Recently, right-wingers have been falling all over themselves, unable to contain their glee at the prospect of yet another new way to misrepresent the Affordable Care Act. Conservative media experienced an avalanche of lies regarding what a Congressional Budget Office report actually said regarding the ACA.
According to our friends in the “Bubble,” Obamacare is going to cost over two million jobs. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, after seeing that due to the ACA, over two million people will decide not to work (or work less), tweeted: “Under Obamacare, millions of hardworking Americans will lose their jobs and those who keep them will see their hours and wages reduced,” and that “The CBO’s latest report confirms what Republicans have been saying for years now.”
Of course, that’s not exactly what the February 4 CBO report actually says.
[box type=”shadow”]”The estimated reduction stems almost entirely from a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply, rather than from a net drop in businesses’ demand for labor, so it will appear almost entirely as a reduction in labor force participation and in hours worked relative to what would have occurred otherwise rather than as an increase in unemployment (that is, more workers seeking but not finding jobs) or underemployment (such as part-time workers who would prefer to work more hours per week).”[/box]
What Cantor likely realizes, and ignores, is that the Congressional Budget Office was not speaking of the DEMAND for labor, but rather the supply. The CBO explained that those with low incomes would have more money with which to work as a result of Medicaid expansion and health care subsidies which would, according to the report, “encourage some people to work fewer hours or to withdraw from the labor market.” Some near retirement age may choose to retire earlier than normal because the law would allow aging workers to cut back hours or quit their jobs without worrying about the loss of their health insurance.
Another claim pushed by right wingers is that the ACA will increase the number of part-time jobs, but once again the report they apparently did not read states that
[box type=”shadow”]”In CBO’s judgment, there is no compelling evidence that part-time employment has increased as a result of the ACA. On the one hand, there have been anecdotal reports of firms responding to the employer penalty by limiting workers’ hours, and the share of workers in part-time jobs has declined relatively slowly since the end of the recent recession. On the other hand, the share of workers in part-time jobs generally declines slowly after recessions, so whether that share would have declined more quickly during the past few years in the absence of the ACA is difficult to determine.
In any event, because the employer penalty will not take effect until 2015, the current lack of direct evidence may not be very informative about the ultimate effects of the ACA.”[/box]
While the CBO may have raised some legitimate right-wing concerns at points, the GOP has failed to address those and instead, as is the norm, focused primarily on fiction to sell the point that the ACA is evil.
Chris Hayes took the GOP’s misinformation storm to task, and it was wonderful. Watch below: