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Excerpt: So the Supreme Court - defying many expectations - upheld the Affordable Care Act, a k a Obamacare. ... almost all of us stand to benefit from making America a kinder and more decent society."


The Real Winners

By Paul Krugman, The New York Times

29 June 12

So the Supreme Court — defying many expectations — upheld the Affordable Care Act, a k a Obamacare. There will, no doubt, be many headlines declaring this a big victory for President Obama, which it is. But the real winners are ordinary Americans — people like you.

How many people are we talking about? You might say 30 million, the number of additional people the Congressional Budget Office says will have health insurance thanks to Obamacare. But that vastly understates the true number of winners because millions of other Americans — including many who oppose the act — would have been at risk of being one of those 30 million.

So add in every American who currently works for a company that offers good health insurance but is at risk of losing that job (and who isn’t in this world of outsourcing and private equity buyouts?); every American who would have found health insurance unaffordable but will now receive crucial financial help; every American with a pre-existing condition who would have been flatly denied coverage in many states.

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+52 # Barbara K 2012-06-29 09:46
Thanks, Mr. Krugman, I totally agree with you. We, the American People are winners. Many people who couldn't get health care will now be able to have it. I'm so glad that Roberts actually got a conscience and voted to keep the Health Care that millions of Americans need. I'm glad they kept the mandate, we need the free riders to pay their share too. There are provisions made to help the poor and those who cannot afford much. The URL for the Bill for more information and to see how you stand is:

Check it out.
-20 # brux 2012-06-29 10:18
> Many people who couldn't get health care will now be able to have it.

I don't really understand this statement … nothing has really changed, except now by law you must buy healthcare.

I was for Obama and health CARE reform, but all we got was health insurance mandate.

Yes, there are some good or logical things in the bill, but absolutely nothing to keep costs down, or move to more people being covered.

The bottom line is that health insurance companies must sell us insurance, but if people cannot afford it - it does absolutely nothing to make it affordable or keep costs down.

Health insurance premiums are still rising faster than inflation.

I think this legislation was to bring new customers to the health insurance corporations all along.

This is what is needed now to do anything in American under this corporate structure, a big farcical political drama where the whole country watches this 3 ring tragi-sitcom of a country that is a pure facade, and that only exists to brainwash and confuse people into not making a big scene that would still be unmanageable for the ruling class.
-45 # edge 2012-06-29 10:43
brux is absolutely correct and now we know that this will be the biggest tax increase for the middle class in recent history!

The rich can still afford healthcare, the poor will get free or subsidized care.

The middle class that does not get it from their employers will have to decide if they can afford it or pay the new tax which will be cheaper!
If a family of 4 makes 50k a year their new tax will be 1,250 which is much cheaper than a health care policy.
If the government wants to subsidize their plan then our deficits will spiral even more out of control!
+37 # BradFromSalem 2012-06-29 11:08
Anytime someone talks about reducing the deficit as something that should drive decisions, rather than making decisions that improves the economy; I give them an immediate thumbs down.
+7 # brux 2012-06-29 12:16
>> Anytime someone talks about reducing the deficit as
>> something that should drive decisions, rather than
>> making decisions that improves the economy; I give
>> them an immediate thumbs down.

Well said, hope you are not talking about me though.

The economy is like a trellis, an agreed framework that facilitates more or less fair interactions between people so we can get what we want and develop systems to do same. When that trellis framework gets old and starts to collapse, it's time for reset, not time to put even more of our energy into a system that does not work anymore.
+1 # BradFromSalem 2012-06-29 13:58
No, I was responding only to edge.
+31 # BradFromSalem 2012-06-29 11:04
The costs are driven by many factors, most can be resolved by smart management, efficient uses of resources and also by comprehensive cradle to grave health care. As you point out out insurance is an inefficient (expensive) method to pay for health care. Adding complexity and choices to various health insurance plans only increases the overall inefficiency in health care delivery.

Fortunately, Obamacare does address some of these problems. The tool of choice under Obamacare is a hammer. Insurance companies must offer a defined minimum coverage, they also must use 85% of what they collect in premiums on health care. The use of electronic records will also improve efficiency, but as anyone familiar with large computer integration projects can tell you; it will cost you a lot more, before it costs you a lot less.

Its better than what we had, saves some money especially when you count the overall cost of health care and protects individuals from some morally reprehensible practices.

And please not that what I described as the most inefficient health care delivery model; is exactly what the Republicans are advocating.

To paraphrase my friend Barbara K; NEVER VOTE REPUBLICAN. In their sick lust for power, truth just gets in the way.
-19 # edge 2012-06-29 12:29
The cost of college has been driven up at triple the rate of inflation due to government pushing more people to go when they should not, and subsidizing their dumb decision!

These college costs were obtained from the 1963 and 2008 issues of the "World Almanac". Tuition for state universities reflects a resident's cost.

Tuition (per Year) 1960 1960Today 2008
UC, Berkeley $ 0 $ 0 $ 6,654
Columbia $ 1,460 $10,147 $33,906
University of Georgia $ 195 $ 1,355 $ 4,964
Harvard $ 1,520 $10,564 $33,709
MIT $ 1,500 $10,425 $33,600
Michigan State $ 279 $ 1,939 $ 8,843
Northwestern $ 1,200 $ 8,340 $33,559
Penn State $ 480 $ 3,336 $12,164
U of Texas $ 100 $ 695 $ 7,630
+20 # BradFromSalem 2012-06-29 13:45
The government isn't pushing more people to go to college. First, we need more college educated workers. Second, the infrastructure required for a 21st Century college is way beyond what was needed in 1960.
This is just another Right Wing myth supported by fudged numbers, not dissimilar to how Charter schools will save Public education by outsourcing it.

Everything doesn't increase in price along the same trajectory as inflation. As education becomes more valuable and the resources required to provide that education increase it is no surprise that the cost outpaces inflation. That is because inflation is an average of all items.
+12 # ABen 2012-06-29 15:05
edge; while your figures are as stated in the "Almanac," your stated premise as to why this is happening has no basis in factual reality. There are several reasons for the escalating cost of college tuition such as less financial support from states (state schools)and higher operating cost (energy is a big one), but the influx of students largely reflects a desire (on students part) to acquire the skills and training needed to successfully participate in the 21st Century.
+14 # LegendBert 2012-06-29 13:55
Brux, I think you have the story wrong. The reason why everybody must buy healthcare is because an insurance company can't operate (let alone make a profit) insuring only the sick. But the good news is that now the sick can get insurance. It is unfortunate that so little has been done to educate people about the many advantages of this law.
+3 # brux 2012-06-29 15:37
Bert, there is a fantastic book called "How Markets Fail" that talks all at length about the perversions of the market process when it comes to health care.

No one is saying, and including me, that health insurance companies should have to insure ONLY the sick, so your argument is made of straw here,

The insurance companies have been acting as if they only want to insure only the healthy, which is the whole dang problem now isn't it.

So, maybe you could do with some education on this issue or a bit more straightforward ness in your posts.
0 # Innocent Victim 2012-07-02 22:26
Yes, the giveaway was John Roberts' support. He was for ACA, because the insurance industry was also. Let's put it this way, if the insurance industry did not want it, Obama and the congress would never have given the Supreme Court a case to decide.

They are all in the pockets of the 1%.
0 # Innocent Victim 2012-07-02 22:27
Krugman should get the Nobel for loyalty to the Democratic Party.
-73 # Dumbledorf 2012-06-29 09:47
We are in trouble as never before, folks, and I suspect that many more (who are able) will renounce their citizenship and leave this once-blessed country. Under now-openly totalitarian CJ Roberts, SCOTUS has now joined the Executive and Legislative branches. Apparently, this is what he planned all along. With Roberts assistance, the enslavement of the American people appears to now be complete.

CJ Roberts is a filthy skunk! P....U....!

Folks, Obamacare has been falsly ruled AS A TAX
+55 # michelle 2012-06-29 10:08
"We are in trouble as never before, folks, and I suspect that many more (who are able) will renounce their citizenship and leave this once-blessed country."

