This, like so many other anti-ObamaCare stories, is a lie...
[bold]GOP Mistweets Lies About Survey Results[/bold]
House Speaker John Boehner, among other Republicans, wrongly tweeted that a recent “study” found “74% of small businesses will fire workers, cut hours under #Obamacare.” Actually, no more than 13 percent of the small businesses surveyed said that.
On July 16, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a three-page report summarizing the results of its Small Business Outlook Study for the second quarter of 2013. The report said: “Despite the Administration’s delay of the employer mandate by a year, small businesses expect the requirement to negatively impact their employees. 27% say they will cut hours to reduce full time employees, 24% will reduce hiring, and 23% plan to replace full time employees (30 hours per week or more) with part-time workers to avoid triggering the mandate.”
The Washington Examiner published an article about the survey’s findings under the inaccurate headline: “74% of small businesses will fire workers, cut hours under Obamacare.” That article got the attention of Boehner, other Republicans and their allies, who then repeated the bogus claim to their many followers on Twitter.
But the survey didn’t find that “74% of small businesses will fire workers, cut hours under #Obamacare.”
When FactCheck.org inquired about the survey results, a Chamber of Commerce spokeswoman told us that the percentages included in its report were based only on the responses of those businesses “impacted by the employer mandate.” And most respondents said they wouldn’t be affected by the mandate.
The health care law requires employers with 50 or more full-time workers to offer health insurance to their employees or pay a penalty. But the Chamber didn’t limit its survey to only businesses with 50 or more full-time employees. Instead, small-business executives were defined as those in an “executive level position in a company with fewer than 500 employees and annual revenue less than $25 [million],” the report said. And only “17 percent of the small-business owners surveyed responded they would be impacted by the employer mandate,” the Chamber spokeswoman told us.
As we explained earlier, 17 percent of those surveyed answered “yes.” Furthermore, as the question makes clear, small businesses that answered “yes” could select all of the choices that applied to them. So, it would be wrong to add up the percentages for all of the responses — as was done to get 74 percent — since there could be overlap that would lead to double counting.
Even assuming that one could add the percentages together, that would mean, at most, 13 percent of the small businesses who responded to the survey would cut hours, reduce hiring or replace full-time employees with part-time employees.
The 74 percent figure isn’t mentioned anywhere in the Chamber’s report summarizing the findings of the survey. However, the Chamber’s senior vice president and national political director, Rob Engstrom, did refer to the figure when he tweeted on July 17: “@Bill__Oreilly thanks for including our #smallbiz survey on the segment tonight. 74% will fire or reduce hours bc of employer mandate.”
These tweets distort what the survey actually said, but it’s true some jobs will be lost because of the law’s employer mandate.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said that the employer requirements “will probably cause some employers to respond by hiring fewer low-wage workers” and perhaps hire more part-time or seasonal employees. The CBO said penalties assessed to employers “will, over time, generally be passed on to workers through reductions in wages or other forms of compensation.” It didn’t give an estimate for jobs lost.
(more at the link)