Give Health Care Law Some Blame for Economy
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A poll by The Hill newspaper (via Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey) finds that 52% of likely voters believe the country is in worse condition now than four years ago, and only 31% think it’s in better condition. Based on a Gallup poll showing public confidence in the economy is again at a 2012 low, it’s safe to say that much of this malaise stems from the lackluster economy.
Slow economic growth and high unemployment can be partially blamed on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) according to The Washington Post’s Robert Samuelson:
Passing the [PPACA] (a.k.a. Obamacare) weakened the economy. For starters, the complex law discourages job creation by forcing some firms to provide health insurance or pay a fine. If you make hiring harder and costlier, you will get less of it.
The bruising, drawn-out fight to ram the 2000+ page bill into law then made it harder to find compromise on other policy debates:
What followed were stalemates on budget policy, last year’s debt-ceiling brinkmanship and today’s anxiety over the “fiscal cliff.” Uncertainty spawns fear, and fear causes consumers and companies to step back — to postpone purchases, investment projects or hiring.
Repealing the PPACA would make it less costly for companies to hire workers. As for reducing policy uncertainty, that’ll be a heavier lift. One step is for Washington to avoid the “fiscal cliff” of automatic tax hikes and haphazard budget cuts. Another is for policy makers to acknowledge that policy uncertainty is a problem.