Jonathan Gruber

Economists are supposed to be more nuanced than politicians. Casey Mulligan, new hero to the anti-Obamacare right, hasn't been.

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Forget death panels. Lately critics of the Affordable Care Act have been promoting a different claim—that “Obamacare” is a job-killer. Specifically, they say, it will stifle the economy with regulations and taxes. But the economic literature doesn’t support this claim. If anything, it suggests the opposite: The Affordable Care Act will boost the economy. By now, most people who follow politics know that the law will result in more than 30 million additional Americans getting health insurance.

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Editor's note: On Friday, Jon Cohn wrote about a new House Republican report about the Affordable Care Act -- and why one of its central claims was wrong. Among the sources he cited was Jonathan Gruber, the MIT economist who has advised policy-makers, including some of the ACA's architects. But Gruber found several other flaws in the report. What follows is his analysis. A new report from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is making headlines because of four claims it makes about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But some of these claims are wrong-headed.

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Conservatives have been on the warpath against the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. But recently one of the left’s best known advocates of health care reform, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, chimed in to suggest that the mandate was not as essential as its proponents (like me) have suggested. Writing for the Huffington Post, Dean pointed out that his state enacted health care reform while he was governor. Those reforms did not include a mandate, yet the state significantly reduced the number of people without insurance.

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Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen takes to the Wall Street Journal editorial page on Thursday to attack health care reform. Bredesen has been critical of the Affordable Care Act for a while. This latest missive suggests that the law is a bad deal because it gives employers incentive to drop health insurance coverage. It’s a claim a lot of critics are making, particularly after reports that some employers might be scaling back coverage in anticipation of reform. But those reports have mostly turned out to be false or misleading.

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