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Media Pushes Right-Wing Obamacare Talking Point

Updated on February 12, 2014

Obamacare will kill 2.3 million jobs!

The CBO has released a report which has at long-last proven the conservative belief that Obamacare will kill jobs - this will surely be the death knell to Obamacare.

Fortunately, none of this is true - except the part about the CBO having released a report of course. Right-wing "news" has been wrong about the ACA at every turn, and this is no exception. What is troubling is how easily the corporate media lapped up and regurgitated right-wing talking-points as though they were based in reality.

CBO Director Doug Elmendorf attempted to clarify the next day before the House Budget Committee, to little avail. Initially it was expected that 800,000 people who were locked into their jobs because they could not get healthcare elsewhere would now have the option to work less, change jobs, or open a business without having to risk losing their insurance. That number is now expected to be as high as 2.3 million. Two point three million people who are in pain and working more than they should so they can afford their policies, people who won't look for a new job for fear that they would be denied coverage, people who are 60 and in pain just hoping to make it to 65 will be able to retire, people with pre-existing conditions will be able to open their own business without having to worry about losing their health coverage.

This is a great thing for those 2.3 million people. This is outstanding. Not only will those 2.3 million people finally have relief, those 2.3 million jobs will be freed up for the long-term unemployed. This is a great thing for 2.3 million people looking for jobs.

So why are conservatives convinced that 2.3 million jobs will be killed? Because they do not understand the difference between supply and demand. Demand for those jobs be filled is unchanged, the people supplying the work will simply churn. This is a not anything out of the ordinary - people move on from their jobs and people change careers multiple times in their work-lives.

Alas, the corporate media bit hook, line, and sinker. As was said, a lie gets around the world three times before the truth has a chance to put it's pants on.

And what was the takeaway from CBO Director Elmendorf's testimony which refuted their headlines? "Obamacare disincentivizes work"! Of course it does. This is the worst form of lie - it has a kernel of truth to it. You see, if a person is just below a given income level, and by earning slightly more they would lose a benefit and as result see a net loss - they have no incentive to earn more, in fact the opposite. Any and all means-tested programs disincentivize work by this line of thinking.

Are conservatives proposing we get rid of all means-tested programs? Or would they prefer that all and all benefits be universal rather than means-tested? I would suggest that many of them want to get rid of all programs that help people, they just sugar-coat it because they would be vilified by the public, so they couch their language in terms such as block-grants and vouchers and privatization and freedom...


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