The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill

Despite ‘jobs recovery,’ millions more Americans hooked on Medicaid, food stamps — and Biden’s to blame

In recent weeks, President Biden has continued his longstanding and deceptive tradition of claiming his administration has ushered in an era of unprecedented economic growth.

“This has been the fastest and strongest jobs recovery in American history, and it would not have been possible without the decisive action my Administration took last year to fix a broken COVID response, and pass the American Rescue Plan to get our economy back on track,” Biden said in a July 8 statement to the press.

Although it’s true that millions of jobs have been recovered since Biden entered the White House, few, if any, were the result of his administration’s efforts to “fix a broken COVID response” or the passage of the costly, inflation-inducing American Rescue Plan.

The vast majority of jobs recovered were the direct result of the development of COVID-19 vaccines – an achievement that occurred under the Trump administration, not Biden – and because state governments, not the White House, finally came to their senses in 2021 and reversed course on numerous draconian policies that had kept much of their economies closed throughout 2020.

Most importantly, Biden’s misleading claims make no mention of the myriad economic crises now brewing as a direct result of Democrats’ reckless policies, including the millions more Americans who are hooked on government welfare programs despite relatively low unemployment and more than 11 million job openings.

Enrollment in Medicaid and the Children Health Insurance Program (CHIP) offers an excellent illustration of this disturbing trend. In February 2020, just prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in America, there were 71.2 million people enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP. As of March 2022, the most recently available data, enrollment was nearly 87.9 million, an increase of 23 percent in just over two years.

Although most of the rise in Medicaid enrollment occurred in 2020, when millions of workers lost their employment a result of government-imposed lockdowns, a sizeable chunk of the increase occurred during Biden’s time in the White House.

According to data from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services, enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP skyrocketed by more than 6 million from March 2021 to March 2022. But, strangely, during the same period, the number of Americans employed also rose, by more than 7 million.

This phenomenon is not limited to Medicaid, either. Enrollment in SNAP, commonly referred to as food stamps, has increased by more than 4 million since the start of the pandemic, from 36.8 million in February 2020 to 41.3 million in March 2022, even though total employment has nearly returned to its pre-pandemic levels.

Why has the number of American families dependent on government expanded while employment has recovered? You can thank backwards policies imposed by congressional Democrats in 2020 and further expanded by the Biden administration in 2021 and 2022.

When the Democrat-led Congress passed COVID-19 relief legislation in March 2020, it increased Medicaid funding for states. One of the conditions states were forced to accept to receive the additional funds was a “continuous coverage” requirement, which made it illegal for state governments to remove most Americans from their Medicaid rolls until the federal government lifted its official “public health emergency” designation.

A similar provision in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act allows states to continue to receive additional federal food stamp funding while waiving time limits and other recipient requirements — but again, only so long as the COVID-19 public health emergency designation remains in place.

Despite America’s relatively low coronavirus death rate and the near-complete reopening of state and local economies nationwide, the Biden administration’s Department of Health and Human Services has repeatedly renewed its public health emergency declaration. Most recently, the public health emergency was set to expire on July 15, but before the emergency declaration ended, the Biden administration once again announced its renewal, keeping the emergency provisions in place until at least mid-October 2022.

Biden’s embrace of the never-ending “public health emergency” has forced states to keep millions of people enrolled in Medicaid who otherwise would not be eligible, and it has also substantially increased dependency on food stamps. Together, these expanded programs are costing taxpayers tens of billions of dollars in additional expenses every year.

Of course, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Liberal politicians like Biden always expand the size of government when the opportunity presents itself, and for them, COVID-19 has been the mother of all opportunities.

Justin Haskins (Jhaskins@heartland.org) is director of the Socialism Research Center at The Heartland Institute and a New York Times bestselling author.

Tags american rescue plan Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services COVID-19 pandemic Families First Coronavirus Response Act government spending Joe Biden Medicaid

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Regular the hill posts

People – Image widget – Person – Main Area Top

File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

QAT WC-2613

People – Image – Person

In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)
In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)

People - Video Bin - Person

The White House is pushing 'Bidenomics,' but what does it mean?

The White House is pushing 'Bidenomics,' but what ...
DC Bureau: AI Legal Immunity (raquel)
KXAN: special session
DC Bureau: Biden economic display (basil)
KTXL: ca budget folo
WHTM: good gov bills
More Videos

Main area middle

main area bottom custom html

MAIN Area bottom

People – Custom HTML – Person

MAIN AREA BOTTOM

People - Article Bin - 7 Headline List with Featured Image - Person

Main area bottom

Most Popular

Load more