Medicare

Six Mistakes Paul Krugman Makes About Medicare’s Finances | Economics21

If you are a regular reader you know how I feel about Paul Krugman and his political left distorted view of the world. Apparently I am not alone.

The following rebuttal to a Krugman op-Ed was written by one of the Medicare Trustees and was brought to my attention by a Quinnscommentary reader. I urge you to read the full article. 

Problem #5: Crediting the ACA For Effects It Didn’t Cause. Dr. Krugman’s column states in one place, “health spending began moderating after the passage of the ACA.” This is incorrect. The health spending slowdown began several years prior to the ACA’s 2010 passage (see CRFB’s “Exhibit 2”). Dr. Krugman’s phrasing also lends itself to the misreading that the ACA is a primary reason for recent spending moderation. The CMS actuaries find, to the contrary, that the ACA’s effect has been on balance to slightly increase national health spending.

My usual custom when writing about Medicare and Social Security finances is to simply present the relevant data instead of discussing others’ commentaries about the programs. After this year’s Medicare trustees’ report was released, however, a subsequent Paul Krugman column prompted a number of questions from his readers, suggesting it would be helpful to address Dr. Krugman’s specific assertions.

The essence of Dr. Krugman’s column was to cite the latest Medicare report as evidence that “there never was an entitlements crisis.” Dr. Krugman’s view of the Medicare financing outlook differs with the trustees’ perspective as reflected in our joint message, which states, “Medicare still faces a substantial financial shortfall that will need to be addressed with further legislation.” The difference between these two perspectives derives in part from problems of incomplete information and analysis.

Source: Six Mistakes Paul Krugman Makes About Medicare’s Finances | Economics21

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