Admitting you’re wrong is very difficult – even when the evidence is overwhelming. Case in point is ObamaCare architect E.J. Emanuel.
Emanuel and Annie Lamont, a venture fund manager, write in The Wall Street Journal that ObamaCare has been good for business and the country because it has lowered the cost of healthcare insurance. If you’ve purchased healthcare insurance lately you’re probably wondering if that’s a misprint!
Yes, they actually claim that were it not for ObamaCare the cost of your health insurance would be higher and the business world would be suffering more. Like any argument where you’re asked to prove what didn’t happen this can be difficult. But we can look at certain trends to make the opposite argument.
In the graph above you can see the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) representation of the annual growth rates for National Healthcare Spending from 2002 – 2013. You can see that the annual growth rate was steadily declining in the years before the passage of ObamaCare (2010) and its implementation (2013). The rate of growth in spending began to rise again in the same year that ObamaCare enrollment began.
New information from the CMS shows that the annual growth of spending increased to 5.8% in 2015 and is projected to continue at that rate for the years 2015 – 2025. These projections preceded the dramatic rise in insurance premiums of an average of 25% or more in 2017.
Duke University economist Chris Conover released this graphic that shows the trend of the costs associated with National Health Expenditures as a share of GDP to give an historical perspective. There is no evidence here that ObamaCare is “bending the cost curve” as ObamaCare supporters contend.
Emanuel and Lamont argue that ObamaCare has been good for business and that CEOs of major companies should fight for its survival. Again, this is delusional. With healthcare insurance costs rising faster than economic growth, every business is looking for ways to save on personnel costs and healthcare insurance represents a major portion.
Businesses have been cutting full-time jobs to part-time to save on benefits and avoid the costly ObamaCare employer mandates. Although unemployment numbers have fallen recently, the labor force participation rate remains at 1979 levels, reflecting the lack of good-paying jobs in this lackluster economy. The recent growth in the stock market reflects the new business enthusiasm with the prospect of lower business taxes, fewer regulations, and lower healthcare costs anticipated by a Trump administration that has promised all of the above, including the repeal and replacement of ObamaCare.
It’s about time that President Obama and his minions accepted the fact that their healthcare legislation was truly the train wreck described by Senator Max Baucus in the days leading up to its implementation. Although Senator Baucus was one of the original architects of the legislation, he understood in its final days before implementation the damage it would bring. Too bad others like Emanuel can’t accept this reality.