WASHINGTON, April 30 (Reuters) – As the U.S. economy teetered on the brink of contraction in the first quarter, one thing stood out. Healthcare spending increased at its fastest pace in more than three decades.
That surge is attributed to the implementation of President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Because of Obamacare, the nation narrowly avoided its first decline in output in three years.
“GDP growth would have … been negative were it not for healthcare spending,” said Harm Bandholz, chief economist at UniCredit Research in New York.
Healthcare spending increased at a 9.9 percent annual rate, the quickest since the third quarter of 1980, and it contributed 1.1 percentage points to GDP growth.
The economy expanded at only a 0.1 percent rate in the first quarter, held back by a drop in exports and business investment, which economists attributed to a harsh winter. A sharp slowdown in the pace of inventory accumulation was also a drag.
The gauge of healthcare spending published on Wednesday is simply an estimate based on Medicaid benefits, ACA insurance exchange enrollments, and other related information. Firm data will not be available until June, and the government could well revise its figures for both healthcare and overall GDP.
Let me issue a few corrections to this White House talking points memo disguised as a “straight news piece.” 1) There will be no “firm” numbers on Obamacare from this administration. Ever. 2) Constant “revisions” in economic numbers are a hallmark of Team Obama (see 1). 3) Millions lost plans they liked, lost jobs, or had their FT status cut to part time as a result of Obamacare. This is not “saving” the economy, no matter how high the Reuters cheerleaders jump for our celebrity President.
What we’re seeing here is the latest attempt by the mainstream media to “rehabilitate” the reputation of Obamacare in the eyes of the American public. Most people don’t like it – many (and not just on the right) absolutely despise it. After months of (finally) trying to hammer the administration and Congressional Democrats over their lies on “if you like it you can keep it” (which the right predicted would happen before the bill was shoved down the throats of the American people), the MSM is back into “cover Obama” mode – especially on this issue. Just in time for the election season as it kicks into high gear. They’re already trying desperately to find people who Obamacare has “helped”, and have managed to locate a few – as if that makes up for all the damage done from its passage in the first place.
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t fall for their attempts at whitewashing the truth. Obamacare is and always will be an utter failure, because you can’t take back the pain and misery this has caused average citizens in terms of health care, health costs, job security, and full time status. As the old saying goes, you can paint an old barn a shiny shade of red, but in the end it’s still gonna be the same old barn. Would someone alert Reuters, please?
Related: Twitchy Team – ‘Not a joke’: Brit Hume calls Reuters’ absurd Obamacare spin ‘classic liberal thinking’