The White House, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid have found themselves increasingly desperate to rationalize their force-feeding our country health-care legislation. The most recent polls show Americans to be overwhelmingly opposed — especially in swing districts, where at least 60 percent of voters want Congress to scrap the bill or move on to the No. 1 issue facing American families: jobs. And a recent Rasmussen poll showed that 81 percent of voters think health-care reform’s costs will be higher than projected.
President Obama has broken almost every high-profile campaign promise he made. First, he imposed taxes on families making less than $250,000 per year, and now, he’s pushing an insurance mandate through Congress, using parliamentary tricks and making deals with the insurance and pharmaceutical industries in the process. Understanding that the No. 1 issue is jobs, the president and Nancy Pelosi have begun peddling perhaps the most outrageous claim of all — that passing the health-care bill will create jobs.
During the health-care “summit,” Speaker Pelosi claimed that the health-care bill will create “400,000 jobs almost immediately.” There’s only one problem: That claim relies on a highly flawed study done for the liberal Center for American Progress (CAP) by David Cutler, a professor of economics at Harvard, and Neeraj Sood, an associate professor of clinical pharmacy and pharmaceutical economics and policy at the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy. Cutler was a paid consultant and senior health-care adviser for the Obama presidential campaign.
Higher taxes and government controls have seldom been associated with job creation anywhere in public discourse, much less in the precincts of academic economists. Yet Cutler and Sood managed to turn health-care reform into a job creator. How? By making guesses about health-care cost savings and then translating those guesses into estimates of job creation.