26 Nov 2013

Krugman’s IT Expertise Is Now Non-Zero, and Cancer Patients With Canceled Policies Need to Stop Whining

Health Legislation, Krugman 37 Comments

Remember how Krugman admitted last week that he wasn’t going to talk about healthcare.gov, because it was a topic on which he has “zero expertise”? Well apparently he’s a quick study:

OK, I just created an Obamacare account for myself…I went all the way through the process at healthcare.gov, stopping before the final step of actually applying…And the answer is that it was no problem at all, with no delays.

…[T]he visible parts of the process bear no resemblance to the horror stories of a few weeks ago.

Why did I carry out this little exercise? Well, I scanned the comments on today’s column and noticed a lot of people reporting having successfully enrolled in Obamacare — not at one of the well-functioning state exchanges, but at the supposedly disastrous healthcare.gov. Just anecdotes, I know — but anecdotes suggesting that the system is no longer the black hole of yore.

In short, it’s looking increasingly likely that the story from here on is going to be one of steadily better news — of growing enrollment in the federal as well as state exchanges, of people discovering either that their insurance has gotten better and cheaper or that they can afford insurance for the first time. [Bold added.]

Glad we got that settled. Oh, and he also shows the true Conscience of a Liberal when he adds: “Bit by bit these stories will percolate into the news media, replacing the sob stories about cancelled policies.”

Look, I have not personally hired Magnum, P.I. to investigate all of these “sob stories,” but at least one of them involves a man suffering from cancer, who allegedly had insurance covering his treatment, then lost it under ObamaCare, and now can’t afford to get new insurance, so he’s going to “let nature take its course.” If this story is true–or if there exists one such person in all of America–then we can quite legitimately say that ObamaCare killed such people.

Note, there are progressives “debunking” such anecdotes–which is remarkable in and of itself. Can you imagine having to run around, explaining why people dying from cancer are a bunch of shysters? (Also note, the people at Fox News etc. are using this people for politics too, duh.)

I truly have had my eyes opened by this debacle. I knew communists used to endorse the slogan, “You can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs,” but it’s good to see Yglesias, Krugman, and other “progressives” saying the modern equivalent in reference to actual Americans losing their health insurance because of their pet program.

37 Responses to “Krugman’s IT Expertise Is Now Non-Zero, and Cancer Patients With Canceled Policies Need to Stop Whining”

  1. Keshav Srinivasan says:

    Bob, are you aware of Obama’s action allowing people to sign back up to their cancelled policies?

    • JSR08 says:

      Keshav, are you aware that Obama’s “action” does not help anything, and only serves as a way to shift blame from himself to the insurance companies and/or the states?

      Obama has temporarily suspended the enforcement of the ACA relative to minimum requirements but the policies are still illegal according to the law. The insurance companies could still be sued by a policy holder for not covering something that the ACA requires. Not to mention the insurance companies and exchanges hardly have the time to resurrect and re-implement these illegal policies, especially knowing that the enforcement will eventually be continued.

      All Obama has done is given himself a scapegoat to pin the blame on when a state commissioner or insurance company declines to accept his “fix” because of all of the issues with it. “See, I wanted you to be able to keep your policy but those ebil insurance companies don’t want to accept my help. I’ve kept my promise and done all I can.”

      • Keshav Srinivasan says:

        Obama is doing this under the transitional authority given in the ACA.

        • Major_Freedom says:

          Is ignoring words something you practise, or does it come naturally?

          • Keshav Srinivasan says:

            What do you mean ignoring words? I was just responding to a specific thing in his comment, not his whole comment.

        • JSR08 says:

          Did I mention anything about the constitutionality of the “fix”? No, though that is in dispute. In my post above I merely summarized some points about the defectiveness of the fix, not whether or not it was actually legal for him to do it.

          My point still stands that Obama’s action will not have its perceived intended effect as insurance companies would be crazy to accept the risk associated with continuing to sell illegal policies even if the punishment for doing so it temporarily stayed. A large number of companies and states have pushed back for this reason and others already.

          Of course, Obama’s action will have its privately-held intended effect, which is to give Obama a scapegoat for his lying and incompetence.

          • Keshav Srinivasan says:

            I was objecting to “the policies are still illegal according to the law”. No, the transitional authority allows Obama to grant waivers to insurance companies.

            • JSR08 says:

              You misunderstand the fix, then.

