There has been a lot of false information spread on the CBO report, initially primarily from reporters not understanding the details of health care policy followed by conservative media intentionally promoting the incorrect interpretation of the report. As I discussed here and here, the report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office demonstrates the economic success of the Affordable Care Act, but some in the media were misled by debunked conservative talking points and initially reported inaccurately on the report. In testimony before the House Budget Committee CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf confirmed that his report suggests the Affordable Care Act will reduce unemployment. Video above.
While it has primarily been Republicans spreading false information on the report and Democrats, as in the exchange above, working to set the record straight. There is at least one exception. Paul Ryan has corrected his fellow Republicans:
At least one Republican is setting the record straight on what the Congressional Budget Office actually said this week about Obamacare and its effect on jobs.
House Budget Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) explained in a Wednesday hearing with CBO director Doug Elmendorf that the health care reform law wouldn’t cost the U.S. economy more than 2 million jobs, as many of his colleagues alleged, but that Americans would choose to work less.
“I want to make sure we accurately understand what it is you are saying,” Ryan said, before leading Elmendorf through a series of questions to explain the report and its findings.
Ryan and Elmendorf combined to explain that Obamacare would lead to a decrease in the number of hours worked by up to 2 percent in 2024. Most of that drop, the CBO said, would be the result of Americans choosing not to work, for various reasons, but not because employers would want to hire fewer workers on account of the law. Translate those lost hours into full-time employment and it equals up to 2.5 million jobs by 2024. But that’s not the same as jobs being cut.
“Just to understand, it is not that employers are laying people off,” Ryan said.
“That is right,” Elmendorf said.
For the moment I’ll ignore the ridiculous stuff he also said and give him credit for the point where he does get it right.
The Affordable Care Act helps millions of people (including myself, having to buy insurance on the individual market), many people I know personally (such as affluent friends whose spouses have had to work in jobs they otherwise don’t need purely so that they could obtain health insurance), and many patients who previously could not obtain insurance coverage. The right wing media in return repeatedly reports “horror stories” which turn out to be incorrect on closer examination–just like their reports on the CBO report are incorrect.
Beyond all these (and additional) benefits related to health care, the Affordable Care Act will reduce unemployment, boost the economy, and reduce the deficit. The conservative argument for repeal makes no sense, which is why Republicans are starting to back away from this ridiculous position.
How can anyone support a position which will cause misery for millions of people, increase unemployment, harm the economy, and increase the deficit?