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Krugman: GOP in panic that Obamacare is going to work
Republican Health Care Panic
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Leading Republicans appear to be nerving themselves up for another round of attempted fiscal blackmail. With the end of the fiscal year looming, they aren’t offering the kinds of compromises that might produce a deal and avoid a government shutdown; instead, they’re drafting extremist legislation — bills that would, for example, cut clean-water grants by 83 percent — that has no chance of becoming law. Furthermore, they’re threatening, once again, to block any rise in the debt ceiling, a move that would damage the U.S. economy and possibly provoke a world financial crisis.
Yet 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.
Some background: Although you’d never know it from all the fulminations, with prominent Republicans routinely comparing Obamacare to slavery, the Affordable Care Act is based on three simple ideas. First, all Americans should have access to affordable insurance, even if they have pre-existing medical problems. Second, people should be induced or required to buy insurance even if they’re currently healthy, so that the risk pool remains reasonably favorable. Third, to prevent the insurance “mandate” from being too onerous, there should be subsidies to hold premiums down as a share of income.
Is such a system workable? For a while, Republicans convinced themselves that it was doomed to failure, and that they could profit politically from the inevitable “train wreck.” But a system along exactly these lines has been operating in Massachusetts since 2006, where it was introduced by a Republican governor. What was his name? Mitt Somethingorother? And no trains have been wrecked so far.
The question is whether the Massachusetts success story can be replicated in other states, especially big states like California and New York with large numbers of uninsured residents. The answer to this question depends, in the first place, on whether insurance companies are willing to offer coverage at reasonable rates. And the answer, so far, is a clear “yes.” In California, insurers came in with bids running significantly below expectations; in New York, it appears that premiums will be cut roughly in half.
So is this a case of something for nothing, in which nobody loses? No. In states like California, which have allowed discrimination based on health status, a small number of young, healthy, affluent residents will see their premiums go up. In New York, people who don’t think they need insurance and are too rich to receive subsidies — probably an even smaller group — will feel put upon by being obliged to buy policies. Mainly, though, those insurance subsidies will cost money, and that money will, to an important extent, be raised through higher taxes on the 1 percent: tax increases that have, by the way, already taken effect.
Over all, then, 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!
- Krugman needs to stfu already.
- Krugman is right.
- R2 hates hearing the truth.
- I read Krugman when he writes in NYT. He is right, Obamacare working is a nightmare to gop.
- This is why so many states with GOP governors are resisting the Health Care Act - they have do whatever possible to make sure it doesn't get implemented the way it should to protect the Party of NO.
R2 Bitch ,YOU need to STFU !
- From National Journal: "But to do everything possible to undercut and destroy its implementation—which in this case means finding ways to deny coverage to many who lack any health insurance; to keep millions who might be able to get better and cheaper coverage in the dark about their new options; to create disruption for the health providers who are trying to implement the law, including insurers, hospitals, and physicians; to threaten the even greater disruption via a government shutdown or breach of the debt limit in order to blackmail the president into abandoning the law; and to hope to benefit politically from all the resulting turmoil—is simply unacceptable, even contemptible. One might expect this kind of behavior from a few grenade-throwing firebrands. That the effort is spearheaded by the Republican leaders of the House and Senate—even if Speaker John Boehner is motivated by fear of his caucus, and McConnell and Cornyn by fear of Kentucky and Texas Republican activists—takes one's breath away."
- I admit I haven't paid much attention to the Obamacare thing but what exactly do the Republicans dislike it for?
- Working, r9.
- R9, it's a Republican idea. First proposed by Republicans back in 93 (as a counter-proposal to HillaryCare), then later pushed by Heritage Foundation in a slightly modified form, and adopted as "RomneyCare" in Massachusetts, it's a very conservative, free-market, capitalist plan.
So honestly, there's really nothing they don't like about it except this: They don't want Obama to get any credit for it. They don't want Obama to be perceived as doing anything that "works". They want him to be a failure, and if they have to maim and kill and destroy this country to prevent him from getting any good press or positive kudos, they'll do it.
They have absolutely no shame. They're petty, childish, racist sore-losers.
- And, hopefully, R6, the residents of those states won't be too stupid to throw the bums out in the next election.
- "And, hopefully, [R6], the residents of those states won't be too stupid to throw the bums out in the next election."
Fat (and I mean really fat) chance!
- R11 has it right. The Republican base is convinced that Obama is a secret Marxist Muslim who hates white people and wants to benefit blacks at the expense of everyone else.
The are too stupid or lazy to actually look into how Obamacare works, so they accept the descriptions of their demagogues who paint it as a government takeover of healthcare that will ruin our health system. If it belongs to Obama it is per se evil.
At least in the first term they had some understandable motivation--preventing his re-election. Now, there is no rational explanation except the realization that the Republicans are now a permanent minority and the only way to win is to stir up the passions of their base.
- This is why the Dems are now suddenly delaying it, to prevent the destruction of the Republican party in 2014 that would follow the successful implementation of Obamacare.
- They are only delaying the mandate. The rest is going forward. Insurance companies are offering much lower rates for individual policies to be offered on the exchanges. In NY, they are down 50%.
- Why do Republicans hate America?
- Propaganda. Back in the 1980's Rush Limbaugh showed how much money could be made pushing the buttons of ignorant white men (and their airhead wives) using racism and xenophobia. It worked for the Nazis, it's worked for the Repugs.
- Republicans hate everything. it's a party of haters
- They know that once Americans see the benefits they'll come to like it and get used to it. The GOP does not want another sweeping New Deal type program like Medicare or Social Security. They don't want another sacred cow that they can't touch. They will do everything in their power to destroy it before the public gets used to it.
- Obamacare has been delayed thanks to budget concerns.
Krugman is never right about anything. He's such a joke that Jon Stewart took the time to trash him at every given opportunity.
- R22, that is your ignorance talking.
- I believe that he is correct about this.
- With the GOP, it's the tail that's wagging the dog. They created all these ill-informed idiots and now they fear them turning against them.
- The misinformation campaign about Obamacare has been extensive (remember "death panels?") and a huge part of the right's agenda for years. Now that it's being implemented and people are starting to see it might work has got the right wingers terrified. That's why we're seeing stepped up efforts in Congress to defund it. They're scared.
- The current hard right leadership that has control of the GOP thinks it is a "big government" program and thus, anything that defeats it is justified. What is intends to do is beside the point. The GOP is nuts, absolutely out of their minds nuts- a perfect storm of fear, xenophobia, reactionary conservatism, misogeny and bigotry (very well hidden).
- R22 lives in his own little bubble of fantasy, doesn't he? He certainly doesn't live in the real world with the rest of us.
- Stupid GOP.
- Meanwhile, back in the real world the administration can't get it's shit together to get it up and running and the popularity of the program continues to fade, particularly among moderate Democrats
- R11 is correct. What needs to be further stated is that the Republicans' conduct came after the 2008 presidential election results and just what it meant for the standing of their party.
It speaks to realigning presidential elections. And I won't go into that topic because I'll opt to provide a link below.
With 2008 the latest, the GOP worked for the last four years on doing what they figured they could to discredit and unseat President Barack Obama.
What is most disgusting about that was that it didn't better the lives of those who lost their jobs in 2008 -- George W. Bush was blamed for that economic mess in both presidential election polls of 2008 and 2012 -- and their plight. The manufactured "Tea Party" was complicit, with the corporate news media involved. And the re-election of Obama, with being able to prevail while Mitt Romney nabbed 59 percent of the white vote nationally, shows that the GOP's efforts to unseat Obama were nothing in comparison to the new electorate they are facing. And the Republicans have lost in the popular vote five of the last six election cycles. So, Bitch McConnell was a Kentucky-sized fail in his efforts.
This "Obamacare" is legislative success which, given it's an adaptation of a Republican party's ideal back in the 1990s, is devastating to the GOP. It's no wonder they still put forth incessant efforts, and continue to formulate language presented to the people, because they don't want it to be a Democratic president who presides over its implementation.
- And now they're trying to repeal it for the 40th time... wasting more time and taxpayer money.
- I hope when ObamaCare is implemented and works, it means the utter death of the Republican Party, as people wake up and realize they were trying to keep them from this wonderful benefit.
- Keep fucking that chicken, R30.
- [quote]This "Obamacare" is legislative success
Sticking pork in for states like LA and MO to get their senators to vote for it
Going to extremes to avoid having to revote on it after committee.
Having the Speaker of the House say "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it"
Interesting definition of legislative success!
Besides, what does "legislative success" mean? Isn't the goal great implementation and results?
- [quote]Besides, what does "legislative success" mean? Isn't the goal great implementation and results?
In the current climate, getting through the filibuster chokehold of wingnuts in the Senate?
- [quote]Obamacare has been delayed thanks to budget concerns.
False. One provision of the ACA, a provision that is not critical, has been delayed by one year. The delay has nothing to do with budget concerns, particularly since the delay is actually going to end up costing the federal government money.
[quote]Krugman is never right about anything.
False. Krugman doesn't get everything right but on the economy, in particular, he's been spot on, with an unparalleled track record, certainly far better than his critics.
[quote]He's such a joke that Jon Stewart took the time to trash him at every given opportunity.
False. Jon Stewart took him on once.
- R35 is a 'talking points' dolt. Wake up.
- [quote]Interesting definition of legislative success!
It got passed. By definition, that's a success. However, that's not what Krugman was referring to, as his column makes clear.
[quote]Besides, what does "legislative success" mean? Isn't the goal great implementation and results?
That is exactly what it means, which is why that is what Krugman discussed in his column. Is reading comprehension always this much trouble for you?
- [quote]Meanwhile, back in the real world the administration can't get it's shit together to get it up and running
False. The schedule is very aggressive but, so far, the ACA is on schedule.
[quote]and the popularity of the program continues to fade, particularly among moderate Democrats
Meanwhile, back in the real world, your statement is false. See the link for the full set of polls, which shows that the polls on the ACA have been pretty consistent, with support bouncing around at roughly 40%. And once you dig into the details of those polls, what you find is that a) many of those critical of the ACA want to go further and implement single-payer and b) the ACA's individual provisions are popular.
The problem for Obama is that the disinformation campaign has been unprecedented in size and scope. Fortunately, the early signs are, as Krugman notes, that the law will work, which is precisely why Republicans are so terrified. Once it takes effect, once people have their coverage, taking it back will be extremely unpopular, as we've seen with Medicare and Social Security.
- And now I'm intensely curious who R30/35's clients are...
- [quote]And now I'm intensely curious who [R30]/35's clients are...
Oh, I doubt DL is important enough to warrant anyone paying someone to post here on topics like this. And lord knows there are enough idiots out there willing to post drivel on threads like this without payment....
- Perhaps, R42, but I'm still suspicious. Something about way this guy hammers away at talking points just reeks of being a paid shill.
- [quote]Meanwhile, back in the real world, your statement is false. See the link for the full set of polls, which shows that the polls on the ACA have been pretty consistent,
On the other hand
[quote]Moderate Democrats are quitting on Obamacare - Washington Post and ABC News
[quote]The landmark health-reform law passed in 2010 has never been very popular and always highly partisan, but a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that a group of once loyal Democrats has been steadily turning against Obamacare: Democrats who are ideologically moderate or conservative
[quote]Just after the law was passed in 2010, fully 74 percent of moderate and conservative Democrats supported the federal law making changes to the health-care system. But just 46 percent express support in the new poll, down 11 points in the past year.
[quote]The shift among the Democratic party’s large swath in the ideological middle– most Democrats in this poll, 57 percent, identify as moderate or conservative – is driving an overall drop in party support for the legislation: Just 58 percent of Democrats now support the law, down from 68 percent last year and the lowest since the law was enacted in 2010. This broader drop mirrors tracking surveys by the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation and Fox News polls, both of which found Democratic support falling earlier this year.
So, even excluding Fox News, two tracking polls - this one and the Kaiser poll - support this point that the law's popularity is fading with Democrats.
- I know some plenty of rapid Republicans who have already benefited from it , including having their adult children get coverage through them, but I am sure they blame Obama for why their kids can't get jobs with insurance so it probably cancels out any good will.
- [quote]The schedule is very aggressive but, so far, the ACA is on schedule
[quote]In a surprising move yesterday, the Obama administration announced on the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s website that it is delaying the implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer responsibility provision. Now employers won’t have to worry about compliance with the provision, commonly referred to as the “play or pay” provision, until 2015.
The Treasury Department announced on July 2, 2013 that implementation of two key components of the Affordable Care Act (the "ACA" or "Health Reform") would be delayed, and followed that informal announcement with issuance of Notice 2013-45. The only provisions that will be delayed are: Information reporting by employers and insurers to the IRS and to full-time employees as to whether they provide qualifying health coverage; an Assessment of shared responsibility payments (also known as "Pay or Play").
[quote]The recent postponement of the employer mandate provision has caused numerous challenges for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, with state healthcare exchanges at the top of the list. Reuters reported that two government officials suggested the new state healthcare exchange may also be delayed due to inadequate preparation. Alan Duncan, an auditor with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, and John Dicken of the government accountability office advised states and health insurance companies to be aware that further testing is needed before Oct. 1. The federal government and numerous states have already missed important healthcare exchange deadlines, according to Reuters.
So, the emplyers don't have to implement the "pay or play" provision.
The IRS can't track whether individuals seeking subsidies are doing so fraudulently.
The state exchanges are behind schedule due to missed deadlines by the federal government and numerous states.
So it is on schedule?
- Thank you for proving my point, shill.
- It's bullshit to measure the policy's "popularity" until it is implemented. People in Massachusetts seem to like it. Social Security and Medicare engendered the same kind of controversy beforehand. Now they are sacred cows.
- Also notice that the aggressive talking points include absolutely zero suggestions for alternate policy. The entire message is "OMG OBAMACARE SUXX!!! STOP OBAMACARE NOW!!"
- So all of you Log Cabinettes spouting Tea Party talking points about Obamacare-- what is your alternative? Do you not care that millions of people under the old system had no health coverage at all?
- My question is, even though Medicare and similar domestic programs were controversial when first rolled out, to what extent did Republicans try to actually foil their implementation?
Yeah, Medicare et al are now sacred cows, but I don't see the ACA becoming one (its flaws notwithstanding) since it may never be properly implemented.
- After the landslide of 1964 there were very few Republicans around. Democrats had the White House and two-thirds of both the House and the Senate.
- Glad you asked, R51! To that end, here's a track from a 60's classic: "Ronald Reagan speaks out about SOCIALIZED MEDICINE"
(And as I dimly recall, the one group that spoke this harshly against Medicare was the John Birch society, who in the 1960's were regarded as nut jobs.)
- Republicans cannot offer up a "Republican solution" to replace ObamaCare with... because ObamaCare *IS* the Republican solution.
It's hilariously hypocritical to see Republicans fighting so hard against their own ideas like this.
- Thanks r53, but I should have worded my original post differently - to what extent did elected officials actually prevent these programs from being implemented?
I know that, after 1966, conservatives (Republicans and Democrats) in Congress blocked more of LBJ's legislation from even passing, but I was asking about implementation.
- [quote]Thank you for proving my point, shill.
