Some will chalk this up to just more bout of President Obama cheerleading because any good news – no matter how many Americans in general or South Carolinians in particular are helped – some of the president’s harshest, most persistent critics believe he is either evil or incompetent (or both) and can’t be moved by new information that disproves their deeply-held theories about the policies coming out of the White House.
But for everyone else: A provision of the Affordable Care Act was designed to make sure private insurers, who stand to benefit from millions of new customers because of reform, don’t focus too much on profit and executive salaries to the detriment of covering actual health services for their customers. Insurers have to spend at least 80 percent of revenue for such services. When they don’t, they must hand out premium refunds. This year that total is $13 million, or about $92 per person in South Carolina, well above the national average. Americans have saved about $9 billion so far.
In addition to that, a new report confirmed what many others had already found, that the ACA, aka Obamacare, lowered the uninsured rate and has brought health insurance to at least 10 million Americans for the first time.
Americans are still signing up for coverage, with enrollment in the exchanges approaching 9 million.
As with any law of this magnitude, there will be glitches and other issues.
Oh, and the jobs market seems to continue strengthening, with another big drop in weekly jobless claims to a level not seen in 8 years.
Of course, every economic recovery – especially one that is coming on the heels of the worst economic downturn – has its unevenness, meaning we don’t yet know how that number will translate into the unemployment rate or overall job creation for August, and while the S&P continues to break new records, we don’t know when a long- anticipated correction will occur.
The housing market, while no longer in the doldrums, is far from being healed.