I believe leading the parade will be Rush Limbaugh on his way to Costa Rica. Limbaugh did say he would go to Costa Rica if ACA was upheld by the Court. Adios.
+33 # brux 2012-06-29 11:14
Costa Rica is too beautful of a place for Rush Limbaugh. If they allow him in the country I will never visit there again.
+30 # michelle 2012-06-29 11:25
I too was confused with Limbaugh's choice of Costa Rica until I remembered that research and facts are not part of his mindset. I suspect that even if Costa Rica let him in, he would have to leave when he discovered how the healthcare system works. I can't imagine where his quest for Free Marketeer health care will take him. I just hope it takes him out of here.
+16 # LiberalRN 2012-06-29 13:06
Quoting michelle:
"We are in trouble as never before, folks, and I suspect that many more (who are able) will renounce their citizenship and leave this once-blessed country."

I believe leading the parade will be Rush Limbaugh on his way to Costa Rica. Limbaugh did say he would go to Costa Rica if ACA was upheld by the Court. Adios.

I, for one, would chip in on a ticket, even though Rush is a gazillionaire.
+17 # Todd Williams 2012-06-29 13:41
Oh my God, I was going to retire in Costa Rica! Shit, now I'll have to find another place if Rush is going there. By the way, no doubt he will cause trouble in Costa as he has done here.
+38 # WFBrenner 2012-06-29 10:53
Don't let the door hit you in your backside as you leave the country, Dumbledorf!
+29 # reiverpacific 2012-06-29 10:56
@ Dumbledorf!
What "Once-blessed country" would THAT be prithee?
You might ask the increasing amount of Citizens who have no access to healthcare at all -including the cannon-fodder veterans-, or those who are patrons of the rapidly-growing "Healthcare Tourism" industry which provides low-cost trips to other countries for better and cheaper treatment and medicines.
I know that this is main reason I've never become a US citizen and don't intend to grow much older here -but have already had issues with the mean-spirited for-profit non-system that the Rethuglican wanna-be dictators want to stick us with unchanged or even worse, and is the laughing-stock (in a sort of horrified way) of the so-called civilized world!
B.T.W., Costa Rica has a national health care system so may I suggest a better match for you, "Mush Limp-balls" and your ilk would be Paraguay, which just had an illegal coup of their first post-Stroessner lefty president and will soon be isolated from it's more progressive neighbors). You'll really feel at home there.
Just watch you don't get a dose of "Tropical-Tummy " down there though; -you might need some medical help~!
Check this out; it's as true if not more so, as when it was made in 1981.
+8 # Todd Williams 2012-06-29 13:43
Yes, Paraguay would fit old Rusho perfectly. I may be wrong, but didn't a bunch of Nazis end up in that shithole?
+4 # Majikman 2012-06-29 21:28
Yup! Including the Bushies who have purchased thousands of acres in Paraguay. Not a neighborhood I'd care to live in.
+6 # Todd Williams 2012-06-29 13:39
When are you leaving?
-4 # Patrice Ayme 2012-06-29 10:20
I am 100% for universal coverage in health care and free basic care, as in Europe. I am also not a rightist, but just the opposite. However the left is here suffering from a giant delusion. Mostly the health care plutocrats will profit of the thing. Once people realize this, the fight will have to start for real.

A tax paid to private entities, that's called serfdom. or at least it was, in the Middle Ages. in Obamese, it's called Affordable Care. OK, serfdom was indeed affordable care.

However, in the Frankish empire, if a serf stayed away for a month, she, or he, was free of its obligation to pay tax to its (private) lord, forever. There is no such relief clause here. Just the opinion that tax can be paid to a for profit company, by law. Plutocracy supreme.

But let's not expect that vulgar American Supreme Court justices would know the history of the Middle Ages. However justice Roberts masters machiavellism, very clearly.
-7 # brux 2012-06-29 11:21
You are right PA .. the US power and economy is too big to fail as the mantra goes, and what it supports is anything that generates cash and funnels it to the corporatocracy for growth - legal, illegal, moral, immoral, toxic, or fattening - we are killing our people because the giant corporations that create our toxic food cannot figure out a way to deliver real nutrition to us and make a profit, AND it makes us sick and generates the whole huge health care joke - another whole industry that sucks up money to fix the problems of the food industry. We generate so much garbage, pollution and waste pretty soon we will have a whole cleanup industry - and never a thought that we could do the positive things with some government regulation and avoid much of the negative byproducts and externalities.

