White House defends Obamacare impact on economy
July 30th, 2013
11:17 AM ET
12 months ago

White House defends Obamacare impact on economy

Washington (CNN) - The White House is continuing to push back against a barrage of criticism and some recent bad press about the effect of President Obama's health care law on the overall economy.

In a nearly hour-long briefing for health care reporters on Monday, a senior White House official clicked through PowerPoint slides filled with graphs showing ways in which the current economic recovery is stronger than its predecessors, and used that data to debunk claims that the Affordable Care Act has been a drag on the U.S. economy.

In recent weeks, Republicans and other critics of the legislation now commonly known as Obamacare have claimed that the bill is causing U.S. employers to delay hiring and scale back the hours of full-time workers.

Using trends starting with passage of the ACA, the official argued that rates of job growth in both industries that are likely to offer health insurance and less likely to offer health insurance has either exceeded or matched that of previous economic recoveries. The official highlighted the restaurant industry in particular as a sector that has far outpaced others in both hiring and increases in hours worked by its employees, facts they emphasized in two animated GIFs on the White House Tumblr page.

This, the official argued, runs counter to anecdotal stories seen in recent media reports that restaurants are scaling back hours due to the ACA. The official warned against drawing a broader conclusion from such stories, explaining that the provision on part-time employees affects less than 1% of all workers.

Most of the provisions of the ACA have yet to be implemented, and Monday's briefing featured entirely historical data. The official balked when asked to project future economic effects of the legislation, but said that if implementation goes smoothly, and more states begin buying into its coverage-expansion provisions, there's no reason to expect the positive trends couldn't continue.

Chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisors Alan Krueger also authored a blog post on the White House website to argue that the rise in health care costs is slowing.

"Prices for personal consumption expenditures (PCE) on health care goods and services rose just 1.1 percent over the twelve months ending in May 2013, the slowest rate of increase in nearly 50 years," Krueger wrote. He goes on to cite a recent study released by the Department of Health and Human Services, and numbers from the Congressional Budget Office and the Bureau of Labor Statistics that show similar trends.

"Data from across the economy – covering consumers, government, and private employers – point to the same conclusion: health care cost growth has slowed," Krueger concludes.


Filed under: Health care • President Obama
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. sonny chapman

    The same cries that were heard when Minimum Wage, Child Labor Laws, Social Security, Medicare, EPA Regs. were first enacted. And when Galileo said that Earth was round.

    July 30, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  2. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Mr. President, thank you for caring about those of us who aren't wealthy lobbyists.

    July 30, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  3. Tom1940

    Actions speak louder than words. We are at the point in the Obama Presidency, that folks should "watch actions", not listen to word spoken by this President. The question that comes to mind, when the "White House defends Obamacare", is if it is so "gooooood!, then why is the President proposing to delay implementation of "all" of it's provisions, instead of just parts now, and other parts later. Either it's all "goooood", or it ain't!

    July 30, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  4. no name

    Obama may be a great speaker and a good family man, but , running the Country isnt his strong point.. and it shows in his last 5 yrs in office , he doesnt know what hes doing !

    July 30, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Premiums are estimated to go down by as much as 50% in NYC. What negative affect? The law is doing what it was intended to do.

    July 30, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  6. Jason

    If Obamacare is so great why are unions who were all for it do not want it now. Why are Democrats who voted for trying to distance themselves from it.

    July 30, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  7. Steveo

    I have two questions! If the ACA is so good:

    1. Why all the union waivers?
    2. As reported by the Contra Costa Times, why is the ACA Call Center hiring mostly part timers with no benefits? Yet they are to explain how good the ACA is!

    July 30, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  8. Romney is STILL NOT My Hero

    "...the bill is causing U.S. employers to delay hiring and scale back the hours of full-time workers."

    Translation – All of the ultra rich people are trying to get out of paying more to keep their employees happy. To hell with what other people need in order to keep or imporve their quality of life. I want my overpriced car, private island, and multiple houses!

    July 30, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  9. Sandy

    It's working for me! I'm saving over $500 a month by having my college age kids on my health insurance. Before Obamacare was passed, I was paying an extra $500 a month for my 19 year old to be insured on a separate policy. He has his own job and healthcare now, but my 20 year old daughter in college is on my plan now, still saving me over $500. Thank you, President Obama!

    July 30, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Tom1940 wrote:

    Actions speak louder than words. We are at the point in the Obama Presidency, that folks should "watch actions", not listen to word spoken by this President. The question that comes to mind, when the "White House defends Obamacare", is if it is so "gooooood!, then why is the President proposing to delay implementation of "all" of it's provisions, instead of just parts now, and other parts later. Either it's all "goooood", or it ain't!
    ------------
    Why delays for companies? Two reasons. One, the lawsuits against the ACA delayed government implementation of it. Two, many companies were so convinced that the law would get struck down by the SCOTUS in 2012 that they did next to nothing to prepare for actually implementing it a year later.

    July 30, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. gerry

    Obama could do more if he wasn't blocked all the time by the GOP. and their politics. They care nothing of the middle class. That's ok we'll vote them out soon.

    July 30, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  12. Becker

    Obama is irrelevant. We all know Obamacare has hurt the economy and will continue to do so. Obama tried to sabotage the oil business and has tried to take credit for advancements done by the genius of the private sector but we all kept working and it has paid off. Government kills business and they never learn from mistakes.

    July 30, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  13. Getoverit

    @Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Premiums are estimated to go down by as much as 50% in NYC. What negative affect? The law is doing what it was intended to do.
    -------
    Sure. After they've already increased by 100%. What a bargain!

    July 30, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  14. freedom

    The middle class will be gutted with this destructive "healthcare" law. It's not about healthcare at all – it's about the transformation of America. The lower income groups will be fully dependent on the government until they literally – die, and the middle class will be pressured to pay for everything. The wealthy will pay beyond their fair share – but will stay wealthy. The people who voted this man into office will be in the group suffering the most.

    July 30, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  15. Steve Hamilton

    It's clear to me that the jury is going to be out on the ACA for a fairly long period of time. Realistically, today's polls don't mean beans; polls go up and down like ocean waves. For instance, people in the state of New York, who saw a 50% decrease in premiums love the ACA; but the experience of some other groups hasn't been as positive. I think that by November 2014, we will all have a much clearer picture of the law's pluses and minuses. GOP warnings that the sky is falling have to be seriously discounted, of course. We're going to have to see actual results not forecasts.

    July 30, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  16. omeany

    It will be interesting to see what the detractors of the ACA have to say once it is enacted. Seems like anything that might benefit the average American "will never work" but the same is never said of tax cuts for the rich will be "good" for the economy which has proven many times over to be a failure. I think I'll wait and see what the real effect this will have on the average American and the economy then decide whether it is a success or failure.

    July 30, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  17. Steveo

    @Malory Archer

    Steveo

    .... she is NOT in the Congress but at the state level!

    Is it too hard to just wish them well?

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Tha'ts funny – according to her bio she's a U.S. Congresswoman representing Southwest Washington's Third District. But of course YOU know more than anyone. Nice try, but those internets gotcha! Additionally, would you be wishing them well if they were too poor to pay for medical coverage and relied on the taxpayer to pick up the million-dollar + tab for an experimental procedure?
    ------–
    Real simple Mallory, I misread her title. Misreading,...we ALL do it from time to time. As for wishing her and her family well? YES, her baby is alive. Yes I wish them well, no matter who paid the bill! Don't you?

    July 30, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |