Contessa Brewer: What If GOP Nixed ObamaCare Repeal, Invested In Unemployed Instead?

Reporting that House Republicans will soon be voting to repeal President Obama's "job-killing" health care law, MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer wondered if the GOP should take a different route to save jobs. During her Thursday 12 p.m. EST news hour, she revealed a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report estimating that a repeal of the health care law will cost $230 billion over the next ten years.

Disregarding the GOP arguments for repealing ObamaCare, Brewer wondered aloud about the merits of the $230 billion being invested in re-education of unemployed persons.

"What would happen," Brewer asked Prof. Robert Reich of the University of California at Berkeley, "if you took $230 billion and instead put that toward re-education of the nation's unemployed?"

Prof. Reich, the former Secretary of Labor under the Clinton administration, answered that the current health care bill should be kept and enforced as it is written in order to drive down health costs among financially-strapped Americans. He added that "obviously we need to invest in education," and that "we also need to invest in health care."

A transcript of the segment, which aired on January 6 at 12:48 p.m. EST, is as follows:

CONTESSA BREWER: The Republicans say that the health care reform law is a job-killer. They are going to have a vote next week to repeal it. The CBO says that health care repeal would cost $230 billion over the next ten years. Just give me a sense - what would happen if you took $230 billion and instead put that toward re-education of the nation's unemployed?

Professor ROBERT REICH, University of California at Berkeley: Well obviously we need to invest in education. We also need to invest in health care. It's not a trade-off here. In fact, if we do health care as the President intended it to be done, we would reduce the co-payments and deductibles and premiums that millions of Americans are now paying that essentially come out of their paychecks, or else they have to pay and they don't have enough money, therefore, to pay other kinds of bills including mortgages.

- Matt Hadro is News Analysis intern at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.