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Mitt Romney's Obamacare Jobs Claim Contradicts Romneycare Reality, CBO Projections [UPDATE]

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Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney repeated charges that President Barack Obama's health care law will kill jobs -- a claim at odds with Congressional Budget Office projections and the effects of Romney's own health care law in Massachusetts.

"I just don't know how the president could have come into office, facing 23 million people out of work, rising unemployment, an economic crisis at the -- at the kitchen table, and spend his energy and passion for two years fighting for Obamacare instead of fighting for jobs for the American people. It has killed jobs," Romney said.

The Congressional Budget Office disagrees, noted in June. According to the nonpartisan agency's estimates, health care reform will reduce the workforce by 0.5 percent. That's mostly because people would choose to retire early or work fewer hours, reported.

If the national experience under Obamacare mirrors what happened in Massachusetts under Romney's similar health care law, job losses won't be a major issue. Employment trends in Massachusetts since Romneycare took effect have mirrored national trends, concluded a report issued by the Urban Institute in June. "The evidence from Massachusetts would suggest that national health reform does not imply job loss and stymied economic growth," said the report.

The health care law will require employers with at least 50 full-time workers to offer health benefits or pay a financial penalty to the government, which would then provide tax credit subsidies that low- and middle-class people can use to defray the cost of health insurance purchased on regulated exchanges. Smaller companies would be exempt from that requirement and those with up to 25 employees can get tax credits toward health benefits.

In an email to The Huffington Post, the Romney campaign cited reports from lobbying groups for businesses and medical device manufacturers that they say backs claims that Obama's law will eliminate jobs.

Romney himself indirectly cited a survey conducted by the U.S Chamber of Commerce, in which nearly three-quarters of small businesses said the health law would negatively impact hiring. The campaign also pointed to a 2011 estimate by the the Advanced Medical Technology Association claiming a new 2.3 percent excise tax on its sales will harm members, who they say will respond in turn by relocating 40,000 jobs to other businesses.

UPDATE: This post has been updated to include comments from the Romney campaign.

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