              Obama’s fix is not changing the letter of law, because he does not have the authority to do that. Only Congress does. Therefore, the policies are still illegal according to the ACA. The fix merely grants the insurance companies a temporary reprieve on the federal consequences of issuing these still-illegal policies. There are still plenty of potential legal and financial risks for doing so.

              • Keshav Srinivasan says:

                I think you’re confusing enforcement discretion with transitional authority. When. The administration delayed the employer mandate for a year, that was through enforcement discretion: they said they were not going to enforce a particular provision of the law. But in this case, they didn’t do it through enforcement discretion, but rather through transitional authority: the law specifically says that the President can waive (not merely not enforce) certain provisions of the ACA. This means that even in court cases between a policy holder and an insurance company, the insurance company can claim that it has no legal obligation to follow that provision of the ACA.

              • Anonymous says:

                I think you should actually read the relevant paragraph in the DHHS’ memo to the states about the Obamacare “fix”: http://www.scribd.com/doc/184205346/CMS-Letter-To-States-On-Obamacare-Fix-pdf

                It states the following: “Under this transitional policy, health insurance coverage in the individual or small group market that is renewed […] will not be considered to be out of compliance with the market reforms…”

                It does not say the letter of the law has been changed such that the plans themselves are in compliance with the law as it is written. Only that the DHHS will act as though the policies are in compliance with the law. Big difference, and it basically boils down to the Administration choosing not to enforce the ACA as it is written, as I’ve said.

                Try again.

            • Ken B says:

              Bob is elected sheriff and announces he will not enforce laws against slavery for 6 months. During that period is slavery legal? If M_F bought you during that period and you came to court later, would you prevail?

              • Keshav Srinivasan says:

                If the law specifically said that the anti-slavery provision could be waived by the sherrif, then yes, during that period slavery would be legal. That’s what the ACA said.

              • Ken B says:

                No, read the post from Volokh.

    • Ken B says:

      His action is pretty clearly not legal Keshav. Look on Volokh.
      Plus just waiving *enforcement* does not change the law for insurers, whose policies would still be illegal. This opens them to lawsuits down the road, and problems with state regulators. Regulators are already nixing it. Plus companies cannot just do the legals and actuarials and spin on a dime. So, the worst kind of grandstanding and false promise.

      • Keshav Srinivasan says:

        But Obama is not simply delaying enforcement in this case, unlike what he did in the case of delaying the employment mandate. He’s using more expansive authority than that, granted under the ACA.

        But you are right about problems with state regulators.

  2. NicTheNZer says:

    Seems the moral of that story is, don’t go to Fox news for your health care advice.

    “Can you imagine having to run around, explaining why people dying from cancer are a bunch of shysters?”, I hope we discover that he doesn’t have cancer at all to which Bob might replay honestly, hey don’t blame me I never said I was an oncologist.

    If in fact this story is true then its pretty awful, because he is being mislead by those around him about the real cost of insurance and his access to subsidies.

    • Matt Tanous says:

      “I hope we discover that he doesn’t have cancer at all to which Bob might replay honestly,”

      Or, he might point out (like he did above), that he did not actually investigate the story, and only noted that it was out there.

      “If in fact this story is true then its pretty awful, because he is being mislead by those around him about the real cost of insurance and his access to subsidies.”

      That’s decidedly false. If I, for instance, were to suddenly have cancer and have my plan cancelled on me, I would still not have access to subsidies (as I “make too much” for that) and would have to pay 2-3 times as much as I do now for an “exchange” plan.

      • NicTheNZer says:

        What Mr Elliot apparently thinks health care costs “cost $1500/month with a $13,000 deductible”

        Silver plan on the South Carolina exchange is “The full premium, without subsidies, for a Silver plan with NO deductible, 0 dollars, is $690/month. ”

        Somebody is being miss lead, and if his income is quite low he is probably eligible for subsidies on top of that.

        • JSR08 says:

          Where did you get your numbers?

          Regardless, considering there a ton of variables involved in calculating the cost of an Obamacare plan for an individual, I highly doubt your estimate of one plan in one state is applicable to the guy in question.

          • NicTheNZer says:

            First comment on the Fox link provided by Bob, but I think they come from another site originally.

      • Bob Murphy says:

        Or, he might point out (like he did above), that he did not actually investigate the story, and only noted that it was out there.

