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“The Obama Recovery”: You Shouldn’t Conclude That Hitting Yourself In The Head Is Smart Because It Feels So Good When You Stop

Suppose that for some reason you decided to start hitting yourself in the head, repeatedly, with a baseball bat. You’d feel pretty bad. Correspondingly, you’d probably feel a lot better if and when you finally stopped. What would that improvement in your condition tell you?

It certainly wouldn’t imply that hitting yourself in the head was a good idea. It would, however, be an indication that the pain you were experiencing wasn’t a reflection of anything fundamentally wrong with your health. Your head wasn’t hurting because you were sick; it was hurting because you kept hitting it with that baseball bat.

And now you understand the basics of what has been happening to several major economies, including the United States, over the past few years. In fact, you understand these basics better than many politicians and commentators.

Let’s start with a tale from overseas: austerity policy in Britain. As you may know, back in 2010 Britain’s newly installed Conservative government declared that a sharp reduction in budget deficits was needed to keep Britain from turning into Greece. Over the next two years growth in the British economy, which had been recovering fairly well from the financial crisis, more or less stalled. In 2013, however, growth picked up again — and the British government claimed vindication for its policies. Was this claim justified?

No, not at all. What actually happened was that the Tories stopped tightening the screws — they didn’t reverse the austerity that had already occurred, but they effectively put a hold on further cuts. So they stopped hitting Britain in the head with that baseball bat. And sure enough, the nation started feeling better.

To claim that this bounceback vindicated austerity is silly. As Simon Wren-Lewis of Oxford University likes to point out, if rapid growth after a gratuitous slump counts as success, the government should just close down half the economy for a year; the next year’s growth would be fantastic. Or as I’d put it, you shouldn’t conclude that hitting yourself in the head is smart because it feels so good when you stop. Unfortunately, the silliness of the claim hasn’t prevented its widespread acceptance by what Mr. Wren-Lewis calls “mediamacro.”

Meanwhile, back in America we haven’t had an official, declared policy of fiscal austerity — but we’ve nonetheless had plenty of austerity in practice, thanks to the federal sequester and sharp cuts by state and local governments. The good news is that we, too, seem to have stopped tightening the screws: Public spending isn’t surging, but at least it has stopped falling. And the economy is doing much better as a result. We are finally starting to see the kind of growth, in employment and G.D.P., that we should have been seeing all along — and the public’s mood is rapidly improving.

What’s the important lesson from this late Obama bounce? Mainly, I’d suggest, that everything you’ve heard about President Obama’s economic policies is wrong.

You know the spiel: that the U.S. economy is ailing because Obamacare is a job-killer and the president is a redistributionist, that Mr. Obama’s anti-business speeches (he hasn’t actually made any, but never mind) have hurt entrepreneurs’ feelings, inducing them to take their marbles and go home.

This story line never made much sense. The truth is that the private sector has done surprisingly well under Mr. Obama, adding 6.7 million jobs since he took office, compared with just 3.1 million at this point under President George W. Bush. Corporate profits have soared, as have stock prices. What held us back was unprecedented public-sector austerity: At this point in the Bush years, government employment was up by 1.2 million, but under Mr. Obama it’s down by 600,000. Sure enough, now that this de facto austerity is easing, the economy is perking up.

And what this bounce tells you is that the alleged faults of Obamanomics had nothing to do with the pain we were feeling. We weren’t hurting because we were sick; we were hurting because we kept hitting ourselves with that baseball bat, and we’re feeling a lot better now that we’ve stopped.

Will this improvement in our condition continue? Britain’s government has declared its intention to pick up the baseball bat again — to engage in further austerity, which does not bode well. But here the picture looks brighter. Households are in much better financial shape than they were a few years ago; there’s probably still a lot of pent-up demand, especially for housing. And falling oil prices will be good for most of the country, although some regions — especially Texas — may take a hit.

So I’m fairly optimistic about 2015, and probably beyond, as long as we avoid any more self-inflicted damage. Let’s just leave that baseball bat lying on the ground, O.K.?

 

By: Paul Krugman, Op-Ed Columnist, The New York Times, December 28, 2014

December 29, 2014 Posted by | Austerity, Economic Policy, Politicians | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Such Short Memories”: The Worst President Since World War II? Uh, Guess Again

When George W. Bush was inaugurated president of the United States on January 20, 2001, the unemployment rate stood at 2.4 percent. By the time Dubya completed his second term in office on January 19, 2009, the unemployment rate at risen to 7 percent. When Dubya took office in 2001, he was left with a budget surplus of $127.3 billion. When he completed his second term, he left a budget deficit of $1.4 trillion. The US national debt was $5.7 trillion on January 19, 2001. After eight years of Dubya, the debt was $10.6 trillion.

The US was at peace on January 20, 2001. After eight years of Dubya, the US was involved in two overseas wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that had cost US taxpayers nearly $1 trillion. The bigger of the two — Iraq — was launched based on mistaken, manipulated, or concocted information (or some combination of the three), and had resulted in the deaths of approximately 4,200 US military personnel and somewhere between 100,000 to 500,000 Iraqi civilians.

America’s image abroad took a serious plunge under Dubya, primarily because of Iraq. International surveys of tens of thousands of people taken by the Pew Research Center’s Pew Global Attitudes Project during those years consistently found extremely low opinions of Dubya and the US due to the war in Iraq, particularly among Muslims. The revelations of atrocities committed by US soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison and abuses by contracted security firms like Blackwater certainly didn’t help. Oh, and the little matter of holding prisoners at Guantanamo and… more torture.

Both wars were carried out in retaliation for the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The attacks, which took place during Dubya’s first year, resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people and at least $10 billion in material damage.

A muscular foreign policy? Well, yeah… if you consider taking on third-rate powers like Iraq and Afghanistan “muscular.” Dubya couldn’t do much against Russia when it invaded Georgia in 2008, nor against Iran’s nuclear program. Also impotent to prevent the military rise of China. Some things just can’t be helped — not even if you’re a superpower.

The stock market? When Dubya took office in 2001, the Dow Jones stood at $10,587.59, the S&P 500 at $1,342.54, the NASDAQ at $2,770.38. Eight years later, the Dow was at $7,949.09, the S&P at $805.22, and the NASDAQ at $1,440.86. Those represented drops of 25 percent, 40 percent, and 48 percent, respectively.

The Great Recession in the US, which occurred during Dubya’s seventh and eighth years (2007-2008) in office, triggered a worldwide financial crisis — the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and resulted in the collapse of numerous large financial firms in the US and around the world. It threatened the very viability of the international financial system.

During Dubya’s seventh and eighth years, Americans lost a total of $16.4 trillion in household wealth. In 2008 alone — Dubya’s last year — more than 1 million Americans lost their homes, and the foreclosure process had begun on another 2 million Americans.

Health care costs? Under the Dubya years, health insurance premiums doubled. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average cost of employer-sponsored premiums for a family of four was $6,000 per year in January 2001. Eight years later, the average cost had risen to $12,680. It’s no wonder that the number of Americans with healthcare insurance dropped by 7.9 million under Dubya. Some 13.7 percent of Americans were uninsured in January 2001. Eight years later, the figure had risen to 15.4 percent.

Oh, Americans have such short memories — made only worse by how pathetically poor many choose to be informed. This is perhaps best reflected in the immensely entertaining poll recently taken by Quinnipiac University on June 24-30. The poll surveyed 1,446 people and asked them to rate US presidents since World War II. The result? Barack Obama was found to be the worst president since WWII. Right.

It brings to mind a gag quote I found online a couple of years ago. It was accompanied by a photo of Dubya. Went like this: “I screwed you all. But thanks for blaming it on the black guy.”

Bill Clinton perhaps put it best when he described the Republican Party’s position toward Obama: “We left him a total mess. He hasn’t cleaned it up fast enough, so fire him and put us back in.”

 

By: Marco Caceres, The Huffington Post Blog, July 8, 2014

 

July 9, 2014 Posted by | George W Bush, Politics, President Obama | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

No Glory For Governors Trying To Do The Right Fiscal Thing

If you want to get national attention as a governor these days, don’t try to be innovative about solving the problems you were elected to deal with – in education, transportation and health care. No, if you want ink and television time, just cut and cut and cut some more.

Almost no one in the national media is noticing governors who say the reasonable thing: that state budget deficits, caused largely by drops in revenue in the economic downturn, can’t be solved by cuts or tax increases alone.

There is nothing courageous about an ideological governor hacking away at programs that partisans of his philosophy, including campaign contributors, want eliminated. That’s staying in your comfort zone.

The brave ones are governors such as Jerry Brown in California, Dan Malloy in Connecticut, Pat Quinn in Illinois, Mark Dayton in Minnesota and Neil Abercrombie in Hawaii. They are declaring that you have to cut programs, even when your own side likes them, and raise taxes, which nobody likes much at all. Rhode Island’s Lincoln Chafee has warned of possible tax increases too.

Indeed, to the extent that Quinn received any national press coverage, he got pilloried in conservative outlets in January when he signed tax hikes that included a temporary increase in Illinois’ individual income tax rate from 3 percent to 5 percent.

Despite all the commotion around whether the federal government will shut down, the clamor in the states may be even more important than what’s happening in Washington, which is missing in action on the moment’s most vital fiscal question.

What states are doing to ease their fiscal agonies will only slow down our fragile economic recovery, and may stop it altogether. The last thing we need right now are state and local governments draining jobs and money from the economy, yet that is what they are being forced to do.

As the last three monthly reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed, an economy that created a net 317,000 private-sector jobs lost 70,000 state and local government jobs. Cutbacks are dead weight on the recovery.

In a more rational political climate, President Obama would have resurrected the lovely old Republican idea of federal revenue sharing. Washington should have continued replenishing state budgets for two more years, until we were certain the economic storms had passed. Instead, anything that might be called “stimulus” – “S” is now a scarlet letter in politics – was rejected out of hand.

The federal government could also help the states by picking up more of their Medicaid costs. In the long run, health-care spending should be a responsibility of the national government – as it is in almost every other wealthy democracy. A national commitment would end the specter of states forcing already financially beleaguered citizens off the health insurance rolls.

Such ideas are off the table because the current rage is not for figuring out how to make government work better – a cause that once united governors of both parties – but for cutting back even its most basic and popular functions.

Consider the new budget Gov. Scott Walker announced in Wisconsin on Tuesday. Among other things, he proposed cutting state aid to schools by $834 million over the next two years, a 7.9 percent reduction.

On top of that, Walker would make it harder for localities and school districts to make up for the shortfall by limiting their ability to raise property taxes. This isn’t about education reform. It’s about forcing larger class sizes, layoffs, reductions in extracurricular activities or cuts in teacher pay and benefits. But, hey, if it’s labeled “government,” let’s slash it.

What’s truly amazing, as Stateline.org reported recently, is the number of governors who are cutting taxes at the same time they are eviscerating programs. A particularly dramatic case is Florida’s Republican Gov. Rick Scott. He faces a $3.5 billion budget gap – and is pushing for $2 billion in corporate and property tax cuts.

Historically, times of fiscal stress forced states to make useful economies in programs that didn’t work or were not essential. But what’s happening in so many places now is a reckless rush to gut the parts of government that all but the most extreme libertarians support – and that truly deserve to be seen (one thinks of education and programs for poor children) as investments in the future.

And those governors doing the hard work trying to balance cutbacks and tax increases get ignored, because there’s nothing sexy about being responsible.

By: E. J Dionne, Op-Ed Columnist, The Washington Post, March 3, 2011

March 3, 2011 Posted by | Budget, Deficits, Economy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Be Careful What You Wish For: Repeal of the Affordable Care Act Would Be Harmful to Society and Costly for Our Country

The new Republican leadership of the House of Representatives says repeal of the recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is their top priority. The Republicans pushing for repeal, however, conveniently ignore the enormous step backward that repeal would represent for health care in our country, for the income security of our citizens, and for the fiscal health of our government.

The Affordable Care Act is not just a law designed to cover the majority of our nation’s uninsured, moving us into the league of industrialized nations which guarantee universal health coverage for its citizens. The law also takes the crucial first steps toward reining in our runaway health care costs. It ends discriminatory insurance practices that leave many of our citizens one bad gene, or badly timed accident, away from personal bankruptcy. It does so while introducing insurance market competition that will lead to lower health insurance premiums for some, and better coverage for others, in the so-called nongroup insurance market where workers without employer-provided health insurance turn for coverage. The Affordable Care Act does all this while significantly reducing our enormous federal budget deficit over the next 10 years.

Opponents of the new health reform law claim we can have many of the beneficial features documented above while repealing the parts they don’t like. This is a misleading and dangerous assertion. In fact, virtually none of the accomplishments of the new law are possible without the entire law’s infrastructure coming into place. That’s why all of the harms of repeal documented in this issue brief below will take place if the new law were to be scuttled.

To understand the consequences of repealing the Affordable Care Act, we can turn to two sources of objective information. The first is the careful and comprehensive effort put in by the Congressional Budget Office to evaluate the law’s impacts, including their recent report summarizing the effects of repealing the new law. The second is the closest case study we have where major elements of the new federal law are already in place—the state of Massachusetts, which passed a similar reform in early 2006. So let’s now turn to the different harms repeal of the health reform would deliver up to the American people.

Repeal means more uninsured, and worse public health

The first noticeable feature of a world without the new health reform law would be the much higher share of Americans without health insurance coverage. Absent the Affordable Care Act, CBO projects that 54 million people in our country, or almost 20 percent of our nonelderly population, will be uninsured by 2019. The new law will cover 32 million of those uninsured, according to CBO, or about 60 percent, with much of the remainder undocumented immigrants who are ineligible for coverage. This is more than a projection: It is also the same percentage share of the uninsured in Massachusetts who have been covered by that state’s health reform effort.

Clearly, repeal of the new law would have enormous negative consequences for our nation’s public health. Numerous studies document the dire health implications of uninsurance. An earlier study by the Institute of Medicine estimated that, in the year 2000 (when 38 million persons were uninsured), there were 18,000 deaths per year due to uninsurance. This suggests that repealing the Affordable Care Act could lead to 15,000 more deaths per year due to higher lack of insurance.

Repeal means increased financial risk for U.S. households alongside distorted labor markets

The impact of repeal extends well beyond those households who are uninsured. Indeed, repealing the new law would reach any household who faces the risk of losing their employer-sponsored health insurance. This is because the Affordable Care Act will fix the fundamental broken system of nongroup insurance in the United States.

Currently, individuals who do not have access to employer-provided group insurance coverage face a nongroup insurance market that is discriminatory and expensive. In most states individuals can be denied insurance coverage because they are ill or have their pre-existing illnesses excluded from coverage. Individuals who become ill can face personal bankruptcy as a result. Even when nongroup insurance is available, in most states insurance is priced according to individual health, with the oldest and sickest enrollees paying many multiples of younger and healthier enrollees.

There is a fundamental unfairness to a system under which individuals can face financial ruin because they have the wrong genes, or cross the street at the wrong time, but don’t happen to have access to insurance through their employer. Moreover, such a system significantly distorts our labor markets by forcing individuals to stay in jobs that offer health insurance rather than to move to newer and more productive positions where coverage is not available. Millions of U.S. workers are not moving to better jobs for them or starting new businesses because there is nowhere to turn for insurance coverage should they leave their jobs.

The Affordable Care Act would fix this flaw in our system. Insurance companies would no longer be allowed to price discriminate or deny coverage based on health or pre-existing conditions, and price differentials by age would be lowered. Individuals would be free to move to the job of their choice or to become entrepreneurs without fear of facing uninsurance.

Repealing the new health reform law would leave us in a world of broken nongroup insurance markets, with the attendant financial risk for individuals and the continued distortion to our labor markets. Why? Because without the comprehensive framework of the new law, it is incredibly costly to make insurance fairer in nongroup markets.

If insurance companies must charge the same price to people whether they’re sick or healthy, for example, then many healthy people will view this as a “bad deal” and not buy insurance. This results in higher prices because only the sick would buy insurance, chasing even more people out of the market. The result is a “death spiral” that leads only the sick to purchase insurance at very high prices. Several states tried such community rating reforms in their non-group markets over the past two decades, and the results were sharp rises in insurance prices and rapidly shrinking market size. The only way to make insurance market reform feasible is to pair it with large subsidies to purchase insurance and an individual requirement for coverage, as is the case with the Affordable Care Act.

Direct evidence for this point comes from Massachusetts. In the late 1990s the state moved to a nondiscriminatory nongroup market, but without the subsidies and the individual requirement that are central to the Affordable Care Act. The result was a collapse of the state’s nongroup market, so that by 2006 the state had by far the highest nongroup premiums in the nation. In 2006, the state implemented their comprehensive reform, which added to the insurance market reforms extensive low-income subsidies to purchase insurance and an individual requirement for coverage. This resulted in a 40 percent reduction in nongroup premiums in Massachusetts over a period where such premiums were rising by 14 percent nationally. That’s just one reason why the new law is called the Affordable Care Act.

