Be free. Within bounds. Belong. But stay critical. Do not forget. And first of all, do not forget to learn, and do not forget to forgive.
Sage principles one ought to give thanks to. Just the opposite of Krugman proclaiming “Obamacare’s Secret Success”, namely “the slowdown in health costs has been dramatic”.
I have a different explanation for the slowdown in the rise of health care cost in the USA. Trees don’t grow up to the sky.
“Secret Success?”, Krugman? Millions of health insurance contracts have been cancelled, millions of people have seen their premiums and co-pays skyrocket. Krugman calls this a ”secret success“?
Obama delayed for Thanksgiving, another piece of Obamacare called “SHOP”. (A telling name: Obama feels everything is for sale; not just himself, but also Americans’ health). See New York Times: Small Firms’ Offer of Plan Choices Under Health Law Delayed.
The drama of the Obama presidency was that, after He was elected, all too many of his supporters felt like they belonged, and reveled with tribal relish. They put the little critical sense that the reign of Satan Bush had fostered, in deep freeze. In other words, they were back to their old goose stepping of 2003.
Instead of forcing Obama to improve Medicare by executive orders, right away, they let him, and the plutocratic leaders of the Democratic Party, embark on a bizarre effort to save the for-giant-profit health system in the USA.
Obama and the democrats had acquired full control of the USA (I know they deny this, a telling Freudian slip, per se). They sang and played like little children, knowing the masters would reward them well for their mindlessness. Masters such as the Koch brothers, or the Waltons (see below).
There was also blatant dishonesty: Obama had promised to crack down on the revolving door between giant profits and government. Instead he opened it fully, allowing Well Point, a health insurer, to draft Obamacare. Everybody at the top was hushed with money: the debt of the USA is doubling.
Krugman: “The law establishing Obamacare was officially titled the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.- slowing the seemingly inexorable rise in health costs. Has the curve been bent? The answer, amazingly, is yes. In fact, the slowdown in health costs has been dramatic.
O.K., the obligatory caveats. First of all, we don’t know how long the good news will last. .Second, we don’t know for sure how much of the good news is because of the Affordable Care Act. Still, the facts are striking.”
My name is Paul Krugman, and I am incoherent! Krugman: ” Since 2010, when the act was passed, real health spending per capita – that is, total spending adjusted for overall inflation and population growth – has risen less than a third as rapidly as its long-term average.
What could account for this good news? One obvious answer is the still-depressed economy, which might be causing people to forgo expensive medical care. there’s evidence that Medicare savings “spill over” to the rest of the health care system. The news on health costs is, in short, remarkably good. . health reform is starting to look like a bigger success than even its most ardent advocates expected.”
Notice that all what Krugman found was Medicare “bending costs”. In truth, this has noting to do with the ACA. Obama could have done more on Day One, by an executive order, if he had given Medicare full negotiating powers, as its homologues have all over the world. For example, in Canada. But Obama, too happy to hide behind occupied by his “SHOP” program on the “health marketplace” with its (stock?)”exchange” for “consumers” still refuses to do so to this day.
Va de retro, Krugman delirium! The obvious explanation for the bending in health cost rise is that people simply don’t have the money for a health care system costing 20% of GDP.
So there could be just a limit to growth (“Malthusian”) curve at work: people cannot afford to spend more, so they cut down, because they have to.
The cost of health care is completely out of control in the USA. Top health administrators in the USA are paid ten to twenty times more than their homologues in Europe. And it’s worse at the level of insurers.
This madness at the top does not just cost more, it creates a corrupt system where underlings are paid more than they should be, just to make them accomplices of the outrageous gouging at the top.
If I am correct, the quality of health care in the USA ought to be going down, as patients see doctors less, and get treated less. And what is observed? Exactly this. The USA slipped from 37th in health care quality down to 46th rank (latest evaluation).
A new born in the USA has a probability of dying twice that of the European Union, with its 500 million people (including 100 million poor Eastern Europe still recently enslaved by the Red Plutocrats of Stalinian ilk).
How did that deliquescence develop? Because people such as Paul Krugman, instead of insisting stridently on a public insurance system developed the human relations that told them that private for profit insurance was the American way.
Hence Obamacare, an experience unique in the world. For (huge) profit corporations that claim, as USA style philanthropists do, to care for the little guy, while filling up their pockets ever more. For reference, the first public universal health care system opened in Germany, more than 150 years ago. Obamacare is nothing of the sort. Obamacare is more like universal gouging rather than universal health care.
Yet, denying blatant evidence, many democrats have stridently claimed that Obamacare is the exact opposite of what it is. The difference between their fanatical cult and the unfolding reality is apparently driving them mad (analyze Krugman above admitting “we don’t know for sure”, and then proving it’s not about the ACA, as he claims, but Medicare!).
Instead top democrats should relax. They are rotten, they should admit that to themselves.
They should do like Walmart. Walmart is the largest employer in the USA. It makes enormous profits: 17 billion dollars last year. Walmart’s CEO, Mike Duke, earns 11,000 dollars, an hour; its retirement is worth 113 million. And he is not even the owner.
Walmart treats most of its employees like dirt. Still Walmart organized a “food drive” among its employees, for those of its own employees who can’t feed themselves. that’ s philanthropy at its best, and most revealing.
Six individuals of the Walton family have a combined “worth” of more than 110 billion dollars. When it was only 89 billions, a few years ago, it was already more than the total wealth of the bottom 40% of the population of the USA (145 million people).
As Ralph Nader explains in the link above, the profits of Walmart are made possible by government assistance. It’ s the same for the fast food industry: 52% of workers there use public assistance.
In a country where plutocrats get much, if not all, of their profits from the government, Obamacare is a natural.