But reality stubbornly refuses to accommodate their dogma. Recently political events have been taking a turn for the better for the United States as one writer notes.
Obama Didn't "Make the Economy Worse." Throughout the 2012 campaign, Romney and his GOP amen corner also insisted President Obama "made the economy worse." Speaker John Boehner has kept up the chant since, denouncing Obama's "job-killing tax increases" and "job-crushing" health care reform law.The same writer also notes that health care reform is going along quite splendidly.
But in 2014, I was shocked--SHOCKED!--to learn that the GOP claims weren't true. CBO director Douglas Elmendorf explained that the overwhelming consensus of economists agreed that Obama's $800 billion stimulus program was a success, at its peak adding as many as 3.3 million jobs and boosting GDP by as much as 4.1 percent. (No wonder Republicans want to fire him.) Former McCain economic adviser Mark Zandi concluded that the federal government had prevented "Great Depression 2.0." As we learned in October, when it comes to cutting unemployment, spurring investment and driving economic growth, Barack Obama is out-Reaganing Reagan at the same point in his presidency.
The market has voted and Obamacare won. From the beginning, Republican opponents of Obamacare warned that the Affordable Care Act was a "government takeover of health care." They charged that "Obamacare will destroy the private-insurance market" in order to "make a single-payer, i.e. socialized medicine, system inevitable."What a difference this is to what PCG's writers and others want people to believe, namely that America is about to collapse.
But as Stephen Colbert might have put it, instead the market has voted and Obamacare won. Virtually every constituency in the health care eco-system has come out ahead. In 2014, as many as 25 million Americans acquired insurance through the ACA's expanded Medicaid program, subsidies to buy private plans through exchanges, extension of coverage to young adults and other incentives. And it's not just consumers who are happy. The private insurance carriers are enjoying rising profits, stock prices and new customers, and are entering new markets even as Uncle Sam caps their "medical loss ratio." Hospitals--at least in those states which wisely chose to accept the federal expansion of Medicaid--have seen their bottom lines improve as their costs of caring for the uninsured plummet. Meanwhile, rejectionist red state governors in states like Tennessee and Texas are reconsidering their decisions after the success of Kentucky and Arkansas in dramatically reducing the ranks of the uninsured. And back in the nation's capital, the debt-reducing Obamacare is coming in under budget even as health cost growth has slowed to its lowest level this century.