July 22, 2014

Krugman: ‘Better-informed people on the Right seem, finally to be facing up to a horrible truth’

Paul Krugman

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has a great analysis in his piece “Republican Health Care Panic”. Before going into the most prescient statement in his piece it is essential to quote his interpretation of what the law does. Inasmuch as it has been explained in many forms, Krugman’s one paragraph puts it more succinctly than most.

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. [source]

So what ‘horrible truth’ is it that better informed people on the Right seem to finally be facing up to? They are panicking as they noticed that

Health care reform, President Obama’s signature policy achievement, is probably going to work.  [source]

For those that have followed the real news and widely available information, that should not have been hard. After-all, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) has been working successfully and effectively in Massachusetts for several years now (Obamacare was modeled on many parts of Massachusetts’ healthcare).

Additionally, the information about the success of health insurance exchanges in states that care more about the health of their citizens than ideological politics is coming in. The pricing from these health insurance exchanges, contrary to the myriad of lies and misinformation from Republicans have been much lower than expected.

Because of the manner in which Obamacare was implemented, much of it was stealthy inasmuch as it did much for most. As such it was easy to demonize.

For those who already have insurance, the fact that it cannot be rescinded or the fact that it no longer has caps which could actually cause one’s bankruptcy, though a huge benefit is rather stealthy. The fact that disease screenings must be covered at no additional cost on policies is likely seen only a few times a decade. Those cost savings and lifesaving potential are huge.

The fact that pre-natal care must be covered at no additional cost ensures that America will no longer have one of the worst maternal death rates and worst infant death rate in the industrialized world. The fact that those with pre-existing conditions will be able to now purchase insurance at rates equivalent to everyone else is stealthy except for those it affect.

Full implementation of Obamacare begins in 2014 with health insurance exchanges open in October 2013. The truth will be out not by hot air but by reality. It is important that the news media, the blogosphere, and every other medium is ready to call out the lies and hold those attempting to sabotage the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and the well-being of American citizens accountable.

Listen to my radio show Politics Done Right on the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) HERE.

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About Egberto Willies

Egberto Willies is a radio show host, author, blogger, political activist, DailyKOS Featured Writer, Vice President of Coffee Party USA, Executive Committee member of Move to Amend, 2nd Annual CNN iReport Spirit Award Honoree, HuffPost Live Contributor, self-employed software developer, & web designer. Egberto wrote the book ‘As I See It:Class Warfare The Only Resort To Right Wing Doom’ based on his belief that the mainstream media is derelict in its duty to relate what really ails the middle class and the complicity of the Right Wing in its demise. Bio: http://egbertowillies.com/bio/ Linked In: http://linkd.in/TOiHUS. Google


  1. NAZIonalized Obamacare = extorting tax payers of all income levels rich & poor & middle class alike to stuff pockets of BIG PHARMA ..it’s that simple!

    NOT necessary when we had “medicare” already for “the poor”

    • Bahl Sanchin says:

      More ignorant talking points and derpery from mindless, regurgitating rightwing trolls

    • Jeff Connolly says:

      What’s your IQ, 20?

    • Of course you leave out the fact that the income cut off in most states for Medicare is so ridiculously low that most post – even the extremly poor don’t qualify for Medicare. For example: In Alabama if you earn over $1330 per year ( that’s right, less than $2,000 per year) you are consider too “rich” to qualify for Medicare. You’re another know nothing idiot spouting discredited talking points from the looney fringes of the far right.

    • “Derpery” is a new entry to my vocabulary and seems well-suited to describe the verbal discharge that is spewing forth from the pen of “Patriot Freeman.” Don’t you “patriots” ever get tired of being the political equivalent of a mullet?

    • that’s so ridiculously silly it’s almost not worthy of response “patriot” — what’s hilarious is that the dems borrowed heavily (almost verbatim) from the republican healthcare plan they put forward years ago… neither you or the pearl clutchers had anything to say then — but now it’s an abomination? Grow up.And please… if you’re going to troll, at least put some effort into it, you’re embarrassing yourself, but providing lots of laughs

    • Jim Price says:

      Paying for a police department, a fire department, paved roads, dams, air traffic control, an internet — all these things “extort taxpayers” if you insist on calling it that, but let’s see you voluntarily give up all these other civilized luxuries, if having one more (medical care) is all that bad.

