Kentucky Democrat challenges McConnell over health law claims

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In Louisville, Yarmuth's office says, only 530 out of 15,000 eligible businesses have taken advantage of the tax credits. Business groups say part of the reason is the cost and complexity of applying for the tax credit, and the fact that most businesses are only eligible for a partial, not full, credit.

In his rebuttal, Yarmuth quotes government and other reports to point out that: 

• Only 8 percent of Americans — families that don't get insurance through an employer and aren't eligible for federal subsidies — would see a $2,100 hike in premiums, and then only if they chose the expensive Silver Plan option offered on the exchanges;

• A recent Gallup poll found that while 48 percent of businesses cited future healthcare costs as a reason for not hiring, the poll did not mention the health law — as suggested by McConnell — and four other factors mattered more;

• The law does reduce Medicare future spending by half a trillion dollars, but the Republican budget would retain almost all those savings while cutting Medicare spending by more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years;

• While the law would indeed put 29 percent of Kentuckians on Medicaid, the federal government would never pay less than 90 percent of the cost of the program's expansion; and

• Claims that the law is a "job-killer" have been labeled the "Whopper of 2011" by the nonpartisan website Factcheck.org. And over the past two years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says the healthcare sector has added 488,000 in the healthcare sector.

Nevertheless, McConnell writes, many business owners say they have put off hiring until they can be sure about the cost of the law's mandates. 

"I've met many Kentucky job creators who have told me they just won't hire additional workers without knowing what their new health costs will be," McConnell writes. "More and more Americans are realizing what most Kentuckians knew two years ago: ObamaCare will make things worse. We need to repeal and replace it with common-sense, step-by-step reforms that will actually lower costs and have the support of the American people."