Economy

Paul Krugman Has the Perfect Analogy for Republicans' Obamacare Replacement

The New York Times columnist is floored by the bill's "surreal" awfulness.

Photo Credit: YouTube Screengrab

In their ceaseless quest to strip Americans of any form of state-sponsored health care, Republicans from Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) have panned the House GOP's Affordable Care Act replacement as "Obamacare 2.0." For Paul Krugman, it's closer to "Obamacare 0.5."

In a characteristically sizzling piece Friday, the New York Times columnist unloaded on the "surreal" awfulness of the American Healthcare Act, a bill "so bad it's awesome." 

Krugman argues that Trumpcare, as the president is desperate for the public not to call it, weakens the "three pillars" of the ACA beyond repair: Insurers still won't be able to exclude the sick, but they can jack up their premiums on older Americans; tax credits won't be able to offset the ACA's subsidies; and the paltry tax levied on those who don't sign up would only worsen the risk pool, causing premiums to further balloon.

"Trumpcare, if implemented, would collapse in a Mar-a-Lago minute," he cautions.

Here's the money paragraph, no pun intended:

Affluent young people might end up saving some money as a result of these changes. But the effect on those who are older and less affluent would be devastating. AARP has done the math: a 55-year-old making $25,000 a year would end up paying $3,600 a year more for coverage; that rises to $8,400 for a 64-year-old making $15,000 a year. And that’s before the death spiral.

Whither Donald Trump's promises of "insurance for everybody" and "great health care"? 

"The answer, of course, is that they were all lying, all along—and they still are," Krugman says. "On this, at least, Republican unity remains impressively intact."

Read Krugman's column at The New York Times.

 

Jacob Sugarman is a managing editor at AlterNet.

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