The Corner

The Struggle to Sell Obamacare

Over at Reason Online, Peter Suderman has a chart showing how President Obama’s health-care-reform law remains pretty unpopular one year after its enactment.

Suderman offers several reasons why the bill has failed to become popular. Among other things, he points to this “Fact Checker” column in today’s Washington Post, which looks at claims made by Democratic lawmakers about the law that are either not exactly true or totally untrue. Here is one:

Here, Pelosi is repeating a talking point from the health-care debate. The 4 million figure comes from a report by the Center for American Progress, a liberal-leaning group, which estimated that universal health care would add 250,000 to 400,000 jobs a year. Pelosi took the top end of the range and then multiplied it by 10, a numerical sleight-of-hand that Polifact last year labeled “half true.”

A Pelosi spokesman noted she has been using this statistic for 14 months now, but we frown on the reuse of statistics previously found to be suspect.

In this case, since the bill has passed, the Congressional Budget Office has done its own analysis (the one McConnell cited) that cast some doubt on the CAP analysis, written before the bill was passed into law. Presumably, members of Congress should pay more attention to estimates by their own budget agency than think tanks that promote their agenda. Repeating this dubious statistic is worth at least a Pinocchio or two.

Read about the other bogus claims — like that the law will boost insurance coverage among small employers, or that it will reduce the deficit by a trillion dollars — here.

Veronique de Rugy — Veronique de Rugy is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

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