Repeal means a noncompetitive and expensive nongroup insurance market

Another reason the Affordable Care Act works to bring down costs is because without it, a typical health insurance policy is much more expensive in the nongroup market than in the group market, partly because nongroup insurance markets are less competitive than group insurance markets in many states. There is no common marketplace where individuals can compare the prices of all the options that are available to them in the nongroup market. As a result, existing market participants keep prices high and new firms are unable to promote lower costs as a tool of market entry.

The Affordable Care Act addresses this problem in two important ways. The first is by introducing competitive insurance exchanges in every state. Individuals would be able to shop more effectively, comparing their nongroup options in a competitive and transparent environment. This approach has already had a notable success in Massachusetts, where the introduction of the state’s Connector health insurance exchange expanded the use of nongroup insurance and promoted the entry of a major new low-cost insurer into the state’s nongroup insurance market.

Without the Affordable Care Act states are unlikely to be able to establish transformative and competitive exchanges for the purchase of nongroup insurance. Many states have tried over the past 20 years to establish insurance exchanges and they have virtually all either failed or had little impact. This is typically because insurers were afraid that individuals would choose to buy from the exchanges only if they were sick, which meant prices in the exchange were high and demand for exchange products was low. With low demand, exchanges could not establish the economies of scale necessary for success.

The success of exchanges under the new health reform law will be due to the fact that individuals will be both required to purchase insurance and that insurance purchase will be subsidized only through the exchange. This will promote exchanges on a scale necessary to succeed in promoting competition in state insurance markets.

The second way that the Affordable Care Act addresses the high costs of nongroup insurance is through the introduction of new tax credits to make health insurance affordable through the exchange. The typical middle-class family in the United States would now be provided financial support to ensure that they would not have to spend an unfair amount for the insurance they need to protect their family.

The upshot: Repealing the new law would mean returning to an era where individuals can’t effectively compare their insurance options, guaranteeing continued noncompetitive and expensive insurance in this market. And it would mean that individuals would face the full prices in these noncompetitive markets without the necessary tax credits to make insurance affordable. Repeal, in short, would be unfair, ineffective, inefficient, and costly.

Repeal means free riders would continue to exploit the health care system

Another fundamental flaw in our current health care system before passage of the Affordable Care Act was that individuals could “free ride,” remaining uninsured until they need care and then turning to emergency rooms. Emergency rooms are required by law to provide care to all regardless of insurance coverage. The associated uncompensated care costs of treating these individuals amount to a more than $40 billion a year tax on the insured in the United States

The Affordable Care Act ends this free riding by requiring that individuals purchase insurance if it is affordable for them (which it will be for most due to the subsidies described earlier). This personal responsibility requirement, originally the brainchild of Republican experts, would end the unfairness of a system where emergency room health care providers are required to treat everyone but individuals are not in turn required to pay their fair share of the costs of treatment. Repealing the new law would mean returning to a world where individuals can simply wait until they are sick to get treated, passing the costs on to the rest of society that is paying their share.

Repeal means the continued decline of private insurance

There was an enormous erosion of private insurance coverage in the United States over the past decade. Employer-sponsored insurance fell by 15 percent and nongroup insurance has not grown to keep pace. The result today is an increase in both the ranks of the uninsured and the publicly insured.

The Affordable Care Act arrests this decline and promotes private insurance coverage. According to the CBO, the new law will lead to a small erosion in employersponsored insurance coverage, offset by a rise in nongroup insurance coverage that is almost five times as large. Overall, private insurance coverage in the United States will rise by 15 million people due to the Affordable Care Act.

Repeal would provide no cushion for our citizens to offset this rapid decline in employer-sponsored insurance coverage. Fifteen million fewer U.S. residents would have private insurance than without the law. The Affordable Care Act is not a government takeover of the U.S. health system; it is a means of using reformed private nongroup insurance markets to more effectively fight the steady decline in employer-provided group insurance. Repeal means a fundamental retreat from the promise of private health insurance coverage for our citizens.

Repeal means higher and more rapidly growing budget deficits

The Affordable Care Act delivers a unique dose of fiscal responsibility in an era of rapidly growing federal budget deficits. The new law offsets its new spending with even larger reductions in other spending and revenue increases. As a result, CBO estimates that the legislation will reduce the deficit by more than $100 billion by 2019, and by more than $1 trillion in the decade after that.

