I’m convinced Krugman is on the White House payroll

Well, not really but he sure knows how to spin things the White House way. His latest column is a gem. For example:

First, premiums are going up for next year, because insurers are finding that their risk pool is somewhat sicker and hence more expensive than they expected. There’s a lot of variation across states, but the average increase will be around 11 percent. That’s a slight disappointment, but it’s not shocking, given both the good news of the previous two years and the long-term tendency of insurance premiums to rise 5-10 percent a year.

Wait a minute, wasn’t Obamacare supposed to lower health care cost and isn’t it claimed that health care cost increases have slowed? Now average increases above the long-term trend are simply a slight disappointment? And by the way, the coverage mandate, and the reinsurance pools were supposed to mitigate the adverse selection; they haven’t. 

Second, some Americans who bought low-cost insurance plans have been unpleasantly surprised by high deductibles. This is a real issue, but it shouldn’t be exaggerated. All allowed plans cover preventive services without a deductible, and many plans cover other health services as well. Furthermore, additional financial aid is available to lower-income families to help cover such gaps. Some people may not know about these mitigating factors — that’s the problem with a fairly complex system — but awareness should improve over time.

Tell that to my daughter who must come up with a few thousand dollars to cover the deductible to have my granddaughters tonsils removed and ask her doctor why he wants $500 in advance. And then multiply this experience a few million times for average Americans who are not eligible for additional financial aid. 

The reality is that Obamacare is an imperfect system, but it’s workable — and it’s working.

Lets see, it hasn’t controlled costs or reduced the trend rate, subsidized premiums have been traded for much higher out-of-pocket costs, enrollment suffers from adverse selection and it’s about half of what was projected for 2016, employers reacting to higher costs created by the ACA, have increased cost-shifting to workers dramatically, the Co-op non- profit plans are mostly a bust and the claimed savings for accountable care organizations are spurious. 

But hey, “it’s working.”  Is Krugman actually an economist?


  1. Ask yourself, why were all the difficult issues pushed out after the 2012 election? Why was the elimination of pre-ex, cover kids to 26 “free” preventive services all concentrated into years before 2012 elections? Why was individual mandate, employer mandate and most other revenue raisers set off after the 2012 elections?


  2. Hey, if only half of those with new medicaid or exchange coverage are satisfied with the cost to access coverage, and if only half of them have not had to satisfy a large deductible, president obama and the democrats have met the PPACA promise of “coverage” at lower cost. That’s maybe 3mm votes in 2012, enough to win reelection…mission accomplished, a great success.

    What do YOU think their objective was? A la “W” and Medicare Part D.


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