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Getting the Facts Right

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In an article posted on FactCheck.org, the Republican primary claims regarding the fiscal and job killing claims are disputed. FactCheck has done a nice job of reporting the real facts on the fiscal and job impacts of the newly enacted health care law. doctor and patient discussing medical care

As we all know, politicians often distort or skip over facts that weaken their arguments. Both sides do it. So, it’s worthwhile to look elsewhere, to some other organization, with no political or financial stake in the game for independent, accurate information. FactCheck.org has done a pretty good job at this.

A ‘Job-Killing’ Law?
House Republicans misrepresent the facts. Experts predict the health care law will have little effect on employment.

January 7, 2011

Summary

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.”

We find:

* 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.

There’s little doubt that the new law will likely lead to somewhat fewer low-wage jobs. That’s mainly because of the law’s requirement that, generally, firms with more than 50 workers pay a penalty if they fail to provide health coverage for their workers. One leading health care expert, John Sheils of The Lewin Group, puts the loss at between 150,000 and 300,000 jobs, at or near the minimum wage. And Sheils says that relatively small loss would be partly offset by gains in the health care industry.
Analysis

Attaching misleading labels to legislation is a well-worn tactic in Washington. Conservatives got rid of most of the estate tax after labeling it a “death tax,” as though it taxed death instead of multimillion-dollar fortunes. And liberals once won passage of an “assault weapons ban” that didn’t really ban fully automatic military assault rifles, which were already illegal for civilians to own without a very-hard-to-get federal license. Now House Republicans are seeking to repeal what they call “Obamacare: A budget-busting, job-killing health care law.” That’s the title of a study issued by the House Republican leadership Jan. 6.

And the GOP is clearly pushing the “job-killer” claim. House Speaker John Boehner used the phrase “job-killing” to describe the health care law seven times on Thursday in a press conference that lasted less than 14 minutes — that’s once every 2 minutes. He also used the phrases “destroy jobs” and “destroying jobs” once each when talking about the law. Perhaps not surprisingly, the Republicans named their bill to repeal the health care law: “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.”

But is the health care law really “job-killing” as claimed? We find that to be another case of exaggerated and misleading labeling.

Click to read the entire article, detailing the findings of each of the current claims made against the health care law.

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Written by Valerie Curl

January 11, 2011 at 9:09 AM

One Response

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  1. “Attaching misleading labels to legislation is a well-worn tactic in Washington.”
    … great article :]

    stlucie

    January 11, 2011 at 10:21 AM


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