Paul Krugman’s Perverse Criteria for Obamacare ‘Success’

I want you to buy an Obamacare plan... or else!The criteria Paul Krugman uses when he declares Obamacare a great “success” are obtuse and perverse.

So the government forces people to to sign up for a health care plan under Obamacare by threatening a penalty if they don’t. –> Many people sign up. –> Paul Krugman declares Obamacare a “success”.

No further comment required on that point.

The next thing Krugman argues in his latest column, he tries to downplay the rising cost of premiums resulting from the law. It’s all a shell game to him. He points to low premiums paid by people who receive a subsidy, writing that, “among those receiving federal subsidies — the great majority of those signing up — the average net premium was only $82 a month.”

But $82 isn’t the cost of the premium. It’s just the portion paid by the person getting the subsidy. The actual cost of the premium has not come down. It has gone up! It’s just being paid for by someone else. Krugman acknowledges this:

Yes, there are losers from Obamacare. If you’re young, healthy, and affluent enough that you don’t qualify for a subsidy (and don’t get insurance from your employer), your premium probably did rise. And if you’re rich enough to pay the extra taxes that finance those subsidies, you have taken a financial hit.

So the government uses force to expropriate wealth from some individuals in order to redistribute to other individuals (e.g., perversely forcing the healthy to subsidize health care costs for the sick). –> Overall costs for premiums rise, with the former group now bearing not only the costs for their own rising premiums but also the costs of others’ higher premiums. –> Paul Krugman declares Obamacare a success.

See, everybody? Government use of force and coercion in violation of individuals’ rights works! Let’s have some more!

Like what you're reading?

Sign up now to keep up with my latest work and to keep updated about my forthcoming book, "Obstacle to Peace: The US Role in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict".

You can unsubscribe at any time, and I respect your privacy (I hate spam, too).

3 Comments
  1. July 23, 2014
  2. August 1, 2014
    • August 1, 2014

What do you think? Share your comments!