Like that guy in 1984 who liked Big Brother a little too much, I think the Party higher-ups may have to take care of Krugman for running his mouth a little too recklessly in his discussion of the Supreme Court and ObamaCare:
Well, ObamaRomneycare is basically a somewhat klutzy way of simulating single-payer. Instead of collecting enough revenue to pay for universal health insurance, it requires that those who can afford it buy the insurance directly, then provides aid — financed with taxes — to those who can’t. The end result is much the same as if the government collected taxes from those under the mandate and bought insurance for them.
I’m not going to bother looking up quotes, but I’m sure a bunch of “paranoid” people said this was effectively a federal takeover of health insurance. It wouldn’t even surprise me if Krugman made fun of them.
Anyway, Krugman also says:
Yes, the system is surely less efficient than single-payer, both because it’s more complex and because it introduces another layer of middlemen. That’s what happens when you have to make political compromises. But it is in no sense more interventionist, more tyrannical, than Medicare; it’s just a different way of achieving the same thing.
I have two comments:
(1) When Medicare was introduced, I bet a bunch of “paranoid” John Bircher types said it would lead to a slippery slope of a total federal takeover of health care. And I’m also sure that a bunch of reasonable people told them how crazy they were, that this was just a limited program to take care of elderly people that the free market had condemned to agony. Suuuuure, this limited program would one day be cited as a precedent for a total government takeover. This is the USA, not Soviet Russia!
(2) Since Krugman says there’s nothing in here that’s not in Medicare, we don’t need it, right? I mean, we have Medicare right now.