      As for “stuffing the pockets of big pharma” via the ACA, please, get serious. Big pharma has already been being stuffed for decades, & it is a SIDE ISSUE to the ACA, not a main driving force. Sure, let’s fix the big pharma thing, but understand : our big pharma problem isn’t particularly related to the ACA. Scrub the ACA tonight & big pharma will still be sitting on our chests tomorrow.

      Finally, you want to blame the ACA for Nazis? Dude, the Nazis happened nearly a century ago. Buy a clock.

    • Absurd.

      Read the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act and then come back with some real, founded, talking points. (Your statement makes it obvious you haven’t read it.) Until then, until you’ve read it and actually know what you’re talking about, you should probably talk about something else.

    • h1lancaster1 says:

      Patriot, shut the hell up and go back to your doomsday prepping. The ignorance spewing from the mouths of the so-called “Patriots” makes me sad to be a part of this nation. Stay away from Beck, Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Hannity, Coulter at al. as, they are multi-millionaires with nothing to worry about and, they have a vested interest in keeping their listeners/viewers dumbed down so they keep coming back.

    • Karelle Scharff says:

      You think you’re patriotic? and free? Actually what you are is willfully ignorant and that completely precludes any possibility of being either patriotic or free.

    • Dude factually you are wrong. In fact, One of the most important things Obamacare does is take big money away from big Pharma. You may recall the Bush Medicare Prescription Drug plan took away Medicare’s right to negotiate medication prices on behalf of all Medicare seniors. That was a huge gift to big Pharma. ObamaCare ended that practice and is cutting costs for seniors by $200 to $400 a month.

      And by the way, a Jew who has interviewed dozens of Holocaust survivors, I will tell you that comparing the effort to help more Americans get affordable health care to Nazis is not only dumb, but it’s spitting in the face of the people who truly suffered under Hitler’s regime.

    • I really believe FOXteabagger would be a more appropriate name than patriot freeman.

  2. I’m against this reform from the left side. I much prefer a system like Canada’s, where this is true universal coverage.

    • Jim Price says:

      @Jack Davis : If you’ll pardon the analogy, being against the ACA because you want a purer system is akin to a kid with a father who beats him being against Dad getting help from a psychologist because it would be better to have a truly loving father, like for instance Billy’s next-door.

    • I’m with you Jack. Not a good piece of legislation.

    • Lisa Lindsey says:

      I used to think Canada had one up on us. Over the last 3 years I have seen it in practical application. I am now more hopeful for the USA.

    • The so-called Right has had plenty of chances to craft a bill. Even now, as they stridently seek to repeal the ACA, they have no alternative in mind. Nothing. Too busy giving handouts to their corporate sponsors and fretting over abortion and gay marriage, it would seem…

      • Bart Grossman says:

        As Bohner told us, they are not in the business of crafting legislation, just repealing it. They are also planning to repeal the 21st century.

  3. Robin McMullen says:

    Americans on both sides of this completely unnecessary debate need to understand something. There is no honorable reason for the existence of the health insurance industry. It survives only by sucking money from unwary victims while providing minimal, dubious value in return. It is a vampire industry. Therefore, it is the health insurance industry that funds politicians who argue against universal health care, because government-funded, universal health care will put the health insurance industry out of business, overnight.

    Need more information? Ask Wendell Potter, former head of corporate communications for Cigna. Learn more here: http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1920893,00.html#ixzz2aGJCBi9m

    and here: http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/07102009/profile.html

    and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Potter

    • h1lancaster1 says:

      @Robin: You hit the nail on the head. There is no need for a health insurance industry. It’s pure “middle man” economics. There is enough people in this country to fully fund a community health pool without the need for expensive “for profit” middle men taking their share for no real purpose. True socialistic or universal coverage uses no such middle man and therefor keeps the costs down..

    • Bianca Branaman says:

      Robin, I couldn’t agree more with you! As long as it takes big money to be in politics the politicians will represent corporate interests over humanity. I think public option was the way to go, but the only way Obama could make it happen was to cut a deal with the insurance industry, giving them a much broader customer base. That said Obama care is still better then nothing. And I hope you are right that the blood sucking health insurance industries collapse, or at least become right sized.

