So Much for Obamacare Not Working – NYTimes

Paul Krugman

Have you been following the news about Obamacare? The Affordable Care Act has receded from the front page, but information about how it’s going keeps coming in — and almost all the news is good. Indeed, health reform has been on a roll ever since March, when it became clear that enrollment would surpass expectations despite the teething problems of the federal website.

What’s interesting about this success story is that it has been accompanied at every step by cries of impending disaster. At this point, by my reckoning, the enemies of health reform are 0 for 6. That is, they made at least six distinct predictions about how Obamacare would fail — every one of which turned out to be wrong.

“To err is human,” wrote Seneca. “To persist is diabolical.” Everyone makes incorrect predictions. But to be that consistently, grossly wrong takes special effort. So what’s this all about?

Many readers won’t be surprised by the answer: It’s about politics and ideology, not analysis. But while this observation isn’t particularly startling, it’s worth pointing out just how completely ideology has trumped evidence in the health policy debate.

And I’m not just talking about the politicians; I’m talking about the wonks. It’s remarkable how many supposed experts on health care made claims about Obamacare that were clearly unsupportable. For example, remember “rate shock”? Last fall, when we got our first information about insurance premiums, conservative health care analysts raced to claim that consumers were facing a huge increase in their expenses. It was obvious, even at the time, that these claims were misleading; we now know that the great majority of Americans buying insurance through the new exchanges are getting coverage quite cheaply.


Rima NYT Comment Small

The argument “Obamacare isn’t working” was never a true argument. In order for Obamacare not to work, the private health insurance system would have had to have failed.

I suppose there is one way to make it fail. Eliminating most people from the workforce or creating conditions in which the vast majority of us work for minimum wage or just above. 

The Republicans are on a quest to nullify and minimize any action of our president’s that might be viewed as an achievement and keep the conversation focused on that, instead of the now long laundry list of things that have been left to languish.

The first of those items, Speaker Boehner, is “where are the jobs?” Eh? – continued…


Rima NYT Comment SmallWhere the discussion and readings should be focused is the cost of inaction and obstruction, in my opinion, and not how the GOP failed with its Obamacare strategy. We should be talking about the rumblings of lawsuits and impeachment and how the GOP will fail with that too, in the end, but not before wasting more of Americans’ time, money, and opportunity.

“Cuts in IRS Budget Have Compromised Taxpayer Service and Weakened Enforcement”
http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=4156

“The House Ways and Means Cmte passed changes to the Child #Tax Credit that will leave out many working families”
http://www.offthechartsblog.org/without-extending-key-2009-improvement-i…

Latest House #tax bill prioritizes credit for affluent families over working-poor families:
http://www.offthechartsblog.org/

and, the one I don’t quite see so optimistically as Jared Bernstein does:

Whoa! Whassup with that big negative Q1 #GDP revision
http://www.rimaregas.com/2014/06/jared-bernstein-whoa-whassup-with-that-big-negative-q1-gdp-revision/


 

To read the rest of this op-ed and both of my comments, click here and here.


Curated from www.nytimes.com