By Brent Budowsky - 02/05/14 05:17 PM EST
When victory-starved Republicans wax eloquent misrepresenting the report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) discussing the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as ObamaCare, they fall victim to a delusion almost as dangerous to them as the Benghazi disease I wrote about recently.
The CBO report did not suggest that ObamaCare destroys more than 2 million jobs, as many Republicans falsely suggest and some in the media inaccurately report. What the CBO report predicts is that more than 2 million Americans, who have the choice of keeping those jobs, will choose to leave them because they will no longer need the jobs to finance their healthcare.
Who wins in this deal? The workers who leave win because they want to leave. The workers who are hired win because they want jobs. The national economy wins because more of those who want jobs find them.
This is good news for America.
Presumably Republicans believe it is good politics to demand that Americans who want to retire should not be allowed to retire, and Americans who want to be hired should not be allowed to be hired. ObamaCare gives them these opportunities. Republicans would take them away.
Presumably Republicans believe it is good politics to demand that Congress repeal ObamaCare, when most voters oppose repealing the law. Republicans will try their political hand at ripping the insurance out of the hands of Americans with pre-existing conditions, who are grateful for being insured under the new law.
It is true that the CBO suggests some companies will lower hours worked for some workers because of the way the mandate and other provisions are framed, but the number of these workers is relatively small. This problem can be fixed. But it is false and delusional for Republicans to pretend that the CBO report, or any evidence, suggests the law destroys more than 2 million job
Millions who want jobs will be able to find them, because of the law, as millions who want to take better jobs or to retire will do so, because of the law. Republicans have the problem described in the well-known saying: They can fool some people all of the time, but they cannot fool all people all of the time.
The CBO projects, as well, that more than 6 million Americans will have bought insurance through the exchanges by the March 31 deadline, while 8 million will have enrolled in Medicaid. The office also projects that within a few years, health exchange enrollments will soar to more than 24 million Americans. There will be a steady news flow throughout this sign-up surge.
Moreover, the CBO finds that premiums for policies on the exchanges are 15 percent lower than projected. Do Republicans want consumers to pay higher premiums? The CBO finds major cost reductions in Medicare have recently occurred. Do Republicans want to bring back higher Medicare costs or continue their efforts to cut Medicare?
I have been predicting that 2014 would bring a surge in ObamaCare sign-ups. This is coming true. The surge will continue for years. I have also warned the GOP about falling victim to Benghazi disease, another GOP delusion that has left former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton towering above her potential GOP 2016 opponents.
The president and Democrats have work to do on healthcare. But Democrats have long held the high political ground on healthcare, for good reasons, and those reasons continue.
The GOP Benghazi disease attack against Clinton has failed. The GOP ObamaCare delusion attack might make modest inroads in some races, but as ObamaCare sign-ups surge, the party that voters fear would cut Medicare and Social Security could face unpleasant surprises, as they push to repeal healthcare benefits for millions of Americans.
Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill’s Pundits Blog and reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.