Over the past year, job growth has nearly ground to a halt here in Ohio. From January through August 2014, Ohio gained only 5,289 jobs according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics . Ohio ranks near the bottom in job growth nationwide. And while the U.S. has recovered all of the jobs lost during the Great Recession, Ohio, under the leadership of John Kasich, is still down over 213,000 jobs.
And whose fault is it? John Kasich? Mark Kvamme? JobsOhio?
Well, if you believe a new mailer being circulated by the Kasich campaign, then the blame falls solely on Barack Obama and his signature healthcare program.
The front of the mailer declares “Obamacare Stops Jobs” in large, scary letters and pictures what appears to be an unemployed construction worker holding a sign reading “Need A Job.” The inside explains, in Kasich’s own words, why “Obamacare Must Be Stopped,” warning that Obamacare is causing higher medical costs and more government spending and claiming that this is somehow hurting job growth in Ohio. The mailer fails to provide any proof to support the claims, likely because everything it says is a straight up lie.
According to the USA Today, “Innovations adopted and accelerated by the 2010 health care law will continue to force down overall Medicare costs.” The Congressional Budget Office expects a “$618 billion drop in projected Medicare and Medicaid spending over the next decade” as a direct result of Obamacare. And in the first quarter of 2014 “the U.S. spent $6.4 billion less on health care… than in the last quarter of 2013.” That’s a 1.4 percent decrease in spending.
And about that claim that Obamacare kills jobs? Forbes reports that since Obamacare was implemented, the U.S. has gained over 1 million new jobs in the healthcare industry. That’s actually pretty good news for Ohio. Team NEO, part of JobsOhio’s economic development network, put out a report in July showing that the health-care industry is Northeast Ohio’s “largest employment growth sector.”
If John Kasich wasn’t so concerned about further alienating his right-wing base, he could take some credit for helping grow the health-care sector. Instead, the mailer clearly wants recipients to believe that John Kasich is against Obamacare, and fails to mention that the Kasich Administration bypassed the Ohio Legislature to implement one of Obamacare’s key provisions : the expansion of Medicaid. With this expansion, over 300,000 Ohioans could end up with government health benefits.
Obamacare has gone exactly as expected. It has lowered health costs for employers, consumers, and government agencies while drastically expanding access. It has also helped create over a million new jobs in the process.
Conversely, John Kasich has overseen Ohio’s decline from a state on the fast track to recovery, a state with one of the best job growth rates in the nation, to a state with a halted recovery and one of the worst job growth rates in the county.
We know John Kasich will continue to look for a scapegoat for the failed policies that have killed Ohio’s post-recession economic recovery, but Obamacare is not to blame. Our advice for the Governor? Find a nice big mirror.
(Special thanks to friend of the blog Loretta Cole for sending us the mailer!)