Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Middle Class Families Squeezed

It is important to note that health-care cost increases of 24.2% and 42.1% for health insurance from 2007-2013 overlap the Affordable Care Act’s passage and performance since 2010. The law, as we all know, promised to have the opposite effect on health costs and health insurance.

Richard L. Reece, MD, Old Saybrook, Conn, Letter to the Editor, December 16, Wall Street Journal

As you can see, I made it to the Letters to the Editor section of the Wall Street Journal, America’s most widely daily circulated newspaper at 2.3 million, followed by the New York Times at 2.2 million, and USA Today at 1.2 million.

I read all 3, but I concentrate on the Wall Street Journal because it concentrates on the effect of ObamaCare on the economy, which it believes to be negative. The Times is more ideological. It focuses on how ObamaCare helps the uninsured. USAToday treads more neutral middle ground.

Since 2009, under the Obama administration the economy has grown an average of 2%, versus 4 to 5% in previous recession recoveries under Presidents Reagan and Clinton.

When Obama assumed office, 85% of Americans were satisfied with the health system. Today that percentage is much lower. At least 59% oppose ObamaCare and 54% support its repeal. Opposition of ObamaCare and dissatisfaction with the economy both contributed to the recent midterm election results.

Election results reflected a middle class revolt, largely of the working class, hungry for jobs and opportunity, against Obama economic policies.

Republicans will have to prove they can put together bipartisan policies that grow the economy while containing health costs for the middle class and expanding access to care for all.

President Obama has misread American culture. The majority believe government is best that governs least , that provides equal opportunity but not necessarily equal results for all, and that delivers on its promises of lower health costs for families while allowing them to pick their health plans while keeping their doctors and hospitals. You can only squeeze the middle class health care and economic lemon so much before it runs dry. When you're in a political bind, sometimes you throw out the covering rind.

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