Paul Van de Water testified today before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce to discuss the impact of health reform (i.e., the Affordable Care Act) on jobs, the economy, and the workforce. Van de Water said the Affordable Care Act (ACA) “will significantly strengthen our nation’s economy over the long haul, although initially its effects will be modest.” Here are a few other important takeaways from his testimony:
BEYOND THE NUMBERS
Here’s some good news. In 2009, in the depths of the Great Recession, the number and percentage of children who lacked health insurance did not rise – even as the total number of Americans without insurance rose by 4 million, to 51 million. Why? Because even as many kids lost the coverage they had through their parents’ employers, they had an alternative: public programs like the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid.
The legislation that Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Bob Corker (R-TN) introduced this week to limit total federal spending to 20.6 percent of the Gross Domestic Product includes a new “sequestration” process — automatic spending cuts if the spending limit is exceeded — that has some features in common with those now used to enforce the pay-as-you-go law and that were part of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings (GRH) law in the late 1980s. But the McCaskill-Corker sequestration is dramatically different in one key respect — it would potentially impose big cuts in entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
We briefed reporters this afternoon about the new proposal from Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) to limit total federal spending to 20.6 percent of GDP, the average from 1970 to 2008. Explaining why this proposal would force draconian cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and many other programs and make it harder for the nation to recover from recession, here’s some of what Paul Van de Water had to say:
We just issued an analysis of the new proposal from Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) to limit total federal spending to 20.6 percent of GDP, the average from 1970 to 2008. As our report explains, the proposal would force draconian cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and many other programs while making it harder for the nation to recover from recession:
As we noted earlier, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released a report today explaining why a statutory spending limit like the one Senators Corker and McCaskill have proposed would ultimately lead to draconian cuts in crucial programs like Social Security and Medicare and also could have highly damaging effects in future economic downturns.
Even as a number of states challenge the health reform law (the Affordable Care Act, or ACA) in court, virtually every state has begun deciding how to implement a key part of it: creating state-based exchanges that will give individuals and small businesses a choice of coverage options and promote competition among insurance companies. A study panel of the National Academy of Social Insurance released a toolkit last week to help states design these exchanges to offer affordable and accessible coverage.
With House Budget Committee Chair Ryan scheduled to deliver the Republican response to the President’s State of the Union address tomorrow, this is an appropriate time to take another look at the major budget plan Rep. Ryan announced last year. (We’ve issued analyses both of the plan as a whole and of its proposed changes to Social Security.)
The House of Representatives votes today on a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Yesterday we listed five pieces of the law that have already taken effect — and that we would lose if Congress repealed health reform. Below are five major, positive effects that the law will have over the next several years — but which we won’t achieve if health reform is repealed.
In this podcast, we’ll discuss myths about health reform’s impact on jobs and the deficit. I’m Shannon Spillane and I’m joined by Paul Van de Water, Senior Fellow here at the Center.