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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press That "Job Killing" Health Care Bill: AP Does Real Reporting

That "Job Killing" Health Care Bill: AP Does Real Reporting

Tuesday, 18 January 2011 13:49

The Republicans have been ranting for most of the last year about the "job killing" health care bill (now changed to "job destroying" in an effort at promoting comity). As I noted yesterday, reporters are supposed to attempt to verify such accusations, not just repeat them.

The Associated Press made precisely the sort of effort at verification that reporters are supposed to do. They found the Republicans came up a bit short in the evidence department. The best they could do was an analysis from the Congressional Budget Office that estimated that around 600,000 people would opt out of the labor force if they could get health insurance through the new health care system. The reason is that they would no longer need to work for their health care coverage. This is not exactly "job killing" or "job destroying" – after all, the jobs will still be there, it's just that people will opt not to take them.

In this way we can think of the bill as being job destroying in the same way that winning the lottery might be job destroying. Many people who take home multi-million dollar jackpots opt not to work because they no longer need the money. The Republican methodology would have us worried about "job killing" lottery jackpots.

AP deserves credit for doing the sort of basic fact checking that good reporters do. This sort of reporting provides valuable information to the public.


McClatchey also did its homework.

Comments (14)Add Comment
written by Allan L., January 18, 2011 1:56
It's even worsee better than that. If 600,000 people don't need to work to maintain healthcare coverage, that's 600,000 jobs for people who do need to work. Good as new.
Even Better!
written by paul, January 18, 2011 3:22
If smaller business can now get affordable health care for their employees, more people will want to work for them thus creating more jobs.
written by padraeg, January 18, 2011 4:26
Pity analysis here falls short... IF 600k employed drop out of employment, that is, de facto, decrease in Demand... If that's not obvious, you should not be analysing. I do believe you could plausibly make argument, or not, that it is not significant. I think it is profoundly significant, but that is a judgment.
Repeal the Job Killing Reduction in the Estate Tax
written by Mark K, January 18, 2011 4:52
What we need to repeal is the reduction in the Estate Tax from the Clinton years. This obviously kills jobs because people who inherit money are less likely to work.
written by izzatzo, January 18, 2011 6:11
Job-killing shadow-banking loan-sharking house-flipping leverage-loading bubble-popping bottom-feeding tarp-tampering fed-pumping toxic-dumping wealth-destroying raid-foreclosing robo-signing tax-shifting scum-bagging deficit-hawking demand-killing free-loading free-marketing subsidized socialist corporations disguised as persons, they are.

And that's before health care reform was even enacted.
Wow! And all in one breath...
written by diesel, January 18, 2011 7:15
izzatzo's intellectual purgative! Cleans out the system. Unclogs mental drains. Unleashes a torrent of pent up epithets. On sale today! Twelve for the price of one!
Job killing
written by FGS, January 18, 2011 9:29
Businesses create jobs the way couch potatoes create plasma televisions.
written by diesel, January 19, 2011 3:21
Maybe no one else will say it, so I will. izzatzo, that was awesome and you're possessed with/by a radiant muse.
written by liberal, January 19, 2011 7:38
Yes, izzatzo's free verse is splendid, but let's be straight: any such rant should ALWAYS begin with rent collecting.
loose lips sink ships
written by frankenduf, January 19, 2011 8:18
ok, at the risk of it's head swelling, isthatso's slay is mighty sweet- that being said, tho, he screwed up and gave away his real identity- think about it- look at that prose, and u will see that isthatso is really... George Carlin!?
Two words to the cheap seats
written by El Chipo de Silicio, January 20, 2011 4:12

(A) http://j.mp/eu0C0Q

(B) Do you suppose, O peanut-gallery peanuts, that Dr. Baker ever examines any of our drool?

My guess is that he does so whenever he gets a little worried that High Mammonomics may not, after all, be authentic (or ‘hard’) Nat. Sci. the way phrenology, and scholastic divinity, and Culture Studies are. He is then cheered up to observe that his own parade draws us cranks and amateurs, Velikovskys to his Einsten, as it were.

But Keynes knows best.

¡Happy days! (through affordable healthcare)
written by skeptonomist, January 20, 2011 8:03
Half a percent of the labor force is a lot of workers, though an estimate such as this must be a shot in the dark. It would affect the labor market - in theory increasing wages and the price of labor - but it would also affect entitlements and the deficit as those people ceased paying into SS and Medicare and in many cases started drawing on them. Did this estimate go into the CBO's calculation on the effect of repealing the Act? This is another example of how uncertain such projections are.
Or the job destroying retirement savings industry
written by BH in MA, January 20, 2011 1:05
Think about it - there's a whole industry out there that help people save money so that they can **gasp** stop working. Over a million jobs destroyed every year as a result. It's a wonder there are any left!
Health Care Bill
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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.