries’ financial resources. Those additional resources will encourage some people to work fewer hours or to withdraw from the labor market. In addition, the phaseout of the subsidies as income rises will effectively increase marginal tax rates, which will also discourage work.

    so, people who previously worked will drop out of the labor market in order to enroll into Medicaid or get government subsidies…

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    The CBO also said that “those effects on financial resources and marginal tax rates will apply only to a small segment of the population.” Conservatives are cherry picking just part of the CBO’s findings to give a fallacious interpretation as you are doing. Other conservatives are giving an even more fallacious interpretation in claiming the Affordable Care Act will kill jobs.

  3. 3
    thedavidgs says:

    RT @RonChusid: Conservative Distortions on Health Care Reform and Employment #p2 #p21 #topprog http://bit.ly/eNRRm1 | <~~ THIS!

  4. 4
    Joseph Livingston says:

    » Conservative Distortions on Health Care Reform and Employment …: Republicans have tried every matter of dist… http://bit.ly/dKBBDl

  5. 5
    ForHireJobs.com says:

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  6. 6
    coryarmijos says:

    RT @forhirejobs: » Conservative Distortions on Health Care Reform and Employment … http://ow.ly/1bii9w

  7. 7
    Sam Capra says:

    RT @forhirejobs: » Conservative Distortions on Health Care Reform and Employment … http://ow.ly/1bii9w

  8. 8
    Dean Santillan says:

    » Conservative Distortions on Health Care Reform and Employment …: BrettR4763: RT @RonChusid : True Words From… http://bit.ly/hAOyNC

  9. 9
    Ben Oliver says:

    » Conservative Distortions on Health Care Reform and Employment … http://bit.ly/gvBczF

  10. 10
    Peggy T. says:

    RT @RonChusid: Conservative Distortions on Health Care Reform and Employment #p2 #p21 #topprog http://bit.ly/gzkiXQ

  11. 11
    Carol Falk says:

    RT @RonChusid: Conservative Distortions on Health Care Reform and Employment #p2 #p21 #topprog http://bit.ly/gzkiXQ

  12. 12
    J. Michael Quante says:

    RT @RonChusid: Conservative Distortions on Health Care Reform and Employment #p2 #p21 #topprog http://bit.ly/gzkiXQ

  13. 13
    Richard A. Evans MD says:

    RT @RonChusid: Conservative Distortions on Health Care Reform and Employment #p2 #p21 #topprog http://bit.ly/gzkiXQ

  14. 14
    Alan P8 says:

    RT @RonChusid: Conservative Distortions on Health Care Reform and Employment #p2 #p21 #topprog http://bit.ly/gzkiXQ

  15. 15
    Nitish says:

    a coupla things:
    – i don’t believe government policy should discourage work (as you suggest / admit) …

    “Those who leave the work force will primarily be people who are now continuing to work because of not currently being able to obtain insurance coverage on the individual market. People won’t be forced to continue working regardless of their age or health in order to obtain health insurance through employers, and some will choose to discontinue working.”

    – nor hiring…
    without all the (selective) 700+ waivers, covering 2+ million people, there would have been even more distortions in the labor market including more people getting dropped–or worse fired, enrolling into Medicaid, etc.
     

  16. 16
    Ron Chusid says:

    Even after being exposed about distorting the facts you return and not only continue the distortions but outright lie about what I said?

    I don’t believe government government should discourage work. I believe decisions about working should be left to the individual. That’s freedom–a concept that conservatives have no understanding of.

    I believe that my cancer patients should have the choice as to whether or not they work. At present I see many sick people continuing to work because it is the only way they can obtain insurance. Under health care reform they will be able to retire and buy insurance as opposed to being forced to try to continue under their employer-supplied insurance as this is the only way they can get insurance.

    I also know affluent people whose wives have to work not for the income but for the insurance as this is the only way they can obtain it. There are also people in their late 50’s and 60’s who would like to retire early but cannot do so because they would lose their health care insurance. The Affordable Care Act would give these people the choice as to whether they work independent of health insurance as they would finally be able to purchase coverage themselves.

    The number who leave their jobs would primarily be those who are too sick to be working or who can afford to live without their incomes but not without employer-supplied health insurance. Relatively few who have jobs would leave their jobs because they could get on Medicaid as they would also lose their incomes. Of course in your quotations you left out the part where the CBO found that this applies to “a small segment of the population.” Unfortunately any program which helps those who truly need help is going to be abused by a small number, but this is not a reason to deny help to the far greater number who legitimately need the assistance.

    Health care reform does not distort the market. It is our current health care system which has been distorting the market for years. This would be a great time to end these distortions. We currently have many people in their 50’s and early 60’s who want to work but cannot find jobs available. We also have many people in their 50’s and early 60’s who want to retire younger but remain working until they are 65 and qualify for Medicare as they could not buy health care insurance if they left their jobs. It would be far better if those who want to retire can do and more jobs were available to those who do want to work.

    This is getting somewhat away from the original point of the post that conservatives are wrong in calling the law a job killer. Even your argument, despite the manner in which you distort the facts, argues that people will leave their jobs voluntarily and not that the law is reducing the availability of jobs.