What is not widely appreciated is that deficit reduction due to the new health law will rise over time. The cuts in excessive spending and increases in revenues are back-loaded, not front-loaded as with so many other recent pieces of legislation. This is illustrated by the fact that the most recent CBO estimate shows that repeal would raise the deficit by $230 billion over the next decade. And, because the net budget savings from the new health law will grow over time, repeal would raise the deficit by much larger and ever growing amounts into the future.

Repeal would therefore mean undoing the enormous fiscal benefits of this legislation. Offsetting a more than $100 billion hole in the budget deficit by 2019 would require significant cuts elsewhere in the budget or other increases in revenues. And it seems highly unlikely that Congress would enact spending or revenue changes that would increase so rapidly over time. That means even fixes that offset the short-term costs of repealing the new law would not address the enormous long-term hole it would leave in our budget.

Repeal means a critical step backward on cost control

Reforming insurance markets and covering the uninsured are actually the relatively easy lifts for the new health reform law when compared to the more daunting and fundamental challenge—reducing the rate of growth in health care costs, which threatens to bankrupt our government and our nation. U.S. spending on health care is very high and a source of great concern but it is the growth rate of medical spending, not its level, that ultimately determines our country’s financial well-being. Absent the Affordable Care Act, if current trends persist we will be spending an unsustainable 38 percent of our GDP on health care by 2075 because the growth of health care costs would continue to outstrip the growth rate of the overall economy.

Addressing the rapidly rising costs of medical care, however, faces two daunting barriers. The first is scientific: There is tremendous uncertainty about how to lower health care costs without sacrificing health care quality. There is a broad consensus that there is significant waste in our health care system. But there is little consensus about the best way to address that waste without risking the enormous gains in population health due to health care improvements in recent decades. The second barrier is political: There are major entrenched interests that are threatened by fundamental health care reform and who will strongly oppose any such efforts.

In the face of these barriers, our political process has found it difficult to make progress on significant cost-control efforts over the past several decades. The Affordable Care Act represents the most important step forward in cost control in at least 30 years. The new law pursues many different approaches toward cost control, studying them to see which ones work best. This is through provisions that:

  • Reduce consumer demand for excessive medical care through the “Cadillac tax” on high-cost insurance plans.
  • Reduce health care provider payments by appointing a depoliticized board to make up-or-down recommendations to Congress on changes to Medicare’s provider payments.
  • Set up dozens of health care pilot programs to test various approaches to revamping provider-payment incentives and organizational structure.
  • Invest hundreds of millions of dollars in new comparative-effectiveness research.
  • Launch pilot programs to assess the impact of various reorganizations of the medical malpractice process.

None of these approaches is guaranteed to work but together they represent a significant step toward fundamental cost control.

Importantly, they represent steps that are unlikely to happen if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. None of these ideas are new; most have been around for decades. But it was through the overall push for health reform that Congress was able to finally put them in place. Absent such a unifying framework, the barriers which have blocked cost-control efforts in the past will continue to stand in the way of moving forward on cost-control efforts.

Bottom line: Repeal is a dramatic step backward

The debate over repeal of the Affordable Care Act is characterized by enormous misinformation and confusion. Opponents of the legislation exploit this for political gains. A legitimate debate over the Affordable Care Act and the future of health care in America must recognize the fundamental improvements to our health care system put in place by this new law. Repealing would lead to:

  • A society with poorer health and ultimately more deaths from lack of medical care
  • A continued unfair and expensive nongroup insurance market that leads to economic instability, medical bankruptcy, and a less efficient job market where individuals are afraid to move to more productive job opportunities
  • Continued free riding by those who pass billions of dollars in care costs onto the insured
  • A massive decline in private insurance coverage
  • Huge and unsustainable increases in budget deficits reaching trillions of dollars over coming decades
  • A fundamental step backward in our efforts to control the health care costs which threaten to bankrupt our society

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is aptly named. Repeal would mean less health care protection for more and more Americans at higher and higher costs to themselves, their families, and our nation. We simply cannot afford to repeal the new law.

By: Jonathan Gruber, Professor of Health Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of the Massachusetts Health Connector Authority: January 19, 2011

January 19, 2011 Posted by | Affordable Care Act | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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