Cavuto Trumpets Discredited Claim That Repealing Health Care Reform Would Create Jobs

Cavuto Trumpets Discredited Claim That Repealing Health Care Reform Would Create Jobs


Fox News' Neil Cavuto hosted serial health care misinformer Betsy McCaughey to push the discredited claim that health care reform will kill jobs. In fact, a study from the Urban Institute found that the Affordable Care Act would not noticeably effect employment levels and that it could "boost the economy and employment over time."

Cavuto: "McCaughey Says If You Want To Create Jobs, Get Rid Of" Health Care Reform

Cavuto: "McCaughey Says If You Want To Create Jobs, Get Rid Of" The Health Care Law. From the November 14 edition of Your World with Neil Cavuto:

CAVUTO: The Supreme Court, meanwhile, is taking up the president's health care law. A decision could come by next summer, right before the elections, but the spending already happening now, the White House today saying it'll use a billion dollars from that law in a bid to create health care jobs. Betsy McCaughey says if you want to create jobs, just get rid of the law. She's with Defend Your Healthcare. You don't like what he's doing here, the president?

MCCAUGHEY: Well this agenda is spending money to spread the wealth and buy votes. If you look at the economy, the health care sector has been producing jobs, even while the rest of the economy is stagnant. So the White House doesn't have to spend money to produce health care jobs. The purpose of these jobs, and it was very clear as the law was written, is quite different: it's to spread the money around. They're cutting what doctors are paid under Medicare, cutting the care available to seniors under Medicare, and at the same time they're handing out grants to community organizations; they're creating jobs called promotories to people who are well-known in the community to sign people up for health plans. [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 11/14/11]

Urban Institute Report Debunks Claim That Health Care Law Will Cause Job Losses

Urban Institute: Affordable Care Act "Will Not Have [A] Noticeable Effect On Net Levels Of Employment." In a report released on March 21 examining how the Affordable Care Act "will impact labor costs and the demand for labor," the Urban Institute concluded:

[T]he ACA will not have [a] noticeable effect on net levels of employment for three reasons -- (1) the net new expenditures are too small relative to the overall size of the economy; (2) the negative effects on jobs of Medicare premium cuts and new taxes will be offset by the expansion of coverage through Medicaid and income related subsidies that will likely increase employment; and (3) the new law will not affect the most firms either because they already provide private insurance that meets federal standards or they are exempt from the new requirements because they employ fewer than 50 workers. [Urban Institute, "How Will the Affordable Care Act Affect Jobs?" 3/21/11]

Urban Institute: "Cost-Containment Provisions In The ACA Will Boost The Economy And Employment Over Time." In addition, the report pointed out:

There are many cost-containment measures in the ACA, and other proposals could build on those measures if adopted. Cost containment would have somewhat opposite effects than the effects of coverage expansion. To the extent the cost-containment efforts are successful, they will reduce the growth in health care costs. This will reduce the demand for labor as well as incomes in the health care sector, but it will increase the discretionary income that individuals and families have to spend elsewhere. Thus, if these efforts are successful, there will be additional spending outside the health sector that will increase demand for labor in other sectors.


Curtailing the growth in health care costs will mean lower costs for businesses and individuals. The CEA [Council of Economic Advisers] has estimated that reducing the growth in health care costs by 1 percentage point per year would result in a 4.0 percent higher GDP by 2030,21 due to a higher national savings rate, more capital formation and higher output. Faster growth in GDP would mean more jobs, lower unemployment, and higher family incomes.


Cost-containment efforts, if successful, will have somewhat opposite effects, reducing the growth in spending on Medicare and Medicaid, which will reduce the taxes or borrowing the federal government has to undertake. Cost-containment that reduces the federal budget deficit would result in faster economic growth, more employment and higher family incomes. Cost-containment would also free up private dollars to be spent in non-health areas of the economy. [Urban Institute, "How Will the Affordable Care Act Affect Jobs?" 3/21/11]

Urban Institute: "The Employment Effects Of The ACA Are Mainly Due To Worker Choices, Not Jobs Being Destroyed." From the Urban Institute report:

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the ACA could reduce the amount of labor used in the economy on the order of half of a percent, "primarily by reducing the amount of labor that workers choose to supply." Some have taken this half-percent figure and multiplied it by the number of workers to estimate the number of jobs taken out of the economy by ACA, but this is an incorrect application of the CBO's findings.

The expansion of Medicaid and the provision of subsidies in the exchanges will give workers options for retaining insurance coverage even if they were to work part-time or stop working. By providing new opportunities to obtain health care outside of employment, the ACA could lead some workers to reduce their work hours or leave their job to pursue other interests. The relatively small reduction in labor supply does not represent jobs lost as a result of ACA, but decisions made by those no longer locked into employment situations as a consequence of their need for health insurance.

Plus, any reduction in labor supply the ACA causes would occur over an extended period of time as the exchanges come online and new options and incentives become clear to workers. If the ACA were to induce certain workers to leave their jobs during a period of high unemployment, such as we have today, others looking for work would quickly fill the vacancies. [Urban Institute, "How Will the Affordable Care Act Affect Jobs?" 3/21/11]

McCaughey Has A Long History Of Misinforming On Health Care

McCaughey Has A History Of Promoting Health Care Falsehoods. McCaughey has a history of promoting misinformation about health care reform, including that the bill "forces you to enroll" in a health care plan "whether you can afford it or not"; that the law lets the government "dictate how doctors treat privately insured patients"; and the claim that the waiver process is being manipulated to benefit political allies of the administration. [Media Matters, 2/14/11]

  • For more information on McCaughey's false claims about the health care reform law, SEE HERE.

McCaughey Named "Health Care Misinformer Of The Year." McCaughey was Media Matters' 2009 "Health Care Misinformer of the Year" for relentlessly attacking health care reform by spreading falsehoods and distortions through opinion pieces and television appearances at nearly every stage of the debate. [Media Matters, 12/16/09]

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