14 Oct 2013

Krugman on ObamaCare: If We Can Insure Just One Person…

Health Legislation, Krugman 15 Comments

In light of the disastrous problems people are having signing up with ObamaCare–on NPR they just said the White House is still refusing to release any numbers–we’ve had some fun with Krugman’s proclamation on October 1, in a post titled, “Good Glitches,” where Krugman triumphantly informed us:

So, very early reports are that Obamacare exchanges are, as expected, having some technical glitches on the first day — maybe even a bit worse than expected, because it appears that volume has been much bigger than predicted.

Here’s what you need to know: this is good, not bad, news for the program….

The big fear has been that a combination of ignorance and misinformation would keep people away, that they wouldn’t sign up either because they didn’t know that insurance was now available, or because Republicans had convinced them that the program was the spawn of the devil, or something. Lots of people logging on and signing up on the very first day — a day when the Kamikaze Kongress is dominating the headlines — is an early indication that it’s going to be fine, that plenty of people will sign up for the first year of health reform. [Bold added.]

Now to my knowledge, Krugman has never apologized for writing such a blatant falsehood; there’s no post with a title of, say, “Hey, I Was Just Foolish, Not Lying.”

On the contrary, today Krugman has a post titled–I kid you not–“ObamaCare Success,” that starts like this:

This morning I talked to someone who successfully signed up for Obamacare — with great difficulty, but she did succeed in the end. Since New Jersey is one of the states that defaulted to a fed-run exchange, this shows that people are starting to trickle through. I know, one example — but the plural of anecdote is data.

Oh, and she was very happy with the low cost.

And to think, some neanderthals warned people about this program. It’s astonishing how right Krugman has been, guiding us through the political economy of these turbulent times.

15 Responses to “Krugman on ObamaCare: If We Can Insure Just One Person…”

  1. GabbyD says:

    dear robert,

    why ding krugman on what he wrote on oct 1? at that time, wasnt it reasonable to believe that it was heavy demand? even as it turns out to be only one problem?

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Gabby D he said “lots of people signing up.” I think that’s called “truthiness” when right-wingers do it.

      • GabbyD says:

        isnt lots of people signing up, just “high demand”?

        • Bob Murphy says:

          GabbyD, it is not a true statement to say, “Lots of people signed up for ObamaCare on the first day it opened.” Therefore Krugman said something false.

          I’m not calling him a liar, I’m sure he actually believed it, but when one of his opponents reports things matter-of-factly that are false, and in support of a preferred government policy, Krugman is hardly merciful.

          • GabbyD says:

            yes its not true NOW, but back then, 2 weeks ago, it was a plausible hypothesis, given early reports that it was the case.

            i remember distinctly that 2 weeks ago, the dominant theory was that it was high demand.

            of course, NOW, it would be wrong to continue holding this position. i’m sure he doesnt hold it now.

            • Jason Bonner says:

              Dominant theory was high demand to sign up? That isn’t something I’ve come across. I would agree there is a high demand for “shopping” Obamacare, i.e. people want to know what’s being offered, but of course they instilled protocols during the initial login process to remove your ability to shop. Cool, huh?

  2. Chris P says:

    Speaking of Krugman, you’ve probably already seen this one Bob. But if you didn’t, Ferguson really went after him.


    • Chris P says:

      Oy. Didn’t realize that article was a reprint of the older original.

  3. Major_Freedom says:

    I just heard on CNN, an Anderson Cooper “Keeping them Honest” special, and they did some interpolation and indirect data collection from around 10 or so states, to find out how many people actually signed up, and the number they found was just over 20,000 paid in so far.

    I think the reason the WH isn’t releasing the number is because it’s embarrassingly low.

    • Cosmo Kramer says:

      Only 47,xxx,xxx to go.

      I think our overlords will not know what to do with potentially ten’s of millions refusing insurance and “accepting” the penalty.

      I am so “lucky” that the Army destroyed my body and I am graced with VA insurance. I still can’t fathom how the average healthy Joe will cope with unbelievably expensive health coverage or thousands / year in fines for his family. It is $5,200 / year for my wife. We will have to lose both of our jobs just to be able to afford to have kids.

      • Major_Freedom says:

        For Obamacare, the average Joe was never meant to pay for his own healthcare. It was always supposed to come out of other people’s pockets by force.

        • Tel says:

          No it was designed to fail.

          They wanted single payer, they didn’t get it, so after that it became just a bigger example of barricading the outdoor memorial. You have to spend money to waste money ya know.

  4. Rob says:

    I don’t suppose that, when this very happy person who, with great difficulty (doesn’t sound particularly successful to me…), signed up and was happy about the “low price”, that Krugman mentions if she got any subsidies…I know, in his mind it would be irrelevant, but curious minds want to know: Is the price low because the taxpayer is paying for most of the true cost?

  5. Matt Tanous says:

    I hear the site was designed to handle a whole 50,000 people at once. Given a few hours per person to get all that stuff together and put it in the site, it will only take years for everyone to sign up that doesn’t have insurance now!

  6. Innocent says:

    Okay I went to the website more out of Curiosity than anything else. It did not work. I am a programmer and it was a pathetic thing to try to use.

    Now even if it had worked I still dislike the entire system. It is going to force people to purchase insurance. When you create demand by forcing people to participate by fining them if they don’t it is a pretty sad thing.

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