Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Will Obamacare Really Kill 1.6 Million Jobs?

Conservative leaders in the House of Representatives are hoping to vote to repeal the health care reform package, and their main point is that the legislation will kill 1.6 million jobs. There’s been a lot of rhetoric about the “job-killing heath care bill,” but is that really true? Not so much, says Factcheck.org.

Daily Finance reports:

    The Republicans certainly feel that it will, and they've put a number to the claim: 1.6 million jobs lost. They've sponsored a bill they call the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act, which is likely to come up for a vote early next week. The bill will probably pass the House, where the Republicans have a majority, but will likely fail in the Democrat-controlled Senate. Even if it passed the Senate, though, President Obama would certainly veto the proposal.

    The Republicans have based their claim that the law will kill 1.6 million jobs on an August 2010 report by the Congressional Budget Office, which said the Affordable Care Act would reduce the amount of labor in the economy by about 0.5%, because more people would choose to retire earlier, thanks to the reduced cost of health insurance.

    But as an analysis by FactCheck.org points out, having people leave the job market because it has become financially possible for them to retire is entirely different from killing jobs. The FactCheck report says, in part: "The House Republican leadership. . . 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.'"

    An Impediment to Hiring

    The GOP's political leaders aren't the only ones who have issues with Obamacare. Another criticism has been made by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a private business-lobbying group. The chamber maintains that one provision -- that small businesses with more than 50 full-time employees must provide adequate health care coverage for their workers or face a penalty of between $2,000 to $3,000 per worker -- is causing many small firms to stop hiring.

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