How the Right Was Wrong About Almost Everything on the ACA

How the Right Was Wrong About Almost Everything on the ACA December 31, 2014

The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is hardly perfect legislation, but it has had a major positive effect on millions of lives and appears to be reducing healthcare costs. Probably a good time to look at some of the wildly inaccurate claims made by conservatives in 2014 about the law. Like this one:

KRAUTHAMMER: [Y]ou get this crazy paradox where the CBO, the Congressional Budget Office, has projected that the number of uninsured Americans in 10 years will be 31 million. When Obama launched Obamacare in 2009, he explained the moral imperative was because there were 30 million uninsured Americans. So here we’re going to go through a complete revolution of one-sixth of the U.S. economy, the dislocation of doctors, hospitals, patients, and plans everywhere, including insurers, in order to achieve a result in a decade where we have essentially the same number of uninsured. So what was this all about? [Fox News, Special Report with Bret Baier2/12/14]

Reality: The number of uninsured Americans dropped from 17.7 percent to 12.4 percent of the population, a decline of more than 30%. And this one:

Rush Limbaugh Spins CBO Report To Claim ACA Will Eliminate Millions Of Jobs. After the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their 10-year Budget and Economic Outlook report in February, conservative media attempted to spin their finding that the ACA would create more job opportunities by freeing Americans from job lock by claiming that it would actually eliminate positions. On the February 6 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show Limbaugh pointed to the report to proclaim that “2.5 million jobs, minimum” would be lost, calling it a “literal tragedy for the country.” [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show2/6/14]

WSJ: Health Reform A “Job Destroyer” That Reduces “Economic Mobility.” In a February 4 editorial, The Wall Street Journal highlighted the CBO report to claim that Obamacare is a “job destroyer” and an “in-kind bonus for unemployment.” The Journal concluded that the law is “removing rungs from the ladder of upward economic mobility.” [The Wall Street Journal2/4/14]

And yet the economy grew fairly rapidly during the first year of the ACA and unemployment declined steadily. The rate of growth in overall health care costs has slowed considerably, hospitals are not losing nearly as much money due to having to treat uninsured patients and more insurance companies are signing up to be part of the exchanges. And guess what? Still no death panels.

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