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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Feb. 21-27

This week, readers sent us comments questioning whether the health care law will kill jobs.

In the FactCheck Mailbag, we feature some of the email we receive. Readers can send comments to editor@factcheck.org. Letters may be edited for length.


Who Really Knows?

I subscribe to your email updates and generally agree with your analysis. After reading the supporting documents to today’s article [“GOP’s ‘Job-Killing’ Whopper, Again,” Feb. 21], I understand the reasoning behind your statements in the email.

However, when reading today’s message, you plant the seed that the Republican analysis is incorrect because the administration’s analysis is correct. This gives the impression that you are supporting one side of the debate over the other. No one person from either side can accurately predict the impact the health care bill will have; only time will tell.

I feel that you should present both sides of the debate as “analyst A says …,” and “analyst B says …,” with a disclaimer that neither side can be certain about the full impact.

Personally, I have a relative who owns a small business (less than 100), and they, based on cost projections from their health care provider, plan to drop health care and pay the penalties when the bill takes full effect. The effect of this is to push their employees to private health care, some government plan, or no plan at all, simply because most of them won’t be able to afford the cost, or are willing to roll the dice.

Jim Hoctor
Cincinnati, Ohio

The latest FactCheck.org report on the “shopworn, overblown” claim of the job-killing effect of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, may also be shopworn and overblown.

What evidence do you have that the “expert economists” you quote are any less biased than the conservative ones? Obviously, the former are NOT conservative ones and their explanations are obviously based on assumptions that support their biases. The problem is that their explanations sound like mumbo-jumbo or smoke and mirrors (choose your cliché), whereas the contrary requires only a tad of common sense.

Anybody who lives in the real world knows intuitively that additional regulations make business less efficient, and that a requirement to spend more per worker imposes an additional handicap. Translating this effect into a dampening effect on hiring — especially for businesses with 40-some employees — is hardly a stretch of the imagination. Job loss is not just a matter of reductions in existing jobs; even more serious is a dampening effect on hiring.

As the “shopworn, overblown” saying goes, “Figures don’t lie,but liars can sure figure.” Shame on you.

Frank Leitnaker
Bruchmuehlbach-Miesau, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany