"We got a report today about Obamacare that was both surprising and widely misunderstood," CBS anchor Scott Pelley said on his Tuesday show.
Part of the reason for that misunderstanding? Many of Pelley's fellow members of the media.
The Congressional Budget Office issued a report on Tuesday that said that as many as 2 million people could exit the workforce thanks to the Affordable Care Act. The reasons for this, the CBO said, were varied, but it stressed that the economy would see "a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply, rather than...a net drop in businesses’ demand for labor," thanks to, for instance, people choosing to quit jobs they didn't like but were only staying in because of their health care benefits.
That's not how a lot of media outlets reported the news, however. A lot of them said that the report was warning that Obamacare would kill over 2 million jobs—a notion at odd's with the CBO's conclusion that some workers would choose not to work.
This led to a lot of alterations like the one the Washington Post had to make on Tuesday afternoon:
CORRECTION: This tweet was wrong so we deleted it. CBO didn't say ACA would cut 2M jobs. It's about workers, not jobs pic.twitter.com/iAtq0cyIdQ
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) February 4, 2014
Or this one, from the New York Times:
— Andrew Kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) February 5, 2014
The Post's own Erik Wemple catalogued a lot of the other faulty headlines on his blog. A short sample:
UPI earlier: CBO: Obamacare to cost 2.3 million jobs over 10 years
UPI now: WH disputes media claims on CBO Obamacare study
Politico earlier: CBO: Lower enrollment, bigger job losses with Obamacare
Politico now: Report reignites debate over Obamacare and jobs
The Hill earlier: CBO: O-Care slowing growth, contributing to job losses
The Hill now: CBO: O-Care will cost 2.5M workers
Read the rest at Wemple's blog.