In troubled times, it’s good to take a moment to laugh at the GOP’s hilariously wrong predictions about the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Let’s start with Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLobbying world A new kind of hero? Last week's emotional TV may be a sign GOP up in arms over Cheney, Kinzinger MORE (R-Ohio), who predicted in 2011, “[ObamaCare] will bankrupt our nation, and it will ruin our economy.” In a tweet in 2014, he wrote, “Pres. Obama’s #hcr law is expected to destroy 2.3 million jobs.”
So it must’ve pained him to admit last week that the economy is growing and jobs are following suit: “The economy expands and as a result, you are going to have more employees because businesses have to.”
That’s kind of a credibility killer there.
When healthcare reform passed, Rush Limbaugh was his typical over-the-top self, claiming that the ACA would cost the nation “2.5 million jobs minimum” and would be a “literal tragedy.” Being proven wrong, yet again, is very much a literal tragedy for Limbaugh.
Glenn Beck said in 2009, “This is the end of prosperity in America forever, if this passes. This is the end of America as you know it.” Yet I can still buy an apple pie from a cashier wearing a flag pin.
Former Republican Sen. Tom Coburn (Okla.) once said, “There will be no insurance industry left in three years.” It was a stupid prediction when he made it — the insurance industry knew it would prosper under the ACA. And since he said that nearly five years ago, it’s now objectively wrong.
Similarly wrong was Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), now a presidential candidate: “I think that what’s going to come out of ObamaCare is worse than anybody can imagine,” he said in 2013. “I think it will lead to bankruptcy in the states that are fully embracing it.” In reality, the states that have rejected ACA funding are the ones in dire straits. Republican Gov. Rick Scott of Florida was just in Washington, D.C., begging the administration for help to close a billion-dollar gaping budget hole brought about by his refusal to expand Medicaid in his state. It’s not hard to imagine those Obama administration officials rolling their eyes. Meanwhile, of the 43 rural hospitals that have closed since January 2010, the vast majority — 36 — were in non-Medicaid expansion states.
Failed CEO and quixotic Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina was near hysterics: “I just don’t think we can afford to wreck one-sixth of the economy and what is arguably a very excellent healthcare system,” she said. Yet the business community, including the ultraconservative Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business, is now sitting out further legal challenges to the ACA. And funny enough, not a single sixth of the economy is currently wrecked.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal justified rejecting Medicaid expansion by saying, “The full extent of damage the PPACA causes to small businesses, the nation’s economy, and the American health care system will only be revealed with time.” It’s been almost three years since he said this, and we’re still waiting for his cataclysm.
Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) is also waiting in vain for Armageddon: “It looks to me like we are going to end up in what’s called an insurance death spiral,” he said on Fox News in 2013. “It’s going to go down, down, and then you are looking at, to me, a massive government bailout of this entire healthcare law.”
It’s not hard to find a similar prediction from virtually every conservative in the country — proving again that, if you’re looking for realistic forecasting of policy consequences, Republicans are the last people you should ask.
Moulitsas is the founder and publisher of Daily Kos.