Credit Yahoo!Finance for the inane headline of the day: Employers shrug off Obamacare, robbing Republicans of a campaign issue.
Just 18 months ago, a Republican fantasy seemed about to come true.
The Affordable Care Act was in the midst of a disastrous rollout plagued by dialup-stye technology snafus. President Obama had sabotaged his own health-reform plan by falsely promising that everybody happy with their health plan could keep it. As frozen computer screens and canceled policies generated a tsunami of bad publicity, it seemed plausible that Obamacare might be such a flop that voters would clamor for its repeal when the next presidential election came around.
But Americans are warming to the controversial program. A recent Gallup poll shows a sharp rise in public approval of how the government handles healthcare, from 29% in 2013 to 43% today. By the time the 2016 election arrives, Obamacare bashers may have an even tougher time making the case against the law. Here’s why:
Obamacare hasn’t killed jobs. Republicans repeatedly lambasted Obamacare as a “job killer,” but it doesn’t seem to be that, either. Since the law fully took effect at the beginning of 2014, employers have created about 3.5 million new jobs, a very strong pace of job growth comparable with the late 1990s. The Gallup job-creation index, meanwhile, recently hit the highest levels since 2008. It’s unlikely Obamacare is directly contributing to job growth, but it sure doesen’t seem to be harming it.
No Obamacare did not “kill jobs”. In fact it created millions of them, albeit in a superficial manner. By classifying full-time employment at 30 hours, corporations reduced hours of employees to 25. Employees that used to work 32 hours were cut to 25 and they then picked up second part-time jobs.
Because the BLS does an inadequate job of calculating the double-counting, job growth has been severely overstated. Don’t blame the BLS. It’s not their fault, because as amazing as it may seem they do not have access to the data they want.
Here’s the kicker from the above link.
There are still plenty of problems with the ACA and with the U.S. healthcare system overall. Costs are still rising faster than inflation, with a growing portion of many families’ disposable income going toward healthcare instead of rent, food, education or savings. While the cost of premiums has flattened out, the cost of deductibles, co-pays and other out-of-pocket expenses has soared. The Affordable Care Act remains a misnomer, because healthcare remains far from affordable for many families.
Supposedly a 43% approval rating for an “affordable” program that created as many problems as it solved and did nothing to make health care affordable for most, is now a victory and a non-campaign issue.
This is what constitutes reporting these days. Or was this really an infomercial for Hillary in disguise?
Mike “Mish” Shedlock