“The economic news this week may have people wondering whether they have gone through the Looking Glass into Wonderland. The Bureau of Economic Analysis issued its advance estimate of first-quarter growth in 2014, which barely made it into the black with an annualized GDP growth rate of 0.1 percent. Even that terrible result – the worst quarter since 2012, and tied for second-worst since the start of the technical recovery in June 2009 – would have been worse without an explosion of health-care spending as Obamacare enters its first year of implementation.”
“The House approved bipartisan legislation Tuesday to exempt U.S. health plans sold to expatriate workers from having to comply with requirements under the Affordable Care Act.”
“Recent polling conducted by McLaughlin & Associates for the 2017 Project asked Americans, “If you could undo one thing that President Obama has done as president, what would it be?” The choices that the poll provided were “overregulation of the economy,” “high deficit spending,” “tax increases,” “the economic stimulus package,” and “Obamacare.” And the winner, by a wide margin, was Obamacare.”
“A new survey demonstrates the Affordable Care Act’s negative impact on employment. According to the Journal, ‘nearly half of small-business owners with at least five employees, or 45% of those polled, said they had had to curb their hiring plans because of the health law, and almost a third—29%—said they had been forced to make staff cuts, according to a U.S. Bancorp survey of 3,173 owners with less than $10 million in annual revenue that will be released Thursday.'”
“Since Obamacare “hit” its “enrollment” “target,” Democrats, liberals, and their friends in the press have enjoyed some old-fashioned taunting of Republicans. This would be justifiable if a.) Republicans had destroyed the website that needed fixing or b.) predicted that nobody would sign up for the program in the first place.
Neither condition holds, of course. The website was totally the design of CMS, HHS, and the White House, which are all run by Democrats. Meanwhile, as Michael Cannon argued, it is no big feat to get people to sign up for a heavily subsidized product.”
“A four-year slowdown in health spending growth could be coming to an end.
Americans used more medical care in 2013 as the economy recovered, new reports show. Federal data suggests that health care spending is now growing just as quickly as it was prior to the recession.”
“As President Obama took his victory lap Tuesday, declaring that 7.1 million people signed up for coverage through his health care program, he said, “The bottom line is this: Under this law, the share of Americans with insurance is up and the growth of health care costs is down.”
This wasn’t the first time that Obama attempted to credit his health care law for the slowdown in the growth rate of health care spending that’s been recorded in recent years.”
“President Obama’s promise that Americans could keep their health insurance if they liked it was the most infamous of the Affordable Care Act’s sketchy sales pitches. But many of the law’s most damaging aspects are less known, buried in thousands of pages of regulations.
Consider the “fee”—really a hidden sales tax—that all health-insurance companies have been forced to pay since the first of this year on premiums for policies sold to individuals and small and medium-size businesses. The health-insurance tax—known as HIT in business circles—is expected to generate revenues of about $8 billion this year and as much as $14.3 billion by 2018, according to the legislation.”
“Young workers signed up for company health plans at a lower rate than last year, a surprising result that kept overall corporate enrollment rates flat.
American companies had been bracing for a big bump in the number of employees signing on to workplace plans as a result of the new government mandate that most American adults buy health insurance or pay a penalty. New data on worker behavior for the 2014 coverage year from payroll services supplier ADP suggests that surge of enrollment never happened, at least for large companies.”
“The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has served as a catalyst to an ongoing national debate on the cost of health care in the United States. An important aspect of this question is the cost impact of the new law on the employer community. Employers spend $578.6 billion annually in providing health coverage for 170.9 million employees, retirees, and dependents. If the law leads to significant cost increases for them, this would affect the behavior of employers, which could in turn affect how—and even whether—they provide health care for their employees.”