        I actually *did* google the story to see if the guy had been outed as a hoax (like a paid actor for example). I had seen ObamaCare supporters claiming he could get insurance at reasonable rates through ACA; I didn’t see anybody denying he really had cancer.

    • Mike T says:

      Serious question — how do you know the “real cost” of insurance?

  3. Gamble says:

    I went to my State exchange the very first day and did exactly what Krugman did, almost sing up.

    However the prices were NOT lower than my existing policy. To get the same policy, I had to spend more.

    What is all this crap about lower/better priced insurance? The same insurance companies are providing plans that require MORE federal mandates therefore the plans will cost MORE.

    More magic fairy dust from the krugmanistas…

    • Matt M (Dude Where's My Freedom) says:

      It’s interesting that Krugman doesn’t seem to comment on whether the policy he might have signed up for was more or less expensive than his current coverage…

      • Gamble says:

        Great insight Matt, somebody should ask him about the price comparison. What a great gotcha moment that would be. Asking him in the article comment section or opinion piece would be okay but asking during one of his hot air tv shows would be terrific.

        • Will says:

          Presumably Krugman gets insurance through Princeton or the NYT, which will make price comparison hard, the group market is different business model.

  4. @ZeevKidron says:

    Surprise surprise. When Government manages healthcare you’ll pay more and get less. Never happened before, EVER, NOWHERE.

    • Gamble says:

      The stereo type is that modern government “spreads the wealth.” Spreading the wealth would be preferable to what they really do, destroy wealth.

  5. Silas Barta says:

    I went all the way through the process at healthcare.gov, stopping before the final step of actually applying…

    Wow, awesome!

    In other news, I just published a site where you can enter your name and it will give you an accurate list of every government agency that’s tracking you!

    Don’t take my word for it — go on the site and try it for yourself.

    Oh, just one thing though — don’t click “submit”. Nothing works after that. Yet.

    • Gamble says:

      Assuming it would have worked and a policy would have been issued, Krugman never stated the price of his current plan and the price of the new plan. My own experience and the testimonial of thousands of others, says the price for the new guv approved policy would cost more than his existing policy.

      • Matt M (Dude Where's My Freedom) says:

        Not to mention the obvious point that if the government exchange would have offered him a lower price for similar (or better) coverage, presumably he WOULD have clicked submit, and then loudly proclaimed such to the world at large, yes?

        • Bob Murphy says:

          Guys, I don’t know the exact situation, but I took out (for brevity) the part where Krugman says he is ineligible because he gets insurance from Princeton (his employer).

          • Matt M (Dude Where's My Freedom) says:

            Then how can he get all the way through the website up to the point where you submit?

            I’ve never bothered to visit it myself, but presumably, if you aren’t eligible, shouldn’t it tell you that right when you start? If not, isn’t that a problem in and of itself? Am I missing something here?

          • Gamble says:

            Krug could call HR and ask them how much his portion cost Princeton.

            Point is, I have not read any testimonies or talked to anybody that says they dropped their existing coverage for the new plans because the new plans were so much better/cheaper. Just the opposite.

            The other major problem with all of this is most people who could not afford insurance before, still cannot afford insurance now and probably even more so.

            What this program really did is mandate insures offer coverage to everybody( no preexisting exclusions), lift the lifetime maximums, provide lots of so called preventative services, provide mental health even if you are as sane as they come, provide pregnancy care even if you are a sterile man, and a few other items that tend to run up cost.

            To those of you with health insurance for the first time, good luck. I hope you do achieve health and well being. I hope you can afford your premiums. I hope the care you so desperately desired but could not have, really does help you. After you achieve health and well being, you will face the catch 22 that most of us who have had insurance for a long time have come to realize. Simply put, we pay a lot for something every month that we never use and hopefully never will have to use. To benefit from the monthly premium you pay, you either have to have had an accident or become ill, so insurance really is no benefit what so ever. I suppose it may stave off bankruptcy or keep you alive, but then again, you are sick, who cares. Insurance just isn’t as fun as blowing 600 bucks a month on a recreational vehicle payment…

            • Harold says:

              “provide mental health even if you are as sane as they come,”
              Are you saying it is a good idea to not have cover for mental illness if you are apparently sane? A lot of “sane” people require mental health services at some point in their lives

          • Silas Barta says:

            He’s not ineligible to click the submit button and frown at the rejected application, though, right?

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