Reince Priebus Writes The Worst Paragraph You'll Read About Health Care All Day

March 23, 2011 5:15 pm ET — Matt Finkelstein

Reince Priebus

There's no shortage of conservative misinformation about the Affordable Care Act circulating on the one-year anniversary of the law, but this excerpt from RNC Chairman Reince Priebus' op-ed in the Daily Caller probably takes the cake:

President Obama also fashioned his government takeover of health care as a "jobs bill." In this case, as with his failed $821 billion stimulus bill, the promised job gains haven't materialized. Quite the opposite, in fact. According to Douglas Elmendorf, director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, Obamacare will actually reduce employment by nearly 800,000 jobs.  

Let's unpack this a bit:    

(1)   The Affordable Care Act is not a "government takeover of health care." In fact, it does not include a government-run option. PolitiFact.com named the "government takeover" talking point its "Lie of the Year" in 2010.

(2)   The "failed" Recovery Act created millions of jobs, lowered the unemployment rate, and boosted GDP. The private sector has added jobs for 12 consecutive months and Republicans are scrambling to take credit for signs of recovery.

(3)   Priebus is complaining that jobs "haven't materialized" already, despite the fact that most of the law has not been implemented. That's sort of like complaining that the House GOP's budget cuts haven't eliminated the deficit.

(4)   The CBO says the Affordable Care Act will reduce the voluntary supply of labor. Because of the law, people will have to work less to afford their health care costs and some workers will be able to retire earlier. This is a good thing. As Jon Stewart put it, the law "is 'job-killing' in the sense that getting more sleep at night is 'awake-killing.'"

Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele was so inept at talking about policy issues that he eventually gave up, saying, "I don't do policy." Maybe it's time for Priebus to adopt a similar approach.

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