  4. It is coming a year too late for my family.. we get laid off every winter, and to COBRA while on unemployment is just not feasible. LSS, we had 6 trips to the ER in the last 4 1/2 months- and 4 of them were while uninsured!!! We were going to move to Seattle so I could go back to school, and to provide a better environment for us to live in… and now we are stuck in the bible belt of CA still paycheck to paycheck with no savings and huge debt looming over us. Kidney stonesX3(husband); broken arm- daughter, badly bruised (but not broken) foot-daughter, bad cat scratch under eye needing 10 stitches- daughter.
    I am excited that we will eventually be able to move and leave our jobs with benefits because we won’t be turned down for insurance, as a good part of the reason we can’t get ahead financially is hubby had an uninsured heart attack 3 years ago and his ability to bust ass at work has been compromised and we are still financially reeling from that experience (we had to take a title loan out on our car in order to COBRA the first year post attack) and the loan was ridiculous- borrowed $4500 and paid back almost $15,000- that right there is how the poor stay poor! And we are considered middle income- it is just CA is very expensive. I am incredibly tired of fighting the financial and health insurance and medical system/s for any semblance of fairness.

  5. Robert Adkins says:

    There was no way powerful interests were going to allow single payer and cut out the insurance companies, this is the compromise. I’m not sure of the motivations of those that are against trying this. It is after all the Republican plan of the 1990′s when they were coming up with an alternative to Hillary Care. Our Democracy only works when interested parties work out agreements on policy issues. I believe the motivation is basically to deny a victory for the President. As Jim Dimint said, ” If we can stop healthcare reform it will break him”. A term used by slave holders when dealing with uppity slaves.

  6. Brenda Drew says:

    Look all you Republicans that refuse to believe Obamacare can work or have idiot, insane, pathetic, racist Republican governors that lie to you constantly all the time and sell you a pack of lies i.e. Rightwing propaganda…WAKE UP! STOP DRINKING THE TOXIC KOOL-AID AND BELIEVING THE LIES! We here in liberal MA have had a fantastic state healthcare program up and running for the past seven years which has been fabulous! We only pay one or two dollars for prescription drugs, three tops depending on the drug and we have very low co-pays and we even get low cost basic dental care plus two free cleanings a year! I just had a $5000 procedure done and my co-pay is only going to be $200! And we DO get to pick our own doctors! When we first got onto the program the state sent us a book the thickness of those old telephone books of doctors and dentists to pick from since most doctors and dentists take MassHealth! What’s not to like??? Ewwww….the ills of socialized medicine!….NOT! Once it kicks in, in it’s entirety as Obamacare on Jan. 1, 2014, you’ll all have pretty much what we’ve all had here in liberal MA for the past seven years!! And by the way, to correct another big lie, MassHealth was NOT created by evil corrupt, pathological lying Romney, it was created by the late great Sen. Ted Kennedy and other Dems for years before Romney ever set foot here! All Romney did was “use” MA as a political stepping stone for his presidential run for the White House, that’s all! He really didn’t want us to have state healthcare here and the Democratic State Senate had to overrule his vetoes 8 times including state healthcare for children in need, how evil and uncaring is that? And then the Democratic State Senate had to “FORCE” Romney to sign it into law!! FACT!! The very first thing that our fabulous Gov. Deval Patrick did was sign state healthcare for children in need into law! So it really should have never been referred to as Romneycare but Kennedycare in honor of the man who created it and worked tirelessly on it for years before Romney even became governor here and a do nothing governor at that! I believe in giving credit where credit is due!!! Stop believing all the lies that are being spread by this hateful bigoted racist Republican party that just wants the black man in the White House to fail with this ultimately! They have been relentless in trying to repeal this because they don’t want him to succeed with this and want the Dems to fail as well and they don’t want Americans to have great healthcare! Yet, so many other more enlightened progressive countries have it and care for their citizens!!! Can’t you see the writing on the wall regarding this?? We’ve been trying to implement universal healthcare in this country ever since TR first wanted it and then the late great FDR wanted it as well and it’s been a long time coming to this country! How can anyone in their “right mind” pun intended ,not want to have incredible low paying universal healthcare for themselves and their loved ones and fellow Americans? It’s absolutely nuts and insane not to want it and to refuse it! Bottom line is this, folks, you don’t and wont’ have much of a country if you don’t take care of your citizens! How can we be a great country and society when so many people are sick and dying?? Just like the late great Sen. Ted Kennedy said, great healthcare is the right of every single taxpaying American and their children! Yes, there were some little glitches in our healthcare system in the very beginning but they’ve all been ironed out now and people need to remember that even Social Security in the beginning had some glitches as well and now that’s been up and running smoothly for several decades now and as per. the great truthful Sen. Bernie Sanders, SOCIAL SECURITY IS SOLVENT UNTIL 2034!!! So stop believing all the lies please and stop buying into all the bullshit propaganda of the Rightwing Republican party! They lie all the time about so many things and are very hypocritical about so many things, too! All Americans deserve great healthcare and this WILL open up many more jobs because the more people are on healthcare here in America means we’ll need more newer hospitals and medical centers or more improved ones, doctors, nurses, technicians, newer equipment and higher technology, landscape artists and engineers, architects, designers, technicians etc. to service all those millions of people that were previously uninsured!! That’s a lot of jobs created right there!!! So think America, think and support Obamacare aka The Affordable Care Act modeled after MassHealth here!!

