Author: Janet Allon
Paul Krugman celebrated the Obamacare victory in the Supreme Court by pointing out the unforeseen success of the law in Friday’s column.
Start with the act’s most basic purpose, to cover the previously uninsured. Opponents of the law insisted that it would actually reduce coverage; in reality, around 15 million Americans have gained insurance.
But isn’t that a very partial success, with millions still uncovered? Well, many of those still uninsured are in that position because their state governments have refused to let the federal government enroll them in Medicaid.
… In states that have implemented the act in full and expanded Medicaid, data from the Urban Institute show the uninsured falling from more than 16 percent to just 7.5 percent — that is, in year two we’re already around 80 percent of the way there. Most of the way with the A.C.A.!
Hmmm, not enough reason to call the law a success? Next, Krugman tackles the issue of the quality of coverage.
The answer: not bad, but not perfect. Cheaper plans have high deductibles, but the long and the short of it is that any plan is better than no plan. Pretty undeniable. “The newly insured have seen a sharp drop in health-related financial distress, and report a high degree of satisfactionwith their coverage,” Krugman writes.
Rate shock did not materialize either. And though premiums may go up next year, the rise will be well below the scare monger’s claims.
Finally, this is a law even supposedly fiscal conservatives can love. Overall health spending is down. Do the opponents do any homework at all?
Did Obamacare kill jobs? Nope. “The U.S. economy has added more than 240,000 jobs a month on average since Obamacare went into effect, its biggest gains since the 1990s,” Krugman says.
Budget deficit down. Check.
There’s your “interpretive jiggery-pokery,” Scalia.
One conservative fear has truly come to pass. Health reform has apparently succeeded. The government can actually make a positive difference in people’s lives.