Larry Summers: Obamacare Is Already Accomplishing More Than Expected

Since the Affordable Care Act passed, the U.S. has finally bent the curve on health costs downward

By Matthew J. Belvedere

Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers told CNBC on Wednesday that Obamacare has already yielded benefits to the economy. He also said the Federal Reserve should concentrate on pushing the economy to expand.

"If you look at the medium run and the long run, the important thing that's happened for growth is, that in the last three years since Obamacare was passed, we have bent the [cost] curve on health-care costs," he said in a "Squawk Box" interview.

The problems with the federal health insurance website HealthCare.gov have been "exciting theater" for the media, the former Obama advisor said. "Getting it right is obviously going to be important to fully getting the benefits of Obamacare."

But he said that health-care reform has cut costs as a percentage of GDP. "That offers huge promise with respect to the future of the federal deficit, which looks much less serious than it did even a couple of years ago."

Summers had been a leading candidate to take succeed Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Fed, until President Barack Obama chose Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen for the top post. Her confirmation hearing is scheduled for Thursday. "I think Janet Yellen will do a great job at the Fed," he predicted.

When the subject of the Fed's $85 billion monthly bond purchases came up, Summers wouldn't comment on whether the central bank should taper or not, but he did say that the central bank's "primary policy emphasis needs to be on spurring growth going forward."

He argued that there have been some profoundly positive things going on in the economy, but "we haven't caught up the economy's potential."

He also said the energy boom in the U.S. has also been greatly beneficial to economic growth. "We're going to be a net exporter of energy five years from now. That would have been inconceivable at the beginning of the president's term."

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Larry Summers: Obamacare Is Already Accomplishing More Than Expected

LOL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

November 16 2013 at 11:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bukshui17

another man with power on crack. jerks like this is why this world is doomed!!!!!

November 15 2013 at 11:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
betty_brock

More damage to America than expected.

November 15 2013 at 8:50 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
RouteUS66Busload

Not True.

November 15 2013 at 3:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim Adams

Where do they continue to find these blooming idiots. My preimium went up, my coverage went down, but they added maternity coverage and some other BS I don't want but now have to pay for. Now you have an additional tax if sell your house. You will be hit with an added tax of 3.8% of the amount of your gain, this is al;most as much as you will pay for your state income tax. Wake up America, we have been sold a bill of goods by our leader. Obama care is bad for our country - for those that believe just wait.

November 15 2013 at 12:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
orion72101

This worthless SHILL, and his more PHONY pal Paul Krugman, should go start their own country, and leave our economy alone!

November 15 2013 at 11:55 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
bacarner

BULLCRAP - LARRY SUMMERS YOU ARE FULL OF CRAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
HEALTHCARE PREMIUMS HAVE SKY ROCKETED ACROSS THE US

YOU LYING PIECE OF CRAP

November 15 2013 at 9:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hrdbal51

Just another liar.....tyrannist. This Administration needs to go and the sooner the better.

November 15 2013 at 6:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Davie2743

That statement sounds like Joseph Goebbels Nazi propaganda.

November 14 2013 at 10:57 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
dweeeb.buster

Among the most despicable traits of the Panderer in Chief that was on full display today is his obscene arrogance.

If you missed the Panderers faux apology for his attacks on American citizens, catch a replay and pay attention to the conclusion where he takes a parting shot at the reporters to whom he was speaking, and who have long served as apologists for his epic failure.

What a pathetic POS

November 14 2013 at 7:12 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply