Here’s a new ad from the National Republican Congressional Committee, attacking CD-6 Democratic candidate Joe Miklosi on health care. Reflecting a degree of concern over the challenge Miklosi represents to incumbent GOP Rep. Mike Coffman, this well-produced ad hits Miklosi for his support in 2009 for Colorado House Bill 1273. HB09-1273, as some of you may recall, would have created a “Colorado health care authority” charged with development of a so-called “single payer” health care system in Colorado–where the government or a single insurance entity administers health insurance claims.
This legislation never got far, and was withdrawn by primary sponsor Rep. John Kefalas after it became clear it didn’t have support to pass the Colorado House. And to be fair, the bill was in the process of being overtaken by the larger debate on health care that ultimately resulted in the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a “Obamacare.” We don’t really have an opinion on “single payer” proposals for health care reform, except to say they’re a good bit more idealistic than seems possible to get enacted in the present irrational hyperpartisan political climate.
All things being equal the ad might have been a fair blow to land against Miklosi, even if a lot of voters might like “single payer” if they fully understood it–but of course, the NRCC doesn’t stop there. The ad segues from here into the debunked-so-many-times-it-makes-us-want-to-scream bogus claim that Obamacare “cuts $716 billion from Medicare.”
As for the allegation that Obamacare could “cost us 249,000 jobs?” Politifact says “False.”
The newer NFIB study projected that changes made by the health care will lead to price increases that “reduce private sector employment by 125,000 to 249,000 jobs in 2021, with 59 percent of those losses falling on small business.”
But experts outlined a number of reasons to be skeptical that the impact will be so large.
First, the employer payments under the law are “tiny,” said David Cutler, a Harvard University economist. The CBO estimated that employer and individual penalty payments will be $3 billion in 2014 and $12 billion in 2016. “Even today, total employee compensation is $8.3 trillion,” Cutler said. “So, they are claiming enormous effects from payments that are less than 0.2 percent of employee compensation.” [Pols emphasis]
A March 2011 analysis by the Urban Institute — an independent research organization — concurred, concluding that, on balance, the health care law is “unlikely to have major aggregate effects on the U.S. economy and on employment, primarily because the changes in spending and taxes are very small relative to the size of the economy.”
The NFIB report doesn’t appear to take into account the subsidies in the health care law, only the costs.
Bottom line: this is an ad that starts with an attack that won’t really sound that bad to many viewers, then switches to tired allegations about “Obamacare” that people can find were debunked months ago in about two minutes of Googling. On top of that, Miklosi can parade this big-ticket NRCC ad around as evidence he’s a real threat to Coffman! If we were Miklosi, we’d use this ad in a fundraiser, and thank the NRCC for helping with his name ID.