Tuesday, January 24, 2012

White House: Hiding from Obamacare?

An hour ago, the White House released its prime talking points ahead of the President’s State of the Union Address tonight – and they are most noteworthy for what you will NOT find included.  At no point in the document do the words “health care,” “health insurance,” or anything related to Obamacare appear.  In other words, fewer than two years after signing a 2700-page law the White House dubbed “historic,” and others have called “majestic,” the White House is apparently afraid to spend even one ounce of political capital defending or promoting the measure in its prime agenda-setting opportunity for the entire year.

And with reason.  Not only is the measure still widely unpopular, it’s hurting economic growth at a time when unemployment remains stubbornly high:

  • Last week a survey of small businesses found 74% said that Obamacare makes it harder for their firms to hire new workers;
  • Analysts at UBS have stated that Obamacare is “arguably the biggest impediment to hiring, particularly hiring of less skilled workers;” and
  • The President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta has “frequently heard strong comments to the effect of ‘my company won’t hire a single additional worker until we know what health insurance costs are going to be.’”

Speaker Pelosi famously said we had to pass the bill to find out what’s in it.  Judging from their deafening silence about the matter ahead of the State of the Union, it appears the White House has finally found out what’s in the bill – or discovered that the American people don’t like what’s in it either.