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Krugman writes: "Last week, House Republicans released a deliberately misleading report on the status of health reform, crudely rigging the numbers to sustain the illusion of failure in the face of unexpected success. Are you shocked? You aren't, but you should be."

Paul Krugman. (photo: NYT)
Paul Krugman. (photo: NYT)


Inventing a Failure

By Paul Krugman, The New York Times

05 May 14

 

ast week, House Republicans released a deliberately misleading report on the status of health reform, crudely rigging the numbers to sustain the illusion of failure in the face of unexpected success. Are you shocked?

You aren’t, but you should be. Mainstream politicians didn’t always try to advance their agenda through lies, damned lies and — in this case — bogus statistics. And the fact that this has become standard operating procedure for a major party bodes ill for America’s future.

About that report: The really big policy news of 2014, at least so far, is the spectacular recovery of the Affordable Care Act from its stumbling start, thanks to an extraordinary late surge that took enrollment beyond early projections. The age mix of enrollees has improved; insurance companies are broadly satisfied with the risk pool. Multiple independent surveys confirm that the percentage of Americans without health insurance has already declined substantially, and there’s every reason to believe that over the next two years the act will meet its overall goals, except in states that refuse to expand Medicaid.

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+15 # RicKelis 2014-05-05 19:38
FYI- abstract of the Krugman article, Center Cut:
Paul Krugman: How can [Republicans] respond to good news [about Obamacare]? Well, they could graciously admit that they were wrong, and offer constructive suggestions about how to make the law work even better. [But] no, they have in fact continued to sling as much mud as possible at health reform: premiums were soaring, they declared, when [they're] actually below projections. Millions of people were losing coverage, they insisted, when [they] were simply replaced them with new policies. [They falsely claim] the Obama administration was cooking the books; [and] the horror stories about people suffering terribly from Obamacare [never] withstood scrutiny.
Now comes the latest claim, backed by an actual survey purporting to show that a third of enrollees hadn’t paid their first premium. But the survey was rigged — it ignored the fact that the first premium wasn’t even due for the millions of people who signed up for insurance after March 15. So] the attacks on Obamacare are deliberately bogus. The staffers who set up that survey knew enough about the numbers to skew them, [and so] must have known that Obamacare is actually doing O.K.
 
 
+4 # RicKelis 2014-05-05 19:41
FYI- abstract of the Krugman article, Pt.1:
Paul Krugman- Last week, House Republicans released a deliberately misleading report on the status of health reform, crudely rigging the numbers to sustain the illusion of failure in the face of unexpected success. You should be shocked — mainstream politicians didn’t always try to advance their agenda through lies, damned lies and bogus statistics. That this has become standard operating procedure for a major party bodes ill for America’s future.
About that report: The really big policy news of 2014 is the spectacular recovery of the Affordable Care Act, an extraordinary late surge, [improved] age mix of enrollees and a satisfactory risk pool. The percentage of Americans without health insurance has already declined substantially, meeting overall goals. This is a problem for Republicans, who [hold] that health reform is an unfixable failure.
 
 
+8 # RicKelis 2014-05-05 19:42
FYI- abstract of the Krugman article, Pt.2:
[So] why are Republicans doing this? [Well] it fires up the base. Republican leaders know that Obamacare has failed to fail — but the party faithful know, just know [it's all true] — anyone who says otherwise is just a liberal shill.
Beyond that, the constant harping on alleged failure works as innuendo even if each individual claim collapses in the face of evidence.The Kaiser Family Foundation found that Americans know that eight million [plus] people enrolled in health exchanges; but a majority of respondents believed that this was below expectations, and that the law was working badly.
So Republicans are spreading disinformation about health reform because it works, and because they can — there is no sign that they pay any political price when their accusations are proved false. And that observation should scare you. What happens to the Congressional Budget Office if a party that has learned that lying about numbers works takes full control of Congress? What happens if it regains the White House, too? Nothing good, that’s for sure.
 
 
0 # backwards_cinderella 2014-05-08 06:03
why do you think we are SO STUPID that we need you to TRANSLATE what krugman is writing?
 
 
+11 # BobboMax 2014-05-05 22:17
@RicKelis- thanks for your service to us non-NYT types. Krugman deserves a wide distribution.
 
 
+2 # RicKelis 2014-05-06 12:54
My pleasure, BobboMax. The more informed we are, the more light we bring to bear on the discussion. Even if it's just a more direct version of Krugman, sans some of his dry wit and stylistic themes - and also without some of the facts, source material that support his contentions - it provides us with more ammunition for any discussions we might have with the Dark Side. It helps to be armed with facts - and logic. The opposition doesn't know what to do with facts and logic--it drives them even more nuts.. Also, I notice that there are usually quite a few shares on Facebook. Facebook asks for an accompanying comment at post time. The abstract/summar y provided here contains many quotables that can be used within that requested comment to help make your point.
 
