And they can, of course, be spun to mean whatever result is wanted.
In a recent piece in The Hill Marko (Kos) Moulitsas paints a picture of a wonderful world under Obamacare and how Republicans were so wrong about the outcome that it is funny. He points to a number of quotes from the past and then tells his readers that the person who made them is wrong. He does not say exactly why they are wrong so the impression is that what was claimed did not happen. He does not back his claims up, he only says the original claim is wrong.
He discusses John Boehner and Rush Limbaugh and their claim that Obamacare would destroy over 2 million jobs. Jobs numbers are difficult to pin down because the BLS uses many metrics and the government spins those in a number of different ways in order to paint the picture it wants. The population was 3 million more in March 2015 than in March 2010 (I selected March to give a 5 year timeframe from when the law was passed).
The number of jobs gained or lost is always tricky but the reality is while there are more being created now they are not offsetting the numbers lost in any meaningful way. The reports are nearly always lower than expected and in a few weeks get readjusted down.
But looking at the labor participation rate the rate in 2010 was 65% and in 2015 63%. This means there are 4.2 million fewer people participating in the labor force than there were when the law was passed. 58.06 MILLION people have stopped looking and are no longer counted. Certainly if there would be so many jobs the numbers of people participating would go up, not down. Once again though, labor numbers are tricky things.
It is also true that there are no accurate ways to measure how many people decided not to open a business or expand one because of Obamacare. There are anecdotal stories but no real data that I can find.
While there is merit to Kos’s claim that Sen. Tom Coburn was way off when he predicted there would be no insurance industry left in three years it is also true that insurance companies are taking big hits and if it were not for government taxpayer dollars being sent to cover losses the insurance industry might well be a shell of what it once was. It is pretty easy to go along when big government tells you it will cover your losses.
It is also true that many insurance companies have had to raise rates because the participation is not what was expected. The cost to consumers is going up even though Obamacare was supposed to stop that.
Kos went after Glenn Beck for his 2009 claim that this would be the end of prosperity in America and the end of America as we know it. Well the reality is the rise of Obama to power was the end of America as we knew it. That aside, Kos claims, as evidence that Beck is wrong, he (Kos) can still buy an apple pie from a cashier wearing a flag pin. This is not an accurate indication of the state of the nation. I can buy an apple pie from a guy wearing a turban who reads the Koran but that does not mean the nation is now a Muslim nation. There are many stores where Kos can no longer buy a pie because they have shut down.
And when he buys that pie it costs a lot more than it did 5 years ago.
Then Kos goes on to discuss Rand Paul’s 2013 assertion that Obamacare will lead to bankruptcy in states that fully embrace it. He made the claim in 2013 so time will tell but Kos decided that the only states in trouble are those that did not embrace Obamacare and its expansions. He cites Florida and Gov. Rick Scott. Kos claims Scott is begging DC to close his billion dollar budget hole that Kos claims was brought about by refusal to expand Medicaid.
The deficit is in place because the federal government, in an effort to coerce states (in defiance of the Supreme Court ruling) to expand Medicaid, has cut an existing program. The federal government decided to end or cut back the money spent on the Low Income Pool. This is a federal program that has been in place for some time and is different than the Medicaid program. Folks in LIP are not necessarily in Medicaid (and might not even qualify). That program was to continue but the federal government decided to end or scale it back to force states like Florida to expand Medicaid. Scott is not begging for money to close a budget gap he caused. He is asking the feds not to end the program they started and they funded. He claims, rightly so, that there has been no reduction in the taxes Florida pays to the feds but they are taking away the program those taxes paid for and they are doing it just to force compliance.
Once again, Kos misses the mark.
Millions of people lost coverage because of Obamacare an then when they were forced to sign up under the law they were touted as people helped by it. They were harmed and forced to join.
As for how wonderful Obamacare is and how those states that adopted it are doing great, how about Hawaii? It is a liberal haven and it went all in on Obamacare. It had over 205 MILLION dollars in federal funding to set up the exchange but it became financially unviable and after the state refused to spend 28 MILLION to bail it out, it will close. Everything will be shifted to the federal exchange and people will likely have to sign up all over again.
The reality is Hawaii went all in and failed. There are several other states that have had problems with the exchanges and many issues deal with the fact that not enough people are signing up for insurance. The government is once again wasting billions of dollars on a failed program.
Markos Moulitsas is a far left wing hack who suckles at the teat of liberalism. His article was a puff piece to shower his liberal friends with fairy dust while he gets in his obligatory shots at Republicans with whom he disagrees.
I know Kos thinks Obamacare is great but if it is so wonderful why did they have to force people to get it? No one has to force people to buy an iPhone because it is a great product. The same would be true if Obamacare was so wonderful.
If it is so great why were there so many waivers granted?
It is not fully implemented and already it is costing a fortune. It is not covering everybody (a claim once made but backed off on) and it is stifling the economy.
It is not the only thing but it is one of them. Nearly every Obama policy stifles growth and Obamacare is no different.
Numbers on employment and particpation rates came from various parts of the BLS website.
Never surrender, never submit.