Some Progress, But We Could Be Doing Much More

Jonathan Chait of New York Magazine sums up the continuing success of the Affordable Care Act here :

The Commonwealth Fund has a new survey showing that the proportion of adults lacking health insurance has fallen by a quarter, from 20 percent of the population to 15 percent. (Most respondents, including 74 percent of newly-insured Republicans, report liking their plan.) Also, this week, the Congressional Budget Office again revised down its cost estimates for Medicare, which now spends $50 billion a year less than it was projected to before Obamacare passed. Also, the New England Journal of Medicine recently estimated that 20 million Americans gained insurance under the new law.

Just think what we’d be able to do in this country if the Republicans were reasonable or if there were fewer of them in office. We could have boosted the economy, for example, by investing in our infrastructure during this terrible recession instead of going crazy about the deficit. Below is a chart from Paul Krugman’s blog showing the “Great Disinvestment”, how public spending on construction has dropped in the past four years when it should have increased:

070314krugman1-blog480

3 thoughts on “Some Progress, But We Could Be Doing Much More

  1. The only good thing we can say about the great disinvestment is that Europe did it even worse. An enormous amount of suffering in the world in the last several years, for no other reason than simplistic understandings of economics.

    • Exactly right, and what’s especially amazing is that people like Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon argued for similar economic austerity (cutting government spending, limiting the amount of cash in circulation) at the start of the Great Depression, as if the real problem was impending inflation.

      • Ah, Andrew Mellon:
        “liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate farmers, liquidate real estate… it will purge the rottenness out of the system. High costs of living and high living will come down. People will work harder, live a more moral life. Values will be adjusted, and enterprising people will pick up from less competent people,”

        Even Hoover ignored this blighted advice.

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