Sen. Karen Keiser of Kent, a longtime member and former chair of the Senate Health Care Committee, issued this statement today in response to state and federal GOP claims that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will cost people jobs.

“In order to make sound choices about their health care, Washingtonians need sound information — not talking points handed down from congressional Republicans that play fast and loose with the findings of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

“Fact: The CBO report that was released today did not say the ACA will eliminate jobs. The report said the ACA will give people who are trapped in “job lock” — working only so that they can secure health insurance — the ability to retire or reduce their hours. As the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation points out, there are people in their late 50s and early 60s who would like to retire to address health issues but instead keep working to have health coverage. Now some of them can retire because they can’t be discriminated against for pre-existing conditions and may get help paying their premiums.

“Fact: There’s a big difference between people losing jobs and people choosing not to work. When people are able to retire without fear of losing their health coverage, their jobs are filled with new hires and unemployment goes down. So, if anything, what this does is open up jobs for those who truly need them.

“Fact: The CBO report clearly states, and I quote, ‘there’s no compelling evidence that part-time employment has increased as a result of the ACA.’ Of course, to know that, and not simply make the mistakes my Republican colleagues appear to be making, you have to have actually read the report you’re talking about.

“Fact: When people can retire or work lighter hours to address serious health care issues, that’s a good thing. That’s the kind of thing that makes our country stronger and a better place to live and work.

“Fact: The Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” column gave the GOP claims a rating of three Pinocchios — signifying ‘significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions.’ Washingtonians expect, and deserve, better than that.”