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Paul Krugman Offers Some Awesome Advice: It’s Time To “Celebrate” Obamacare And “Ridicule Right-Wingers”


After years of waiting and several tumultuous weeks of website glitches and system failure, Paul Krugman says it’s time to celebrate. In his latest column for the New York Times, Krugman said that the Affordable Care Act’s enrollment numbers are a “very big deal,” indicating that the health care law has not only regained it’s footing, but is starting to thrive.

Krugman’s advice? It’s time for Obamacare supporters to celebrate — and time for reform’s opponents to admit defeat. Krugman also advises supporters of the health care law not to pass up this splendid opportunity to poke a little fun at those who so confidently predicted that the law would be a “train-wreck.”

“The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, has made a stunning comeback from its shambolic start,” Krugman writes. “As the March 31 deadline for 2014 coverage approached, there was a surge in applications at the ‘exchanges’ — the special insurance marketplaces the law set up. And the original target of seven million signups, widely dismissed as unattainable, has been surpassed.”

“This is a very big deal indeed,” he adds.7-25-13c-obamacare

Krugman’s argument is pretty straightforward: Obamacare was always going to be overly complicated and a bit messy, largely due to the fact that it was a complex political solution to what, in policy terms, is a rather simple problem.

“Remember, giving everyone health insurance doesn’t have to be hard; you can just do it with a government-run program,” Krugman writes. “But it wasn’t politically possible, for a couple reasons,” mainly the power of the health insurance industry as well as the fact that most people like their employer-provided insurance — and Republican’s attempts to sabotage the law and obstruct enrollment certainly didn’t make the process any easier.

Because of Obamacare’s “Rube Goldberg” nature (as Krugman puts it, referring to a machine that performs a very simple task in a very complicated fashion), it was always possible that the ACA’s technical hiccups would be seized upon by its opponents and presented as “proof” of the supposed fundamental unworkability of the health care law. “And last fall,” Krugman writes, “that nightmare seemed to be coming true.”

Yet now the ACA has surpassed its 7 million sign-up goal and, according to Krugman, happy days are more or less here — finally. “[T]he nightmare is over,” Krugman declares, “This thing is going to work.”

So what’s next? Krugman advises Obamacare fans enjoy this long-elusive moment vindication — and needle a few Obamacare-doubting conservatives while they’re at it, too:

And, yes, it’s also a big political victory for Democrats. They can point to a system that is already providing vital aid to millions of Americans, and Republicans — who were planning to run against a debacle — have nothing to offer in response. And I mean nothing. So far, not one of the supposed Obamacare horror stories featured in attack ads has stood up to scrutiny.

So my advice to reform supporters is, go ahead and celebrate. Oh, and feel free to ridicule right-wingers who confidently predicted doom.

Clearly, there’s a lot of work ahead, and we can count on the news media to play up every hitch and glitch as if it were an existential disaster. But Rube Goldberg has survived; health reform has won.

la-na-tt-ire-at-obamacare-20131203-001Top contenders for mockery include prominent Republicans like House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Senator Ted Cruz (along with many others), who, after the first enrollment figures were published in November, immediately unleashed a firestorm of attacks, citing low initial enrollment as “proof” of the law’s failure. Then there was conservative Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, who said in August that “the coming Obamacare train wreck is endemic to big-government liberalism.” And of course, we can’t forget about Americans for Prosperity state director and anti-Obamacare zealot Jennifer Stefano, who just last week had a meltdown on live TV after MSNBC’s Chris Hayes disputed her claim that “hardly anyone” has enrolled in a plan. In what can only be described as poetic justice, the very next day we received the news that Obamacare enrollment had surpassed the 6 million mark, and just days later climbed over 7 million.

I would never encourage bullying — but given the context, a little “told ya so” can’t hurt!

"Told ya so!"

“Told ya so!”

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