For Immediate Release
Weiner and Agnew cite 300, 000 healthcare jobs added in 2014 and 18 million more Americans with access to health insurance as proof of ACA’s success some Presidential candidates trying to take away
(Washington, DC)- Former White House Spokesman and House Aging Committee and Health Subcommittee Chief of Staff Robert Weiner and Policy Analyst Brendan Agnew point out the Affordable Care Act’s successes in job creation and insurance coverage, countering Republican attacks on the Act. The authors highlight findings from the Census Bureau, Health and Human Services, and the Bureau of Labor statistics that show the act has been a proven success: it has broadened coverage and added health sector jobs in the past year and been of particular benefit to African American and low-income communities.
Weiner and Agnew have published an op-ed for Op-ed News, one of the country’s top fifty progressive news sources, “Health Law’s Big Numbers of Jobs and Insured Should Quiet Opponents”.
The pair criticizes Republican presidential candidates for sidestepping the facts on the campaign trail, asking, “Where are mentions of the more than 300,000 new health care jobs the act added in 2014 alone because of millions of new people given health care? Or the increase in health insurance coverage in every state of the union, or people living longer?” “Would they take away the new health coverage of some 18 million people and the better benefits for perhaps 100 million?” they asked. “Would they stop the slowing of rate hikes by the insurance companies?”
The authors examine how communities like Harlem in New York City have benefited from ACA expansion: “Harlem’s Institute for Family Health, which provides physical and behavioral healthcare and dental service to low-income Harlem residents, last year received $4,800, 000 in grants thanks to the ACA. The institute and other clinics in the city have relied on such grants to extend care to thousands of New Yorkers,” Weiner and Agnew explain.
The authors add that the Act has benefitted racial minorities in particular, noting:
“This year also saw 2.3 million African American adults gaining healthcare coverage. There was 10.3 percent decrease in the uninsured numbers among this group. Although all racial minority groups saw significant gains, African Americans reaped the most befits of the ACA.”
In addition to asserting the benefits of the act, the authors discuss how ACA opponents overstate its costs. “When opponents say ‘costs are going up” they conveniently neglect that the decade before Obamacare passed, insurance premiums went up more than 10% each year – a whopping 137 percent total. Now however, they are either down or a few percentage points higher each year since passage.”
The authors go on to address national jobs numbers, arguing, “If the Act were repealed, the loss of tax revenue and economic activity from the public sector jobs the Act has created would be costly. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 311,000 jobs were added in the healthcare sector in 2014. In fact, as manufacturing jobs have moved overseas, health care is America’s biggest source of new jobs because of the millions of new beneficiaries with new or expanded coverage”.
The piece also point to job creation as a success of the act: “ Since October 2010, after the ACA’s passage, the United States has enjoyed 60 straight months – five years – of employment growth. This is the longest job-growth streak since World War II.”
The authors conclude: “As a way to bash the President, the ACA will apparently remain an inevitable talking point as the Republican primary approaches. It is unlikely that any candidates will admit to its proven successes. Senator Ted Cruz Promises in debates to ‘through regulatory reform, repeal every word’ of the Act. Trump, Christie, Carson, and others mention “repealing” or “replacing” Obamacare, including Trump’s November radio ads just out. So much for the millions who, now insured, create the record low uninsured rate. Yet it’s not likely that even a President Trump, Carson, Cruz, or Rubio would have enough “chutzpah” to take away any or better coverage from tens of millions if elected.”
obert Weiner is a former spokesman for the Clinton White House, former Chief of Staff of the House Aging Committee and Health Subcommittee, and was senior staff for Reps. John Conyers, Charles Rangel, Claude Pepper, Ed Koch and Sen. Edward Kennedy. Brendan Agnew is Economic Policy Analyst at Robert Weiner Associates and Solutions for Change.
Contact: Bob Weiner / Ben Lasky 301-283-0821 Cell 202-306-1200