    • britt hall says:

      Totally agree! MassHealth has saved my family from economic chaos. Put simply. it just works, and there’s every reason to think it will work on a national level. Health care is a human/american right, and it will happen, despite the ‘worst’ efforts of the totally co opted right wing slime who rail against it!

      • You guys think everything is a right! Some of the Occupy protesters came off as completely ignorant people who had absolutely no direction in life and were ranting they wanted there education payed for and this payed for gimme gimme gimme. No responsibility at all.

        • So there were some misguided people protesting. Does that negate the entire movement? Because if so, then the tea party is too stoopid to exist.

        • jmm124567, perhaps you should have “payed” more attention in school so your comment would sound a bit more intelligent. Stop the hating, open your heart and definitely your mind and realize that everyone has their story, and in America, we have the right to peacefully protest for what we believe are our “rights”. Pretty sure there is a historical document called the, hmmm, Bill of something-or-others. Check it out. In the liberry.

    • Brenda, I am a liberal like you and I like a lot of what you say but we do have to give Romney some credit. The idea of insuring up to 95% of Mass citizens began when Romney was in office not prior as you eluded.

      In 2004, Senate President Robert Travaglini called for a plan to reduce the number of uninsured by half. Then Romney, announced that he would propose a plan to cover virtually all of the uninsured. MassHealth of 2004 (Medicaid and SCHIP) morphed with the health care plans of Romney and the House and Senate plans to become what we now know as MassHealth today.

      Calling it RomneyCare, by the media, certainly discounts the efforts made by all elected officials who were involved in its inception. Including Kennedy who was an important liaison between the democratic legislature and the republican governor. And its true, Romney did try to veto the additions of covering poor children and a segment of citizens not eligible for medicaid. These additions to MassHealth were made by Governor Deval after Romney left office.

      The only reason I am posting this is I truly believe that MassHealth was a bi-partisan effort involving both republicans, democrats and independents. It is really unfortunate that it didn’t play out this way on the National stage.

      • I agree with your statement. However ACA is a bipartisan bill. Even though the optics say otherwise. It is a Republican bill this liberal is willing to work with till the only sensible solution realized. That said the intransigence of national GOP is SOLELY responsible for the current state. One cannot buy into false narratives.

  7. I live in a state (NC) where the Republican-majority legislature has summarily rejected Obamacare, while simultaneously dragging their heels on approving the current budget for “crisis” funding for counties. As a result, thousands of people who need Medicaid, food stamps, and energy assistance are left with no help whatsoever. It truly is a crisis, and the state’s leadership, including Governor McCrory, frankly don’t care.

  8. Oh dear – Patriot Freeman seems to think he’s made a point by using the word NAZI when talking about ‘Obamacare’ . It means nothing, other than that he knows about propaganda. In the UK, we certainly don’t view our National Health Service as being anything to do with Nazis. We regard it as essential (even if the current government is doing everything it can to privatise it so that their rich friends can make even more money than they already do.


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