The moment the CBO report on Obamacare was released Republicans and their spokespersons at Fox News have been crowing that they were right, Obamacare is going to have disastrous effects on the economy and create more unemployment.
“For years, Republicans have said that the president’s health care law creates uncertainty for small businesses, hurts take-home pay, and makes it harder to invest in new workers,” said Speaker of the House John Boehner. “The middle class is getting squeezed in this economy, and this CBO report confirms that Obamacare is making it worse.”
Even mainstream news services were not certain if the false claims of 2 million jobs being lost due to Obamacare were true or not.
Although the truth about the way the CBO findings were being misinterpreted surfaced very quickly, the “bad news” is still getting air time, particularly on Fox where they seem to be immune to facts, or at least those facts which are inconvenient.
On Wednesday, the director of the CBO, Doug Elmendorf testified before the House Budget Committee that his agency’s report was being misread and that the effect of the ACA on the economy will be positive overall.
Elmendorf explained to the committee that the report was being misunderstood and that the reduction in hours worked would be the equivalent of 2 million fewer full-time jobs and not 2 million lost jobs. The jobs will still be there but people will be working fewer hours, largely on a voluntary basis. People would work fewer hours because the need for that extra money to pay for insurance or medical bills will have gone away, not because employers will be offering fewer hours.
[box type=”shadow”]“The reason we don’t use the term ‘lost jobs’ is there is a critical difference between people who would like to work and can’t find a job — or have a job that’s lost for reasons beyond their control — and people who choose not to work,” he told the committee. “If someone comes up to you and says, ‘The boss says I’m being laid off because we don’t have enough business to pay,’ any other person feels bad about that and we sympathize for them having lost their job. If someone says, ‘I decided to retire or stay home and spend more time with my family and spend more time doing my hobby,’ they don’t feel bad about it — they feel good about it. And we don’t sympathize. We say congratulations.”[/box]
Even committee chairman, Paul Ryan (R-WI) admits that the findings are being misread and that the report is generally positive, he is one of the very few Republicans not still clinging to the claim that it means a loss of millions of jobs.
Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) carefully questioned the director to draw these facts out before saying, “I think it’s really important that that information gets out there, because as the media has confessed, they bought hook, line and sinker some of the talking points from our Republican colleagues. And unfortunately misrepresentation goes around the world three times before the truth begins to catch up.”
Watch the director clear up the facts in the video below from C-SPAN.