 
+3 # bmiluski 2014-05-06 10:40
I truly believe that lying is part of a neo-cons DNA. I remember an e-mail that was being sent around. It was a speech given by h.s. principle to the graduating class. In the speech were supposedly true republican values and everything that we libs did not believe in. When I pointed out to my friend that I believed in a lot of what the speech proported the speech was actually written by a columnist and was never delivered by any h.s. principle. Well, he went balistic and told me never to contact him again. To this day I don't understand why my friend went balistic and why whoever circulated that "thing" had to lie about who actually wrote it.
Can anyone explain?
 
 
+4 # RicKelis 2014-05-06 12:37
Quoting bmiluski:
I truly believe that lying is part of a neo-cons DNA.

I recall that Rumsfeld, a major neo-con, blantantly pronounced that they were going to lie - he had that stupid look on his face he gets when he's saying something he thinks we all should know and accept. Lying is an integral part of the war-secrecy mentality of the past decade/century/ millennium. To the liars
its a necessity that should be accepted as 'the fortunes of war,' the 'fog of war' etc. A modern day Prometheus like Edward Snowden helps to break up that outdated mental set.
 
 
+5 # angelfish 2014-05-06 14:14
Thank you, Professor Krugman! WHERE is the main stream Media on any of this? WHY isn't it broadcast far and wide informing the people that these shysters are EXACTLY that? Shysters ALL! God help me I am SO sick of the lies, distortions and absolute REFUSAL by these Trolls to HELP this Country. We KNOW they hate this President! It's time for them to get OVER it and start to WORK helping the Country! If they don't...? I hope God provides them with an especially adequate punishment!
 
 
+3 # dsepeczi 2014-05-07 07:58
Quoting angelfish:
Thank you, Professor Krugman! WHERE is the main stream Media on any of this? WHY isn't it broadcast far and wide informing the people that these shysters are EXACTLY that? Shysters ALL! God help me I am SO sick of the lies, distortions and absolute REFUSAL by these Trolls to HELP this Country. We KNOW they hate this President! It's time for them to get OVER it and start to WORK helping the Country! If they don't...? I hope God provides them with an especially adequate punishment!


The mainstream media is all corporate owned. Their sole job is to keep us divided on a multiple array of issues to keep us from uniting against the U.S. oligarchy that's destroying a once proud, once strong middle class in this country. That's their only objective and they're carrying it out quite well, unfortunately.
 
 
+1 # Radscal 2014-05-06 16:57
As the Obama Administration was preparing the ACA, polls showed that 2/3 of U.S. citizens wanted a single-payer or similar Medicare-for-al l system to totally replace private insurance. Even more would have accepted a "public option" whereby a Medicare-type program was made available to all as an option to private insurance.

Democrats refused to even permit a debate on these plans in Congress.

Similar poll results showing overwhelming support for "socialized medicine" (as long as it wasn't called that) were taken while the Clinton Administration' s mandated private insurance plan was being prepared in the '90s.

So, now we have ACA, which bandages some of the most horrendous aspects of private insurance, which even the proponents acknowledge will end up leaving 30 million uninsured.

But, a huge diversionary battle is being played out by the red team and the blue team which totally obscures the will of the public.

Divide and rule.
 
 
+5 # Granny Weatherwax 2014-05-06 19:37
The US need a law prohibiting willfully lying on air.
When Murdoch tried to launch SunTV in Canada he had to recant because he could not get Harper to dismiss the similar law they have.

I don't allow my kids to lie.
Why should we as a society allow corporations or politicians to lie?
 
 
+1 # Granny Weatherwax 2014-05-07 13:36
As a matter of fact a guy John Clapper showed recently big fish are allowed to lie under oath o congress as well.
Oh, well...
 
 
+3 # Far Left vanishing point 2014-05-06 22:27
What is their position? The GOP has no position worth a damn. The democrats have a real position that works. So the GOP has to lie. And ends justify means to them even if the ends are ill thought out.
 
 
+2 # dsepeczi 2014-05-07 07:55
Quoting Far Left vanishing point:
What is their position? The GOP has no position worth a damn. The democrats have a real position that works. So the GOP has to lie. And ends justify means to them even if the ends are ill thought out.


What is the republican's positions ? That's simple. It goes like this ... "What's Obama for ? Then we're AGAINST that !" Your "republican values primer" ... done ! Lol
 

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