Rise in Poverty and the Uninsured Results from Bad Policy

9.21.10 – Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Michael Ramlet – President Obama's economic policies have created a jobs gap — the difference between promise and reality.

Liberals have seized on the release of new poverty and uninsurance rates in the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey as evidence of the virtue of their massive expansion of government spending programs and new health insurance entitlement. But is this really true?

It is hardly surprising that a severe recession would increase poverty. Neither is it a shock that the employer-based system would be stressed by severe labor market conditions. Maybe the answer is less, or at least better, economic policies that would spill over to improved rates of health insurance. Indeed, a closer look reveals that a significant portion of the increase in uninsured Americans, 41.3 percent, is attributable to the failure of the Obama policies to spur economic activity as promised.

As part of selling the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — “stimulus” in the political parlance — the White House predicted that it would ensure that unemployment remained below 8 percent. As a dismayed labor force is well aware, the unemployment rate is currently 9.6 percent and averaged 9.3 percent during 2009. The “jobs gap” — the difference between promise and reality — means that 1.8 million more Americans were in the ranks of the uninsured in 2009.


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September 21st, 2010

Staff Reporter EducationNews.org

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