Viewpoints: Obamacare And GDP; Involving Judiciary In Political Disputes
The Wall Street Journal: GDP's ObamaCare Downgrade
Financial markets shrugged off Wednesday's punch-in-the-stomach report that first quarter GDP shrank by 2.9% on an annual basis, far more than earlier estimates and the worst quarterly decline in five years. Optimists blame the weather and point to faster growth in the current quarter, which is reasonable but still shouldn't overlook ObamaCare's role in nearly sending the economy back into recession. January saw the formal launch of the Affordable Care Act, and its attempt to transform U.S. health insurance and medical practice. So it's notable that a major cause of the sharp downward revision in first-quarter GDP was a decline in consumer spending on health care (6/25).
The Fiscal Times: Obamacare Will Suck The Life Out Of The Economy
The word "unexpectedly" for negative economic reports has become a much-mocked cliché in the media over the past five-plus years of recovery, but this week’s final look at first-quarter economic growth deserves an exception. First estimated at a meager 0.1 percent annualized rate, and then downwardly revised to -1.0 percent in May, most economists expected a smaller revision to the downside – in the -1.5 percent-1.8 percent range. Instead, the Bureau of Economic Analysis calculated the drop as -2.9 percent, a full three percentage points lower than its initial estimate, and the worst quarter since the technical recovery began in June 2009 (Edward Morrissey, 6/26).
The Wall Street Journal: Boehner Stands Up
We'd prefer that Congress and President resolve their disputes through the normal political rough and tumble. The Constitution anticipates that the two ends of Pennsylvania Avenue will be in tension as they balance each other's power. But the major reason to involve the judiciary in this case is Mr. Obama's flagrant contempt for regular political order. For example, he has unilaterally revised, delayed or reinterpreted ObamaCare no fewer than 38 times. Far from a partisan caper, this implicates the foundation of the U.S. political architecture (6/25).
The Washington Post: The U.S.'s Exceptionally Bad Support For Parental Leave
On Monday, President Obama provided more fodder to critics who contend he’s no fan of American exceptionalism. In a speech to a White House conference on working families, he lamented the fact that the United States was the one developed nation that doesn’t provide paid maternity leave. In an era when the vast majority of families must have both parents working just to make ends meet, our laissez-faire attitude toward taking care of the kids — newborns particularly — has overburdened millions of mothers and fathers (Harold Meyerson, 6/25).
The Washington Post's She The People: Older Women Bear The Brunt Of Higher Insurance Costs Under Obamacare
These differences are shown by two recent reports with sharply different implications. The government’s report shows that federal tax credits make health insurance premiums more affordable for everyone. The academics’ report, however, shows that women age 55 to 64 will face a huge spike in cost when they go out to buy individual insurance on the federal exchange. These women bear the brunt of the increased premiums and out of pocket expenses after the Affordable Care Act (Joann Weiner, 6/24).
Forbes: Architect Of Private Option Loses Election, Is Medicaid Expansion Turning Politically Lethal For State Lawmakers?
U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s stunning loss in the Virginia primary to underfunded insurgent candidate David Brat sent shock waves through the national political establishment, but its impact on the American people may rival the outcome of a state senate primary in Arkansas, as the architect of the "Private Option" Medicaid expansion lost his primary largely on the expansion issue. Lawmakers in the 24 states that have not expanded are starting to see the potential political fallout from supporting an "alternative" Medicaid expansion plan (Jonathan Ingram, Nic Horton and Josh Archambault, 6/26).
The Chicago Sun-Times: Affordable Health Care Comes With An Unexpected Cost
Whether we like it or not, from the day we come into this world, we are in the process of leaving it. Yet, too many of us are totally unprepared financially for the certainty of death. Obviously, when you are struggling to get through each day, you’re not thinking about funeral arrangements. But someone’s going to have to pay. Under these sad circumstances, low-income families turn to the state for assistance (Mary Mitchell, 6/25).
The Star Tribune: Home Health Care: Abandoned And In Need
I was outraged when my personal care assistant (PCA) did not show up one morning. I had been in bed for 12 hours, soaking in my own urine. I was paralyzed from the waist down and was unable to get out of bed without the help of an aide. I kept calling the home health service, and they continually told me they hadn’t found anyone to come and help me. After reading the article in the June 22 Star Tribune (“Weak home care rules victimize the frail, sick”), I felt my situation was minor, but it still should not have happened. People of Minnesota, we are putting the care of our loved ones in the hands of untrained aides working for poorly managed companies. We cannot let this happen (Kathryn Holmes, 6/25).
The Wall Street Journal: This Story Is Gluten-Free
The latest assault on traditional diets seems to have missed the target. As Julie Jargon noted in the Journal this week, "Many health experts say there is no proven benefit to going gluten-free except for a small sliver of the population whose bodies can't process the protein. Indeed, according to nutritional food labels, many gluten-free foods contain fewer vitamins, less fiber and more sugar. It is a point some food makers don't dispute, saying they are simply responding to consumer demand without making health claims." Meanwhile, the decades-old war on fatty meat may also be approaching an inconclusive end, and it doesn't smell like victory (James Freeman, 6/25).