Today's Bulls and Bears used job creation (or lack thereof) as an excuse to bash the Affordable Care Act. Host Brenda Buttner asked, “Did the Supreme Court’s ruling just slam the gavel on any chance for a jobs recovery?” In case you didn’t already know the answer, a giant gavel appeared on the screen and loudly smacked the b-roll footage that showed workers on the job. Unfortunately for the panel, liberal Julian Epstein confronted them with facts they couldn’t refute.
Tobin Smith sneered, “Think about 50, that’s the new speed limit for the economy. Because if you have, let’s say, 55 or 60 employees now, because of the new law, you’re going to take that down to 49 because you’d be forced into mandated coverage. If you’re under 50, guess what? You’re going to stay under… You’re going to see, unfortunately, mass, mass layoffs and businesses closing.”
Jonas Max Ferris said businesses are “marginally better off” because “premiums would’ve gone even higher than they’re probably gonna go.”
Gary B. Smith also sneered. “The Supreme Court already decided that the mandate is a tax. Taxes are bad, taxes hurt the economy… There’s already been small businesses that have been saying, ‘Hey, I’ve got to close one of my restaurants because I can’t afford that $100,000 (in supposed taxes).’ …The $100,000 is then sucked out of the economy… Go into the health care industry because that’s where the money is flowing, everyone else is going to suffer.”
Finally, Epstein had his say. “The tax penalty… will affect a little more than 1% of the people. Secondly, ninety six percent of U.S. businesses, all businesses under 50 employees are exempt.” He noted that 93% of that remaining 4% already provide health insurance for their employees. He said that the CBO found that small businesses will get 35-50% of their premiums rebated through the form of tax credits. “The Business Roundtable supported this, you had support from the hospitals… I think this is actually good for jobs.”
Larry Glazer started laughing and joined the sneerfest: “Oh my God.”
Epstein continued, “This is a critical part of our international competitiveness.”
Glazer said, “This is the straw that broke the camel’s back for small and medium sized businesses in particular, they are under attack in this country right now... I talk to these businesses every say and they’re saying, ‘You know what? I’m not in the mood to hire.’ …It’s because the health care law in addition to everything else they’re already dealing with… It’s not going to encourage anyone to go out and hire… It’s regressive… If we had a better business environment, we could handle this potentially.”
Epstein then did what all liberals on Fox should do. He took control of the agenda. “Nobody on this panel has responded to the fact that 96% of businesses are exempt, the remainder of the businesses, those businesses are providing coverage already and that small businesses get 50% of their premiums rebated to them through the form of tax credits. Respond to those facts.”
But the panel didn’t really. Probably because they couldn’t.