First quarter reports reveal the “GDP shrank by 2.9% on an annual basis, far more than earlier estimates and the worst quarterly decline in five years.” The Wall Street Journal,
“Health spending is nearly always a positive contributor to GDP, and in the fourth quarter of 2013 it contributed 0.62%. But health spending fell so sharply in the first quarter that it subtracted 0.16% from economic growth. The Bureau of Economic Analysis, which calculates GDP, hadn’t been able to capture the magnitude of the health spending decline in its two previous estimates of first quarter growth.
“The decline is especially shocking given that the arc of health spending is always up. The explanation can’t be that Americans suddenly had less demand for health care, or had a healthier winter. Our guess is that the turmoil caused by the disastrous ObamaCare rollout confused many consumers into delaying their health purchases. ObamaCare also caused millions of Americans to lose insurance they liked, and it no doubt took time for many to find new policies that suited them and they could afford.”
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