Health Care Reform Law Fact Check: The Health Reform Law Hurts Our Economy

What Republicans are Saying:

Rep. John Fleming said: “With higher taxes and more constrictions on businesses… employed Americans will continue to decline or become an endangered species altogether.”

Here Are the Facts:

While Americans are still facing tough times, employment is not in decline. Since the health reform law passed, the private sector has added jobs every month and the economy has grown. The Republican Patient’s Rights Repeal Bill would not only raise costs for individuals and businesses, but it would hurt our economy as well. The health reform law will also lower the deficit by over $230 billion this decade and by over $1.2 trillion in the following decade, according to a recent CBO analysis.

Just this morning, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner wrote that; “Repealing the Affordable Care Act would be bad for business and bad for the economy… [The law] provides businesses and the government certainty that health care costs will be contained in the future. Additional certainty encourages businesses and families to invest, laying the foundation for stronger economic growth. This is exactly what we need at this crucial stage of the economic recovery.”

As the White House states on its blog, the facts on economic growth are clear:

  • Since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, the economy has created over 1 million private sector jobs. The unemployment rate is 9.4%, lower than it was in March 2010—9.7%.
  •  In the period during and right after the enactment of the law, the economy grew by 2.7%.
  • Slowing the growth of health care costs—as the Affordable Care Act does—will have the likely impact of creating more jobs since businesses will have to spend less on health care for their employees. This reduction could create more than 300,000 additional jobs.
  • The law widely expands coverage to Americans, thereby reducing the hidden tax of about $1,000 that families with insurance pay each year in additional premium costs to cover the uncompensated costs of the uninsured.
  • The law reduces small businesses’ health care expenses by giving them $40 billion worth of tax credits, and through the creation of new, competitive state-based insurance Exchanges. Exchanges will enable individuals and small businesses to pool together and use their market strength to buy coverage at a lower cost, the same way large employers do today, giving them the freedom to launch their own companies without worrying whether health care will be available when they need it.

In addition, Harvard Economist David Cutler found in a recent report published by the Center for American Progress that repealing the law would significantly increase costs and reduce job growth. Repeal will “…revert us back to the old system for financing and delivering health care and lead to substantial increases in total medical spending” by:

  • Adding up to $2,000 annually to family premiums and increasing overall medical spending $125 billion by the end of this decade.
  • Suppressing entrepreneurship among workers who may have started new businesses, or sought new opportunities in the economy since they will no longer be free from worrying whether affordable coverage would be available to them in the new Exchanges, when they need it the most.
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