March 03, 2013

Even Krugman has a clunker at times - re #Obamacare

Paul Krugman's latest column is about "Medicaid moochers" like Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who are now willing to accept Obamacare's Medicaid expansion, IF it allows them to put Medicaid through private prividers only.

The column rightly derides such things, goes on to talk about how Medicare, and even more, Medicaid, have done better than the private sector at reigning in health care costs, etc.

So far, so good.

But then Krugman says:
You might ask why, in that case, much of Obamacare will run through private insurers. The answer is, raw political power. Letting the medical-industrial complex continue to get away with a lot of overcharging was, in effect, a price President Obama had to pay to get health reform passed. And since the reward was that tens of millions more Americans would gain insurance, it was a price worth paying.
Wrong, wrong, wrong!

Obama CHOSE that route. It wasn't a price he had to pay. Especially before Ted Kennedy's death, and the election of Scott Brown, he could have pushed through some form of single-payer, like the so-called ... speaking of money savers ... "Medicare for all."

So, therefore, it's wrong in other ways as well. With no cost controls of note (as I blogged two weeks ago, the electronic patient records are instead, so far, a lobbyist world boondoggle), no federal department of insurance regulation, etc., and also questions on just how much Obamacare will actually extend coverage, the price it's worth is actually pretty marginal, and Krugman should know that, too.

Can't believe Krugman wrote that. While he will at times poke Obama from the left, I'm going to have to give him a closer reading in the future, to make sure he's not got one foot in Obamiac land.

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