Sunday, July 28, 2013

Paul Krugman: GOP Panics At Prospect Of Obamacare Success

Paul Krugman cites reports that, contrary to GOP fear mongering, insurance premiums in California and New York are lowering as Obamacare takes effect (the same is true in other states). According to recent reports, however, some Republicans are threatening to hold government financing hostage unless the new health care law is stripped of funding. The prospect of the success of Obamacare, Krugman contends, induces panic in Republicans, since it will repudiate the party's philosophy. Due to that, the GOP may place in jeopardy the country's economic stability and the health of its citizens:

...even as Republican politicians seem ready to go on the offensive, there’s a palpable sense of anxiety, even despair, among conservative pundits and analysts. Better-informed people on the right seem, finally, to be facing up to a horrible truth: Health care reform, President Obama’s signature policy achievement, is probably going to work.

And the good news about Obamacare is, I’d argue, what’s driving the Republican Party’s intensified extremism. Successful health reform wouldn’t just be a victory for a president conservatives loathe, it would be an object demonstration of the falseness of right-wing ideology. So Republicans are being driven into a last, desperate effort to head this thing off at the pass.

...health reform will help millions of Americans who were previously either too sick or too poor to get the coverage they needed, and also offer a great deal of reassurance to millions more who currently have insurance but fear losing it; it will provide these benefits at the expense of a much smaller number of other Americans, mostly the very well off. It is, if you like, a plan to comfort the afflicted while (slightly) afflicting the comfortable.

And the prospect that such a plan might succeed is anathema to a party whose whole philosophy is built around doing just the opposite, of taking from the “takers” and giving to the “job creators,” known to the rest of us as the “rich.” Hence the brinkmanship.

So will Republicans actually take us to the brink? If they do, it will be crucial to understand why they would do such a thing, when their own leaders have admitted that confrontations over the budget inflict substantial harm on the economy. It won’t be because they fear the budget deficit, which is coming down fast. Nor will it be because they sincerely believe that spending cuts produce prosperity.

No, Republicans may be willing to risk economic and financial crisis solely in order to deny essential health care and financial security to millions of their fellow Americans. Let’s hear it for their noble cause!

2 comments:

Michael The Molar Maven said...

I don't know if this is correlation or causation, but I just got my major medical policy renewal - private insurance - and my premiums went down 28%. Still, although the need for health care reform in the United States remains strong, my experiences as a provider of state-funded dental services recently has dampened my enthusiasm for reform simply for reform's sake. I hope The Affordable Health Care Act was well thought out. And I also hope that health-care providers who have chosen not to participate in Medicare were consulted as to why they made that choice. Also, the fact that so many exemptions were granted fuels my fears. BTW, state-funded dental care is being financed on the backs of the providers to the tune of 80-85%. That is unsustainable if quality of care is a priority. Abd that is why I don't participate in my private practice.

Jeff Tone said...

Besides New York, insurance premiums are already dropping in a host of other states, including California, Maryland, Connecticut, Oregon, Montana and Louisiana. Is it really outrageous that health insurers must devote at least 80 percent of the premium customers pay on actual medical care? While they'll be forced to cut down on overhead and profits, they won't go out of business.