If Republican press releases and reports from conservative and major media outlets are any indication, the Congressional Budget Office’s findings on the Affordable Care Act are simply brutal. National Review, which probably published its report before actually looking at the CBO’s findings, ran this headline: “The CBO Just Nuked Obamacare.”
As we discussed earlier, the coverage has been profoundly misleading. Despite what Americans are being told, the CBO did not find that the health care reform law would cost the nation over 2 million jobs. What it actually said is that the law will empower more than 2 million Americans to leave the workforce if they want to, no longer feeling forced to stay at a job in order to have benefits for them and their family.
Why “Obamacare” critics consider this a bad thing remains unclear. But Michael Hiltzik, to his credit, took the reporting one step further. The Congressional Budget Office is out with its latest report on the Affordable Care Act, and here are a few bottom lines:
— The ACA is cheaper than it expected.
— It will “markedly increase” the number of Americans with health insurance.
— The risk-adjustment provisions, which Congressional Republicans want to overturn as a “bailout” of the insurance industry, will actually turn a profit to the U.S. Treasury.
Given all this, why are the first news headlines on the CBO report depicting it as calling Obamacare a job killer?
Because a whole lot of congressional offices issued press statements before getting their facts straight? Because a few too many reporters don’t understand CBO reports as well as they should?
This is one of those strange days in which most of the political world seems to have gotten an important story backwards. The Affordable Care Act’s critics have spent the day eagerly touting a CBO report that offers a whole lot of good news for the Affordable Care Act’s supporters – and much of the media has played along in a depressing display.
Indeed, the CBO’s findings – which, again, are readily available online for all to see – actually add fresh evidence that discredits talking points pushed by the law’s detractors.
For Obamacare critics, the law has increased part-time employment over full-time employment. The CBO found “there is no compelling evidence” to support the argument.
For Obamacare critics, the law will worsen the nation’s finances. The CBO found that the Affordable Care Act will actually reduce the deficit by more than $1 trillion over the next 20 years.
For Obamacare critics, the law will force consumers to pay more for health care. The CBO found that the Affordable Care Act’s premiums are even better than originally projected.
For Obamacare critics, the law will cause the ranks of the uninsured to swell. The CBO found that the Affordable Care Act will bring coverage to 13 million Americans this year and 25 million Americans over the next two decades.
Conservatives who’ve spent the day urging Americans to look at the CBO report have inadvertently encouraged the public to review a document that supports the White House’s arguments.