The Corner

‘Better-informed’ Paul Krugman Would Know It’s Time for Obamacare to Go

Once again, Paul Krugman appears to have buried his head, ostrich-like, in a pile of New York Times. On the heels of the Obama administration’s embarrassing admission that key parts of Obamacare won’t be up and running on time (despite the administration’s having had more than three years and three months to prep) — and in the wake of myriad polls showing support for Obamacare to be at or near an all-time low — Krugman writes, “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.” To whom, one wonders, has Krugman been talking? David Frum? Bill Frist?

Krugman continues, “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,” which he then proceeds to list.

“First, all Americans should have access to affordable insurance, even if they have pre-existing medical problems.” This is causing Americans’ insurance premiums to rise noticeably, rather than to drop by $2,500 as President Obama assured Americans they would.

“Second, people should be induced or required to buy insurance even if they’re currently healthy, so that the risk pool remains reasonably favorable.” This refers to the widely despised individual mandate, which the House just voted — by a margin of 77 votes (70 more than the margin by which Obamacare passed the House back in 2010) — to delay by a year. Twenty-two House Democrats bucked Obama and voted for this delay. That’s 22 more than the number of Republicans who voted for Obamacare back in 2010.

“Third, to prevent the insurance ‘mandate’ from being too onerous, there should be subsidies to hold premiums down as a share of income.” But in the wake of Obama’s lawless and unconstitutional decision to delay Obamacare’s employer mandate and its employer- and insurer-reporting provisions, Obamacare’s taxpayer-funded insurance subsidies will now be subject to rampant fraud — as eligibility to receive them will now be based on the “honor system.” Medicare and Medicaid already lose almost four times as much money to fraud as the nation’s ten largest health insurers (combined) make in profit. Taxpayers aren’t likely to be excited about being further fleeced just because Obama decided to empower himself with an after-the-fact line-item veto over the legislation that he spearheaded and signed into law.

Perhaps this blend of increased costs, undermined liberty, lawlessness in the executive, and surefire fraud helps explain why better-informed (or more sensible) Democrats seem, finally, to be facing up to the truth that Obamacare must go. As an ABC News/Washington Post poll found earlier this week, a plurality of “moderate or conservative” Democrats now oppose Obama’s centerpiece legislation.

It’s time to delay Obamacare from going into effect — and then, in 2017, to repeal it.

— Jeffrey H. Anderson is executive director of the newly formed 2017 Project, which is working to advance a conservative reform agenda.

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