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Friday, November 29, 2013

Paul Krugman, "Obamacare’s Secret Success": Americans Are Worried Sick

Desperate to reveal some hidden benefit of Obamacare, Paul Krugman, in his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Obamacare’s Secret Success" (, tells us of a slowdown in health care costs. Krugman writes:

"In fact, the slowdown in health costs has been dramatic.

O.K., the obligatory caveats. First of all, we don’t know how long the good news will last. Health costs in the United States slowed dramatically in the 1990s (although not this dramatically), probably thanks to the rise of health maintenance organizations, but cost growth picked up again after 2000. Second, we don’t know for sure how much of the good news is because of the Affordable Care Act.

Still, the facts are striking. Since 2010, when the act was passed, real health spending per capita — that is, total spending adjusted for overall inflation and population growth — has risen less than a third as rapidly as its long-term average. Real spending per Medicare recipient hasn’t risen at all; real spending per Medicaid beneficiary has actually fallen slightly."

Yeah, right. The enactment of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, long before its implementation which continues to be delayed in significant part by presidential fiat, is primarily responsible for the slowdown in health care costs.

Needless to say, Krugman does not mention a recent Washington Post-Miller Center poll, which determined, according to a Washington Post article entitled "Among American workers, poll finds unprecedented anxiety about jobs, economy" (

"More than six in 10 workers in a recent Washington Post-Miller Center poll worry that they will lose their jobs to the economy, surpassing concerns in more than a dozen surveys dating to the 1970s. Nearly one in three, 32 percent, say they worry “a lot” about losing their jobs, also a record high, according to the joint survey, which explores Americans’ changing definition of success and their confidence in the country’s future. The Miller Center is a nonpartisan affiliate of the University of Virginia specializing in public policy, presidential scholarship and political history.

. . . .

Americans’ economic perceptions often divide along political lines; supporters of the incumbent president are usually more optimistic about the job market and the health of the economy. But that’s not the case with this new anxiety. Once you control for economic and demographic factors, there is no partisan divide. There’s no racial divide, either, and no gender gap. It also doesn’t matter where you live."

Krugman refuses to acknowledge that when people fear for their jobs, they cut expenses, including medical expenses.

It's that simple, but not for a Nobel Prize winning economist who is desperate to provide Obama's comatose presidency with life support.

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