Earlier this week, President Obama sat down with a reporter from an NBC affiliate Iowa, who asked the president to explain why a local company had closed “as a direct result” of the Affordable Care Act. Obama said that was almost certainly not true, causing the Romney campaign to pounce – it was proof the president didn’t understand how “Oba,acare” is “hurting small businesses.”
So, who’s right? I’ll give you a hint: it’s not Romney.
The company is called Nemschoff Chairs, and it makes medical furniture. Did it company close? Actually, no – as Jonathan Bernstein noted, Nemschoff Chairs is moving from Iowa to Wisconsin, not closing up shop.
Did Nemschoff Chairs struggle as a result of the Affordable Care Act? Strike two – Greg Sargent talked to the company’s spokesperson, who completely contradicted Romney’s version of events.
It turns out that the company didn’t close because of Obamacare at all, according to a company spokesperson. What’s more, the company sees lack of demand as the key problem – a lack of demand that is partly due to the drive to repeal or modify Obamacare, not to the implementation of the law itself. […]
Obamacare’s implementation had nothing to do with the decision, Mark Schurman, a spokesman for parent company Herman Miller, tells me.
“We never said health care reform is the reason we’re closing and consolidating that operation,” Schurman said. “We never said it’s the result of the health care reform legislation.”
This is especially inconvenient for Romney – the company spokesperson not only debunked the GOP claim, he also reinforced Obama’s argument about the economy. Worse, Nemschoff Chairs’ said the Republican effort to kill the Affordable Care Act is causing “uncertainty” that’s undermining business.
Wait, it gets even better.
Glenn Kessler dug a little deeper and found what caused financial troubles for the company in the first place.
[C]utbacks in federal government spending – precisely what Republicans such as Romney have demanded – led to the closure of the Nemschoff facility in Iowa, not the health care law.
Romney thought he’d finally hit a goldmine: a small business in a swing state that closed its doors because of Obamacare. Instead, we see a company that suffered as a result of government spending cuts, and moved its business for reasons that have nothing to do with health care reform.