  17. 17
    Nitish says:

    quoting you and quoting the CBO is not distorting facts….
    you originally said “Now they citing, and distorting, testimony from  CBO Director Doug Elmendorf to claim that the Affordable Care Act will reduce employment.” [emphasis added]
    certainly ‘kill jobs’ is a hyperbolic expression of ‘reduce employment,’ but that did not appear in your original post.  i can only go by the words in your post–and what they mean–not what you feel they mean or meant to say.  your imprecision with language is not my distortion.
    – you appear to insist that the “small segment of the population” qualifier somehow discounts a reduction in employment. at what point does a reduction in employment count as a reduction in employment ?
    – further, please cite your source for your definitive proclamation

    The number who leave their jobs would primarily be those who are too sick to be working or who can afford to live without their incomes but not without employer-supplied health insurance. Relatively few who have jobs would leave their jobs because they could get on Medicaid as they would also lose their incomes. [emphasis added]

    – your statement that

    Health care reform does not distort the market. It is our current health care system which has been distorting the market for years.

    is defied by all the waivers and exemptions that return them to the status quo ante ?
    – while i agree that with the 2nd half of that statement, that our current health care system distorts the market.  [i’m not a fan of employer based insurance, would rather see individual deductions / credits, with many loose association options (your local pta, school alumni, heck even sports team fans… however people band together and choose to present themselves for health care insurance pools), anything to break third party payer by those who don’t necessarily have the insured person’s interests at heart] …
    the pre-HCR mess of health care system still allowed / permitted / (not exactly the right word) employment below 6 % until the economy fell off the cliff in 2008.  health care plays a role in market– employment– distortion, but is at the mercy of bigger things.
    – incidentally, as a conservative, nothing says “freedom” like more government mandates </ sarcasm>

  18. 18
    Ron Chusid says:

    “i can only go by the words in your post”

    No, a blog post is just one in a series of comments which are linked to other comments on the subject. It is assumed that people understand the issues and the controversy before responding. Plus your act of taking comments out of context and applying a different meaning is distorting the facts (regardless of whether this is intentional or due to a lack of understanding of the issue.) You also made a false claim that I said something I had not said at all. I know conservatives primarily argue by inventing facts and distorting the statements of others, but that won’t fly here.

    Look at the entire testimony from the CBO regarding those going on Medicaid being a small number. It hardly makes sense for people who have a job to give it up because it might be a little easier to get crappy Medicaid coverage. The cost of this to them would be losing the income of the job along with losing decent health care coverage in favor of Medicaid. Obviously some will make irrational decisions, but this is hardly a meaningful argument against a program with important benefits. Even if they wanted to, relatively few would hit the income points where they would have more incentive in the future than now for not working in order to qualify for Medicaid. Again, regardless of the number, this also contradicts the GOP argument I’m discussing here.

    “your statement that

    Health care reform does not distort the market. It is our current health care system which has been distorting the market for years.

    is defied by all the waivers and exemptions that return them to the status quo ante ”

    No, the waivers do not restore the status quo. They allow for other means of accomplishing the same goal. There is talk in some states of using the waivers to establish a single payer system as opposed to utilizing the exchanges. The solutions you suggest would not solve the problem–insurance companies will continue to boost their profits by limiting coverage to those who cost them less. If your ideas were actual solutions they could have been done years ago.

    As for your last comment, you are ignoring (or unaware) of the fact that mandates were the conservative proposal. Republicans and the insurance industry had pushed for the mandates due to the problem of people waiting until sick to buy insurance if we eliminate the exclusions on preexisting conditions. (There are other ways I’d handle this, along with other changes I’d make in the law, but they aren’t allowing me to write the legislation). Republicans did a 180 degree turn and opposed mandates just before the bill passed placing a greater priority on preventing Democrats from having a victory as opposed to caring about what the actual legislation included. It was also foolish of the Democrats to think that they could negotiate with either the Republicans or the insurance industry as neither had any real interest in any solution which might reduce insurance company profits.

  19. 19
    Nick says:

    Sneaky Ron, putting through a wing nut comment which essentially demonstrates your point regarding how conservatives distort the facts to attack health care reform. Not to mention ignoring all the arguments for hcr and presenting nonsense solutions. I already receive tons of offers for health insurance from various associations. These policies are junk.

  20. 20
    Ron Chusid says:

    It is hard to tell to what degree these conservatives are misinformed due to picking up all the bogus information (fed by the insurance industry) at right wing sources (which also ignore all the meaningful information) and to what degree they are outright distorting the facts.

    I also receive tons of offers for health insurance plans from organizations which are junk. This includes professional organizations and alumni organizations. Those who oppose health care reform have no comprehension of how insurance companies market policies which are worth very little, but allow them to collect premiums.

    I see lots of people who think they are receiving something for the insurance premiums they pay but have policies which are worthless as insurance. Last week I had a patient come in who had not made an appointment  for quite a long time due to losing his insurance. He came after purchasing a new policy. We checked on the policy and found that it has a limit of $150 per year in coverage.

  21. 21
    Nick says:

    It’s a combination. They are generally ignorant about the issues, but Nitish also clearly lied about what you said to attack.
    $150 a year. Wow. One or two office calls. He might as well pay for them out of his own pocket.

  22. 22
    Ron Chusid says:

    I hope his premiums aren’t over the $150 per year!

    Distorting the statements of others, or selectively citing statements while ignoring the specifics (as he did with the CBO reports) is typical of conservative argument. Conservatives seem to have no concept that it makes no sense to argue with me by misquoting what I said–I’m certainly not going to fall for that and few readers here are going to. Similarly it makes no sense to quote the CBO and ignore the parts which contradict their argument.

    This type of fallacious argument is so common on Fox, talk radio, conservative blogs, and conservative  magazines that I think many conservatives just see this as the way to argue. The actual facts don’t matter if they think they can win debating points with their distortions.

  23. 23
    Nick says:

    Conservatives hate the facts and hate reality. As Steven Colbert said, reality has a liberal bias.

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