The truth's liberal bias strikes again. Watch any news cast or read any story about the new Republican House, and you'll be subjected to at least three instances of a Republican member of the House screeching about the "job-killing" health reform law. As usual, Republicans are lying. That's not just liberal opinion, it's true. At least according to new paper [pdf] from Harvard economist David Cutler (via ThinkProgress).
A successful repeal of health care reform would revert us back to the old system for financing and delivering health care and lead to substantial increases in total medical spending. The consequences of this spending increase would be far reaching. It would hurt family incomes, jobs, and economic growth.
Repealing health reform would:
- Increase medical spending by $125 billion by the end of this decade and add nearly $2,000 annually to family insurance premiums
- Destroy 250,000 to 400,000 jobs annually over the next decade
- Reduce the share of workers who start new businesses, move to new jobs, or otherwise invest in themselves and the economy
Figure 3 shows the net impact of repealing health reform on total employment. The baseline estimates show that 250,000 jobs will be lost annually if health reform is repealed. Annual job losses would average 400,000 using the greater estimate of 1.5 percentage point cost increases annually resulting from repeal. [emphasis mine]
Ok, so that's a Harvard economist, one of those liberal elites, entitled to his "opinion" (just like CBO). Well, guess who else thinks small businesses, in particular, are benfitting from health reform? Forbes, or at least Forbes "Policy Page" contributor Rick Ungar.
The major health insurance companies around the country are reporting a significant increase in small businesses offering health care benefits to their employees.
Because the tax cut created in the new health care reform law providing small businesses with an incentive to give health benefits to employees is working....
The primary, most enduring complaint of the opponents of the ACA has been that the law is deathly bad for small business.
Apparently, small businesses, and their employees, do not agree.
The next argument has been that the PPACA is a job killer.
If these small businesses found the new law to be so onerous, why have so many of them voluntarily taken advantage of the benefits provided in the law to give their employees these benefits? They were not mandated to do so. And to the extent that the coming mandate obligations might figure into their thinking, would you not imagine they would wait until 2014 to make a move as the rules do not go into effect until that time?
Good point. Reinforced by WaPo business columist Steven Pearlstein, who remarks that "[w]hat's particularly noteworthy about this fixation with 'job killing' is that it stands in such contrast to the complete lack of concern about policies that kill people rather than jobs."
So the next time you hear some politician or radio blowhard or corporate hack tossing around the "job-killing" accusation, you can be pretty sure he's not somebody to be taken seriously. It's a sign that he disrespects your intelligence, disrespects the truth and disrespects the democratic process. By poisoning the political well and making it difficult for our political system to respond effectively to economic challenges, Republicans may turn out to be the biggest job killers of all.