(Sometimes idiots suck as R47 say things completely illogical and stupid under the assumption that everyone else is as stupid as they are. Let's play along so the troll will go away).
Why right you are! How come the rest of us didn't figure that out?!
- [quote]Why right you are! How come the rest of us didn't figure that out?!
Since you seem to be in the slow class, I'll explain the connecting points that you clearly missed. R44/46 repeated precisely the same insurance-industry driven talking points that he's repeated three times in this thread. Hence, my sarcastic comment about his shill-like behavior.
See how easy that was?
- So his message was that the popularity of the ACA was now falling among Democrats and that multiple parts of the act were not being implemented, including some critical ones.
And your response doesn't dispute those observations nor offer any data that provides an alternative viewpoint.
Instead, you attack the individual.
See, you are an idiot!
- R58 = R46
Staying right on your talking points, I see.
At least I'm not stupid enough to keep pushing the irrelevant point of falling support for a plan that [bold]HASN'T BEEN IMPLEMENTED YET[/bold].
- Of course Obamacare's popularity is problematic right now given the amount of money Repugs and the mainstream media are spending to shoot it down. That doesn't mean it won't work once it's implemented.
I also don't buy that the 1 year delay for the Employer Mandate spells doom. The mandate will eventually be enforced and Armageddon will most likely NOT be the result.
You people have been duped by Repugs into thinking government can never work. That's propaganda, people. Don't drink the Koolaid. It may not work perfectly, but I think you'll find Obamacare is an improvment over the unregulated greed we had before.
- Weird, trolldar says I posted R56 and R58 but not R46.
Meanwhile, you're on this thread 8 times today.
Of course, it is hard to argue logic with someone whose tin hat is on so tight that they think that the deep dark corporations would pay someone to influence public opinion on a thread like Datalounge
- I'll take that as a "yes", R61.
- [quote]So it is on schedule?
Yup, where it actually matters.
[quote]two tracking polls - this one and the Kaiser poll - support this point that the law's popularity is fading with Democrats.
You're citing tracking polls and expecting us to take you seriously? Okay....
If this is the best you've got, you might as well hang it up.
- [quote]So all of you Log Cabinettes spouting Tea Party talking points about Obamacare-- what is your alternative? Do you not care that millions of people under the old system had no health coverage at all?
Personal responsibility, and there's not enough money to cover everyone. Tough shit.
- R64 = moron
- R64, someday when you are making $100K per year running a small business, and let's say you have type2 diabetes, and therefore you cannot get healthcare insurance at all... come back to me a talk about personal responsibility.
And imagine, you can go over the boarder to Canada and with a salary of 25K or 100K get you are taken care of... and under a system with far better mortality and morbidity data than is the US.
You, R64, have no idea what you are talking about or you are very stupid.
faculty member at a major medical school
- "border", so sorry grammer and spelling trolls.
- Is R64 a troll?
- [quote]Besides, what does "legislative success" mean? Isn't the goal great implementation and results?
Yeah, r35 hated The Emancipation Proclamation for the same reasons! Lots of people hated it, and nothing in it had been PROVEN to work already! What a visionary!
- You have to TRY to be as obliviously and willfully stupid as R64.
- [quote]Personal responsibility, and there's not enough money to cover everyone. Tough shit.
Ignoring the pathology on display in this comment, actually, as we've seen over and over again, it's *cheaper* to cover everyone than it is to have our current system. Every other major industrialized nation pays far less than we do and gets far more.
- As more and more facts roll in from implementations, it's becoming clearer and clearer that it IS working...
- Progressives will believe anything dear leader spoon feeds them
- R73, you're projecting again. You're describing conservatives and the shit they believe that they get spoon-fed from the likes of FOX News, Drudge, Rush, Beck, Hannity, et al.
- [quote]Progressives will believe anything dear leader spoon feeds them
Uh-huh, right. This is really the best you can do? Just mindless partisan drivel? That's just sad.