With millions of Americans gaining coverage through President Obama’s health care law, health care spending spiked by a staggering 9.9 percent in the first quarter of 2014 — the fastest rate since 1980 – according to data released Wednesday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Obamacare was pitched as a plan to reduce health care spending, and formally titled the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” In 2009, Obama called the status quo – in which health care spending was accelerating toward becoming one-fifth of the economy – “unsustainable.”
Were it not for the rise in health care spending, the economy would have contracted by 1 percent in the quarter, instead of growing at a meager 0.1 percent, according to Ian Shepherdson, the chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, as quoted by Business Insider. The article also quotes a BEA spokesperson as saying the spike in spending, “reflects additional spending associated with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.”
So the extra mandatory health care spending is a good thing… because now we’re in a recession instead of a depression.
Thank you Obama. You are absolutely amazing.
If we can just somehow make ordinary life much more amazing, think of the economic growth. And speaking of that…
As temperatures plunged to 16 below zero in Chicago in early January and set record lows across the eastern U.S., electrical system managers implored the public to turn off stoves, dryers and even lights or risk blackouts.
A fifth of all power-generating capacity in a grid serving 60 million people went suddenly offline, as coal piles froze, sensitive electrical equipment went haywire and utility operators had trouble finding enough natural gas to keep power plants running. The wholesale price of electricity skyrocketed to nearly $2 per kilowatt hour, more than 40 times the normal rate. The price hikes cascaded quickly down to consumers. Robert Thompson, who lives in the suburbs of Allentown, Pa., got a $1,250 bill for January.
“I thought, how am I going to pay this?” he recalled. “This was going to put us in the poorhouse.”
There is a growing fragility in the U.S. electricity system, experts warn, the result of the shutdown of coal-fired plants, reductions in nuclear power, a shift to more expensive renewable energy and natural gas pipeline constraints. The result is likely to be future price shocks. And they may not be temporary.
One recent study predicts the cost of electricity in California alone could jump 47% over the next 16 years, in part because of the state’s shift toward more expensive renewable energy.
Check out that economic growth. The future looks bright. If you own a government funded solar company.
Until it goes bankrupt.