Rep. Bachmann Spreads Health Care Lies On The 700 Club

December 04, 2009 9:23 am ET — Matt Finkelstein

In what can only be described as a match made in heaven, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) joined televangelist Pat Robertson yesterday on The 700 Club.  During the segment, Robertson gushed that he's "so proud of" the far-right congresswoman, who spent the better part of ten minutes attacking President Obama and his policies.  "This is the most radical president America ever elected," she declared. 

At one point, Bachmann falsely stated that health care reform will destroy jobs.  To support her claim, Bachmann cited White House economic adviser Christina Romer:

BACHMANN: This will be a job killer, which is why President Obama's chief economic adviser Christina Romer has said, if this health care bill goes through, Pat, an additional 5.5 million jobs will be lost because small business will have to shed more jobs -- they can't afford to have the jobs because they have to pay more tax to the government. 

ROBERTSON: They know that when their facing 10.2 percent unemployment - they know this is going to kill another 5 million jobs?

BACHMANN: They know this.  This is their own numbers, and yet they're persisting forward. 

The first problem here -- and it's a fairly big one -- is that Romer has never actually said anything of the sort.    

Romer has repeatedly argued that health reform is an economic necessity, and that the proposals under consideration would benefit small businesses while creating jobs.  Bachmann is not only putting words in Romer's mouth but also completely misrepresenting her position.  It would be like me writing: "Michele Bachmann said that there aren't free abortion field trips for middle school students in the health care bill."

In reality, House Republicans arrived at the 5.5 million jobs estimate by making a faulty calculation based on a paper Romer published in 2007.  Like they did during the stimulus debate, the Republicans misapplied Romer's previous work to suit their argument.  Accordingly, the non-partisan examined the job loss claim and determined it was false. "We find this analysis to be problematic and contrary to how Obama's economic adviser said the model should work," the site noted. 

Read PolitiFact's full explanation here.