Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 18, 2011

CONNECTING HEALTH CARE AND JOBS.... In a great example of farcical rhetoric, House Republicans have named their health care bill the "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act," as part of a silly campaign to argue the law is responsible for job losses.

Just at the surface level, the charge is transparently false. Since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, the private sector has added 1.1 million jobs. Roughly a fifth of that total -- more than 200,000 -- were jobs created in the health care industry. If GOP rhetoric were true, these jobs wouldn't have been created.

For that matter, a report published by Harvard economist David Cutler helped prove that Republicans have it backwards -- repealing the law could cost 250,000 to 400,000 jobs per year over the next decade.

McClatchy's David Lightman took a closer look at the debate, and reports today, "Despite what Republicans say, the 2010 health care law isn't necessarily a job killer."

House Republicans defend their job-killer claim in a 19-page Jan. 6 report, "ObamaCare: A Budget-Busting, Job-Killing Health Care Law." But some of its points are out of date or omit offsetting information that would weaken the argument. [...]

In short, no one knows the economic impact of the law for sure, and most independent experts think that condemning it as a job-killer is hard to justify.

Imagine that.

What's more, Steven Pearlstein noted last week, "Since the immediate impact of the measure will be to allow 30 million more Americans the chance to buy drugs and medical services from doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies, it's hard to imagine a more effective way to reduce employment in the one sector that is actually adding jobs."

I don't doubt these pesky details -- i.e., reality -- will stand in the way of Republican talking points, but it's worth remembering that the single most common talking point repeal proponents will repeat this week is demonstrably ridiculous. They know this, but they'll repeat it anyway, because if there's one consistency to Republicans' health care rhetoric, it's their willingness to deceive the public.

Steve Benen 10:05 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (20)

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Comments

Luckily, the media won't let the Republicans' lies stand. Right? Right?

Posted by: r on January 18, 2011 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

Let's not forget, though, that Republicans are in no way responsible for raising the level of overheated and violent rhetoric in our society, oh no. That's a terrible libel.

Job-killing. Very sensitive.

Guess we should feel lucky it isn't the "Repeal the Health Care Law that Shoots Jobs Dead With A Glock Act."

Posted by: biggerbox on January 18, 2011 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

There is only one pre-existing condition not covered under the "Deny Americans Any Health Care at All" Act.

Deliberate Ignorance.

Posted by: bignose on January 18, 2011 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

A family member who works as director of cardiology at an HCA hospital down South was complaining that all those new screenings would further encumber the scheduling of appointments of regular patients at medical facilities -- some patients already wait 4-6 months to see a specialist. It will take time to train people to do the new jobs created, so I'm sure we're going to hear an outcry about how overburdened our healthcare system is, thanks to AFA.

Posted by: pol on January 18, 2011 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

A friend of mine is a doctor, one of two general practitioners in a small practice. The two doctors employ one full-time worker and one half-time worker who do nothing but deal with insurance paperwork.

While it's nice that those two people have jobs, wouldn't it be better for the country if they were doing something more productive than shuffling paperwork back and forth with their insurance company counterparts?

It looks like we'll have to wait another decade or two for the private insurers to abuse loopholes in HCR blatantly enough that politicians again feel pressure fix our hamstrung, Rube Goldbergesque health care system.

Posted by: SteveT on January 18, 2011 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Why should anyone believe anything the Republicans say about this Act, after they lied through their teeth about it creating "Death Panels"? It's clear they just follow one made-up claim with another.

Posted by: David in NY on January 18, 2011 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

As I said in the earlier thread, it's nice to see Obama and the Democrats making an aggressive PR effort to explain the advantages of the bill.

It would have actually meant something if they'd made this effort six months ago, when they could have actually gained some political benefit from it. Now of course it's too late - the Democratic agenda is sunk, and Republicans have all the momentum going into 2012.

I guess some people might get a kind of nostalgic/fantasy glow out of seeing what might have been if Democrats had bothered to defend their achievements. But for me this is just a reminder of how badly they screwed everything up.

Posted by: Basilisc on January 18, 2011 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

One of the biggest reasons that American corporations are not competitive in the world market is that we have an inefficient, privatized health care system that is the most expensive in the world and produces some of the worst outcomes. This is God's honest truth and everyone in the world except the American people know it. We also have one political party which is full of dishonest, thieving reptiles who feed the American people bullshit and the citizens are too stupid or lazy to bother researching the issues to find out the truth themselves!

Posted by: Sam Simple on January 18, 2011 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

"...because if there's one consistency to Republicans' health care rhetoric, it's their willingness to deceive the public."

Again, too nice, Steve. "...because if there's one consistency to Republicans' rhetoric ABOUT ANYTHING, it's their willingness to LIE."

Posted by: nemisten on January 18, 2011 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

What a lot in the Republican party fail to acknowledge is that most other industrialized countries make sure that workers are covered by health insurance in some way other than the companies having to foot a significant part of the bill. Take your pick, England has universal health care, France a mixture of government and private plans, etc. The bottom line is that companies are not burdened with contstantly rising health care costs and they are able to produce a product for less that sells (ironically) in the States for less than a local company can produce it.

"Health insurance" is a misnomer. True insurance is a mutual benefit that banks on the fact that an adverse event will not happen (auto or home insurance, for example) but true health insurance needs very large participation (mandatory insurance, for example) to work or the insurance companies can cherry pick and lemon drop in order to not have to pay out any money. Which one do you think is happening in the US and which do you think is happening in other industrialized countries?

How does business prosper with the former system? And why do the Republicans not have an answer to this problem - they did when the Heritage foundation came out with their report a number of years ago that incorporated the terms of the Affordable Care Act. (http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2006/04/the-significance-of-massachusetts-health-reform which the Heritage Foundation seems to have forgotten in their zeal to pounce on Obamacare.) The 2006 Heritage foundation report could have been written by the Democrats with the same logic in 2010. Quel suprise!

Posted by: mikeyes on January 18, 2011 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

"because if there's one consistency to Republicans' health care rhetoric, it's their willingness to deceive the public."

Your psychology is backwards. Deceiving the public is the result, whereas the cause is a need for validation.

This is the thing at the core of extreme ideology, any ideology... the need to be 100% right. But since the GOP has embraced their fringe, it's become mainstream for them.

Posted by: Rochester on January 18, 2011 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

"...it's hard to imagine a more effective way to reduce employment in the one sector that is actually adding jobs."

Unemploymnt?

Posted by: agave on January 18, 2011 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

I don't understand why they didn't they call it the un-American Health Care Law. That's what they mean, isn't it?

Posted by: davidp on January 18, 2011 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

"I don't doubt these pesky details -- i.e., reality -- will stand in the way of Republican talking points"

I don't doubt these pesky double negatives will not stand in the way of Steve saying the opposite of what he meant.

Thanks to mikeyes for that Heritage link, it goes into my permnanent shut-em-up folder (which has yet, of course, to shut a single one of them up. Because I doubt these pesky details... well, you know.)

Posted by: nicteis on January 18, 2011 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

In answer to the commenter who is wondering openly why Democrats didn't defend the laws good provisions before the election, I think it is because they listened to political advisors who are fraidy cats. They advised Democrats to run from their achievements and hope nobody recognized them as Democrats.

The lack of a functioning Democratic party is also to blame. A real Democratic party with real operatives, spending real money in all 50 states promoting Democratic ideals would have been in a position to tout the ACA and to head off the losses.

Then again a functioning Democratic party might actually threaten the corporate interests who promoted the fraidy cat advisors. They sure don't want to have to worry about Democratic populism.

The reason I think American politics is a rigged joke is the notion of a "tea party" and Republican populism. Since the civil war Democrats have represented the needs of "we the people." How the hell did the Democrats cede the populist mantle to Sister Sarah and the Tea Party? Why?

Posted by: Ron Byers on January 18, 2011 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

Calling the ACA a "job killer" is just the GOP using their favorite tactic of attaching something they hate to something everyone else is worried about.

They could have just as easily called it:

"Repealing the 9/11-Victory-Mosque Health Care Law Act"

or "Repealing the Gun-Regulating Health Care Law Act"

or "Repealing the Global-Warming-Hoax Health Care Law Act"

or "Repealing the Gay-Marriage Health Care Law Act"

or "Repealing the Raise-Rich-People-Taxes Health Care Law Act"

or "Repealing the Blood-Libel Health Care Law Act"

or "Repealing the Black-Man-Walking-Toward-You-On-The-Street Health Care Law Act."

Posted by: chrenson on January 18, 2011 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

Luckily, the media won't let the Republicans' lies stand. Right? Right?
Posted by: r on January 18, 2011 at 10:15 AM

Well, at least Jon Stewart was on the job last night. In fact he seemed to do a better job than the Democratic Reps.

Posted by: Johnny Canuck on January 18, 2011 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Democrats should be calling repeal efforts the Republican People Destoying Healthcare Repeal.

Posted by: Matt Finnegan on January 18, 2011 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

Do the Republican cretins imagine that Democrats will never have the 41 votes needed to block Don't Care? My sense is that they are doing this just to get the Teabaggers off their back temporarily.

Posted by: bob h on January 18, 2011 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Posts by Johnny Canuck and Matt Finnegan are on target. I have lost hope that Democratic spokespeople will ever realize the power of repeating and repeating an appropriate line to rebut Republican lies, such as "Republican People Destroying Healthcare Repeal". All together now, repeat, repeat....it shouldn't be that difficult to figure out.

Posted by: Kathryn on January 18, 2011 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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