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When a 'job-killing' law creates jobs

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It's never been altogether clear why Republicans hate the Affordable Care Act quite as much as they do. It's a moderate law, which relies on private insurers, and is based largely on ideas that mainstream Republicans have embraced for decades. Indeed, it mirrors Mitt Romney's state-based model and a reform plan touted by the Heritage Foundation in the early 1990s.

So why the need for hysterics, sabotage, hostage standoffs, and several dozen repeal votes?

When asked, Republicans say they have no choice -- that darned "Obamacare" will hurt job creation. It makes stories like this one from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Kevin McDermott all the more amusing (thanks to my colleague Will Femia for the heads-up).

As a politician, what do you do when a law you've derided as a job-killer -- and have vowed to repeal if possible -- creates 600 new jobs in your district?

That's the question for the three men who represent Wentzville in the Missouri Legislature and in Congress. All three are Republican opponents to the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

As the Post-Dispatch reported today, a Virginia-based government contractor is planning to hire 600 people over the next three months to staff a processing center in the St. Charles County suburb, to handle applications for health insurance under new law.

Does that affect the anti-Obamacare views of the town's political representatives in Jefferson City and Washington?

Missouri state Sen. Scott Rupp (R), has called the Affordable Care Act "the largest job-killing tax increase in American history." Now that the law is creating hundreds of new jobs for his constituents in his district, Rupp said, "It doesn't change my view."

No, of course not. For opponents of health care reform, it doesn't really matter whether arguments are true; what matters is whether arguments (a) get the Republican base riled up; (b) get conservative activists to open their wallets; (c) make the right feel good about itself; and (d) all of the above.

Also keep in mind, Republicans aren't just wrong in Missouri about jobs and Obamacare.

ThisUSA Today piece made the rounds yesterday, and if you missed it, it's worth checking out.

Small-business hiring and confidence about the future are rising, a signal of the economy's growing strength and diminishing concerns about employee insurance coverage required by the new health care law.

Job creation at small companies has almost doubled in the past six months, reaching 82,000 jobs at firms with 49 or fewer employees in July, payroll processor ADP says. Borrowing by small businesses and sales of franchises have also climbed, indicating businesses are willing to take on new expenses and risk. [...]

As more data come in, the [health care] law's impact can't be seen in hiring statistics, says Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics: "I was looking for it, and it's not there."

Jonathan Cohn had a piece yesterday expressing related skepticism of the right's talking points.

It looks like the law's critics will need to make up some other excuse to explain their irrational apoplexy.