"Obamacare is killing jobs." For more than four years, Congressional Republicans have relentlessly pushed that same talking point. In March 2010, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner published an op-ed calling Obamacare a "job-killing monstrosity." In June 2010, House Republicans released a 43-page report about Obamacare claiming "American Jobs Already Under Attack." And in November 2010, the Republicans’ “job killing” claims about Obamacare helped them take over the House of Representatives.
But in 2014, unlike in 2010, Americans have the benefit of several years of hard evidence that can be used to judge the Republicans’ doom-and-gloom predictions. And what has actually happened since Obamacare became law is precisely the opposite of what Republicans’ claimed in 2010 (and are still claiming today).
Since the President signed the Affordable Care Act, our businesses have created more than 9 million jobs, and the unemployment rate has dropped more than 3 percentage points:
A closer look at the monthly jobs numbers shows how America went from losing nearly 800,000 private-sector jobs a month at the end of the last Republican Administration to gaining jobs again within a year of President Obama signing the 2009 Recovery Act (the Stimulus). And since the President signed the 2010 Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), the economy has been creating an average of more than 185,000 private-sector jobs a month:
In addition to the jobs comeback under Obamacare, millions of lives have been directly impacted by the expansion of health coverage:
"More than eight million Americans signed up through the Marketplace …. In addition, over 4.8 million more people have been covered by states through Medicaid and CHIP programs, around 3 million more Americans under 26 are covered under their parents’ plans, and recent estimates show that an additional 5 million people have purchased coverage outside of the Marketplace in Affordable Care Act-compliant plans."
Moreover, the law is delivering cost-saving benefits that have largely gone under the radar during the political debate:
[A]verage premiums for coverage through the marketplaces are about 15 percent lower than the CBO previously projected….. The rate of increase in real health spending per person is at its lowest point in 50 years and more than 3 percentage points under the historical average ….
Just by phasing out the infamous “donut hole” created in the 2003 prescription drug law, the ACA has saved almost 8 million seniors nearly $10 billion. On top of that, real growth in Medicare spending per beneficiary has averaged virtually zero since 2010—that means lower premiums and out-of-pocket costs for our parents and grandparents. And, since the law’s passage, actuaries have extended the life of the Medicare trust fund by almost 10 years….. Since the law passed, average Medicare Advantage premiums are down by more than 9 percent, enrollment in plans has increased by 38 percent and the quality of plans has steadily gotten better.
And slowing down the growth of health care spending doesn’t just benefit policyholders, it benefits the country’s bottom line: