Fox's Kirsten Powers Fact-Checks Bill O'Reilly's ACA Job Claim

Powers: Americans "Have A Lot More Flexibility Because Of Obamacare"


Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers pushed back on Bill O'Reilly's criticism of an Associated Press fact-check that found Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) had falsely claimed that Obamacare was "the biggest job-killer in the country." O'Reilly argued "Senator Cruz might be correct about Obamacare but to be fair, his opinion is subjective." Powers responded, noting "multiple studies have shown that's not true," and that the American Enterprise Institute found that "there was no correlation between the Affordable Care Act and a decrease in employment." From the January 29 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

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BILL O'REILLY (HOST): The Associated Press usually does a fact-checking article after the debates, and last night the AP zeroed in on this statement. 


O'REILLY: The Associated Press saying Senator Cruz did not tell the truth there, so let's look at the data. According to the government payroll survey, there have been 13.4 million jobs added since Obamacare was implemented in March 2010. However, federal data also says 11.4 million of those jobs were full time, two million part time. But, as of December 2015, last month, there are about six million Americans who have left the workforce entirely, who say they want a job -- but apparently they can't find one. So if you subtract that 6 million from the 11.4 million job -- full-time jobs created, that leaves a rather paltry five million jobs in five years. So Senator Cruz might, might be correct about Obamacare but to be fair, his opinion is subjective. Joining us now from Des Moines, Iowa, Kirsten Powers. So, these things get pretty complicated, Kirsten, when people throw that out, even when they fact check, right? 

KIRSTEN POWERS: Yeah, definitely. But I also have to say that even if what you just said is right, then you have to make the connection that it was caused by Obamacare, and I don't think that Cruz has made that connection. And another thing that he said, that he talked about part-time workers and, you know, saying that people were only, you know, being able to work part time instead of full time because of Obamacare, but, In fact there have been multiple studies that have shown that's not true. And to the extent that there is some people who are working part time, it's preference because they are now able to work part time because of Obamacare  Before, they had to work full time because they needed healthcare, but now they have a lot more flexibility because of Obamacare. 

O'REILLY: It's a debatable issue, would you give me that? It's a, on both sides they can mount arguments that Obamacare hasn't hurt employment, pn the other side it has, and it's a very complicated situation. I have looked at it from top to bottom. I don't think there is a conclusion in stone at this point. 

POWERS: Well, there -- I don't know. A.E.I, which is not known as a liberal, you know, institution. It's a think tank, American Enterprise Institute, they did a study that -- at the end of last year, where they looked at it. And they found that there was no correlation between Obamacare and a decrease in employment. 

O'REILLY: Alright, but I'm sure we can find studies -

POWERS: And there have been multiple studies by other organizations that aren't conservative, there have been some other sort of middle of the road organizations that have found the same thing. So, I think that if he is going to make that kind of accusation, he needs to offer something to back it up. 

O'REILLY: All right. Maybe he should have sourced it, but it's a debate, you throw stuff out.

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