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Myths vs. Facts: Health Reform, the Economy, and the Deficit

With the House poised to vote Wednesday on Republican-sponsored legislation to repeal health care reform, it's crucial to dispel the myths from the facts.

The historic Affordable Care Act expands access to health care for 32 million people while reducing the deficit and helping to create jobs. With so many false claims online and in the news, never before has it been so important to know the truth – here’s a look at myths and facts surrounding the Affordable Care Act’s impact on the economy and deficit.

Myth: Repealing health reform would reduce the deficit.
Fact: Congressional Budget Office analysis estimates that the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act” would “increase federal budget deficits over the 2012–2019 period by a total of roughly $145 billion,” $230 billion in by 2021, and increase the deficit in the neighborhood of a trillion dollars beyond the 10-year window.

Myth: Health reform will lead to tax increases for families and small businesses
Fact: Not true. The Affordable Care Act includes tax credits to help make health care affordable for working families. All told, the Affordable Care Act represents the largest middle-class tax cut for health care in American history. [White House]

Myth:The Affordable Care Act increases the cost of health care for small businesses.
Fact: Small businesses will receive $40 billion in new tax credits to help cover the cost of health coverage for their employees. The tax credit is designed to both support those small businesses that provide coverage today as well as new businesses who decide to provide coverage. Effective immediately, the tax credit is worth up to 35 percent of the premiums a business pays to cover its workers and in 2014, the value of the credit will increase to 50 percent. An estimated 4 million small businesses will be eligible to receive these tax credits. [White House]

Myth: Health reform kills jobs, and repealing reform would save jobs.
Fact: Harvard economist David Cutler argues in new paper that repealing the health law would reverse months of private-sector growth and could destroy 250,000 to 400,000 jobs annually over the next decade. Eliminating the law would increase health care costs, causing employers to reduce wages or eliminate jobs. [Think Progress]

Myth: This bill does nothing to bring down the cost of health care.
Fact: Not true. The health policy experts and economists who have looked at this legislation have said we are pursuing every possible mechanism to reduce health care costs. The Congressional Budget Office found that health insurance reform will reduce the deficit by over $100 billion in this decade and by more than $1 trillion over the following 10 years. [White House]