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May 9, 2017

Fake News About Obamacare Spurring Job Growth


Two New York Times reporters (wouldn’t ya know it!) just published some “fake news,” setting up a false narrative and then finding “experts” whose comments are intended to verify that narrative. 

The headline says it all: “Health Act Repeal Could Threaten U.S. Job Engine.”  

For the Times, imposing some 20 Obamacare taxes and forcing millions of Americans in the individual health insurance market to give a much greater share of their income to health insurance companies, if they can even find coverage, helps the economy.  

The “real news” is that U.S. job creation in the health care sector was growing rapidly long before the passage or implementation of Obamacare—and will continue to do so if Obamacare is repealed. 

This chart from the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank shows full-time wage and salaried health care support workers (i.e., lesser trained health care aides and assistants, jobs that are easier to fill). 

While the Affordable Care Act became law in March 2010, most of the insurance provisions did not go into effect until 2014. As the chart shows, health care support workers grew from 2.37 million in 2014 to 2.42 million in 2016—an increase of about 50,000 over two years.  

For comparison, health care support staff grew from 1.73 million in 2000 to 2.23 million in 2006—an increase of 500,000 over six years. 

The health care sector will almost certainly continue to grow rapidly because the population is aging and needs more care, and wealthier economies spend more on health care.  

While the NYT reporters concede that the boom predated Obamacare, the whole thrust of their hit piece is that the Republican replacement plan could threaten economic growth.  

Apart from biased reporting, the Times’s economic error is in believing that more government health care spending creates jobs and spurs economic growth. For the government to spend that dollar on health care, it must take a dollar away from someone else who no longer has the option of spending it—on health care or anything else. 

The House Republican plan takes a different approach. It cuts $1 trillion in Obamacare taxes and reduces Medicaid spending by more than $880 billion (both over 10 years), and leaves that money in consumers’ pockets to spend or save as they, not the government, see fit. 

The New York Times and the left think giving your money to the government creates jobs and economic growth, which is why economic growth has been so slow during the Obama years.  

Let’s see what happens to economic growth if we leave trillions in the hands of consumers and businesses.


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