During a hearing before the House Budget Committee on Thursday, February 10, CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf, made a startlingly honest admission – one that may have just changed the entire debate over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).  In an exchange with Chairman Paul Ryan, Mr. Elmendorf divulged what most objective health policy analysts have been saying all along: PPACA will cost jobs – an estimated 800,000 of them in the next ten years.

Now that the bill is law, and as then Speaker Nancy Pelosi put it, “We can find out what’s in it,” what have we found.

  • It will not decrease insurance costs as claimed.  In fact, costs are rising.
  • It will not be budget neutral as claimed.  Double counting phantom savings doesn’t add up.
  • It will not allow us to keep our plans if we like them as claimed.
  • It increases taxes on all Americans.
  • It will end up costing 800,000 Americans their jobs.

At the time, we were told we could not afford to miss the opportunity to pass healthcare reform and that our country and the economy could not afford the status quo. The NAM supports reforming healthcare, but this law misses the mark and places our healthcare system on an unsound foundation.  That’s why the Manufacturers and many other associations supported repealing this law – America can’t afford not to.

Joe Trauger is the NAM vice president for human resources policy