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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Paul Krugman, "Health Care Nightmares": Why Did Sebelius Resign?

I often tell my children that timing is everything in life. Given Kathleen Sebelius's resignation reported last night, the timing of Paul Krugman's tendentious New York Times op-ed entitled "Health Care Nightmares" (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/11/opinion/krugman-health-care-nightmares.html?_r=0) couldn't be worse. Krugman begins:

"When it comes to health reform, Republicans suffer from delusions of disaster. They know, just know, that the Affordable Care Act is doomed to utter failure, so failure is what they see, never mind the facts on the ground."

Obamacare is doing just fine? Oh really? Have a look at Michael Gerson's recent Washington Post opinion piece entitled "Obamacare has spawned a misguided debate" (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/michael-gerson-obamacare-has-spawned-a-misguided-debate/2014/04/07/f51d8528-be82-11e3-b574-f8748871856a_story.html?hpid=z2). Gerson writes:

"[N]ever mind that the actual goal was not 7 million exchange sign-ups; it was health insurance enrollments, which are likely to be significantly fewer. And never mind that the number of the previously uninsured seems a remarkably small portion of these sign-ups — well under half. (Health wonk Bob Laszewski estimates that only about 27 percent of Americans eligible for Obamacare subsidies have enrolled in the system.) And never mind that, even including the Medicaid expansion, the most optimistic estimates of reductions in the number of the uninsured are much less than what the Congressional Budget Office projected before the rollout began. And never mind that all these decreases in the uninsured seem small in comparison to the amount of money spent, displacement caused and political capital expended.

And never mind that the proportion of younger and healthier enrollees to those with preexisting conditions is still being determined and that many analysts expect double-digit insurance premium increases in many state exchanges (particularly those with limited insurance competition). And never mind that health-care cost inflation has suddenly spiked to a 10-year high."

Indeed, as Sebelius knows, Obamacare is a disaster, and the news surrounding this boondoggle is only going to get worse, but why should any of the facts recited by Gerson get in the way of Krugman's opinion?

Mind you, I don't like Republicans or Democrats - narcissistic personality disorders run rampant among politicians. Also, I favor universal health care.

Obamacare, however, is a disaster no matter how you try to spin it.

1 comment:

  1. Numbers numbers numbers. That's what I want. Not endless opinions. Everyone knows what opinions are like. Everyone has one and all of them stink

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