Hannity lets Bachmann advance dubious claim that Christina Romer projected "5.5 million jobs lost" under health care bill
Research ››› ››› TOM ALLISON
On his Fox News show, Sean Hannity allowed Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) to baselessly claim that health care reform would "mean 5.5 million jobs lost and that's according to his own economist, Christina Romer." Hannity and Bachmann cited no evidence to support the claim, which Politifact has called false and "problematic"; the claim is further undermined by Romer's prediction that health care reform "would allow lower unemployment in the short and medium run."
Bachmann: "President Obama's bill will mean 5.5 million jobs lost, and that's according to his own economist, Christina Romer"
From the December 14 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
BACHMANN: We need bipartisan reform, and we Republicans are there ready, willing, and able. We want bipartisan reform. Let's scrap what we have and let's move forward, because President Obama's bill will mean 5.5 million jobs lost, and that's according to his own economist, Christina Romer.
HANNITY: Congresswoman, you have the distinction of being the second-most hated Republican woman in the country. And I --
BACHMANN: Or second-most loved.
HANNITY: Or the second-most loved. That's fair enough. Does it bother you, all the heat and the criticism you've been taking?
No evidence that Romer ever claimed health care reform would "mean 5.5 million jobs lost"
Politifact: Claim is "problematic and contrary to how Obama's economic adviser said the model should work." According to PolitiFact.com:
Obama's economic adviser -- Christina Romer, chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers -- has never said that a tax in the health care bill would cost up to 5.5 million jobs. Republicans have used her 2007 research to develop a calculation for job losses for any type of tax increase. If you have a number for tax revenues generated, then this model will give you a number of jobs lost. But there are factors that make this type of analysis troublesome when it comes to the health care bill. Romer's 2007 research, for example, said that tax increases that fund spending for social programs tend to balance out, and economic growth stays on an even keel. Another problem is that the Republicans take tax increases that happen over 10 years and treat them as if they happen in one year, which inflates the numbers of jobs that might be lost. Finally, this particular Republican analysis includes more taxes than just the surtax of page 336; it also includes the employer mandates of page 313. We find this analysis to be problematic and contrary to how Obama's economic adviser said the model should work. [PolitiFact.com, 11/4/09]
Romer: "Health care reform is an economic necessity." In a June 2, 2009, op-ed, Romer wrote:
Health care reform is more than a social imperative -- it is an economic necessity. A new study by the President's Council of Economic Advisers demonstrates that the current American health care system is on an unsustainable path. Without health care reform, American workers and families will continue to experience eroding health care benefits and stagnating wages caused by the pressure of escalating health insurance premiums. And without reform, rising spending on Medicare and Medicaid will lead to massive and unsustainable Federal budget deficits. [Romer op-ed, Yahoo! News, 6/2/09]
Romer: Health care reform will "allow lower unemployment." Romer also wrote in her op-ed, "Controlling health care cost growth would allow lower unemployment in the short and medium run, without putting pressure on inflation. Employment could be 500,000 higher for a number of years." [Romer op-ed, Yahoo! News, 6/2/09]