What we call our GNP is really just more liabilities that we have to pay off in the future.

The whole economy is like a giant tax on Americans who have their better impulses thwarted and turned into negativity because that is what puts more money towards the corporatocracy and makes it stronger.

We need to resist. I think unplugging from the system, grow as much of our own food, take care of ourselves and turnabout is fair play - starve the corporatocracy to death like they starved and hijacked what should be OUR government.
+13 # dick 2012-06-29 10:58
One big step for the 99.99%: Healthcare insurance fights despair.
God is obviously an FDR Democrat, but Her current representatives are not Delivering Her Message, or delivering much else. Admit it: We now have a FREELOADER PENALTY TAX.
If you try to force others to pay medical expenses that you can afford to pay, St.Obama will tax you to save others, who pay their way, from having their taxes raised to pay your bills. Independents LUV that, & so do I. A New Message a Day keeps the GOPers away. Mitt will need Nun of Thee Above for a running mate.
+33 # fredboy 2012-06-29 11:16
Some friends were literally wiped out by the harsh reality of cancer--losing their jobs, then their healthcare, then finding it impossible to get insurance. Then their challenge, while still attacking their bodies, attacked and destroyed all they had built--their savings, their homes, their hope. And all the while Republicans spat on their problems, made fun of them, decried them and laughed at the dangers and devastation they faced.
I believe the Republican lack of empathy, now inbred into at least three generations, will pay horrible personal dividends for such thinkers in the future. A lack of empathy and hatred for the less fortunate goes against every faith of goodness, and invites most hideous consequences. Karma, put simply, will be a vicious, lethal bitch.
+16 # mjc 2012-06-29 11:33
Many posting here need to look at the details of the A.C.A because they view it as some kind of sop to the poor and the by definition, the unworthy. As Krugman the complete article...this will benefit all Americans, is paid for, will provide help for those who cannot afford health care. The hard core Teas and their "fanatical fans" who now seem to speak for what used to be the Republican Party are unrelenting partisans. There is nothing the Democrats could ever do that would satisfy or bring support from this group. If Costa Rica will take them, give them the special for anti-Americans.
+12 # panhead49 2012-06-29 12:11
Journey of a thousand miles begings with Baby steps. Keep encouraging that baby - CA's PCIP plan is $1300 a month premium,$2,500 deductible and 25% co-pay on everything for ever. Yes, I will be 'fined' - however there is no 'enforcement' provision for collecting said fine. We still have to pay taxes so it's not like they can withold it from our tax refund!

This wasn't the best bill that could have been put forward but it's a start and just watching the apoplectic purple many of my rightwingnut pals are turning has made it worth the while.
+13 # Todd Williams 2012-06-29 13:52
Yes, Mass. was the canary in the coal mine for this plan. We can look at that state and know it works. I am laughing at how Romney is trying to distance himself from the Mass plan. He's as forever tied to Romneycare as the President is tied to Obamacare. I can't wait for the House vote on July 11 to repeal the law. Of course it will pass but go unsigned. At least we will know what assholes to vote against in Nov. (as if we didn't already know).
+11 # Craig Jones 2012-06-29 14:53
Nationalize all Health Care Insurance companies and be done with it.
-10 # ThePigman 2012-06-29 20:25
I find it puzzling - and suspicious - that liberal Americans think the president holding a gun to their heads and forcing them to buy a corporate product is a good thing. No wonder the plutocracy is winning - the politicians do their bidding and the public is too thick to see it.
+12 # Rick Levy 2012-06-30 00:56
Bottom line--and excuse me for shouting but--LET'S DEMAND MEDICARE FOR ALL AMERICANS, PERIOD.
+3 # MarjG 2012-06-30 14:27
We now have bottom line protections, chances for some controls over the system, and an opportunity to improve it should we continue with some Democrats and rid ourselves of these immoral and ignorant doctrinaire opponents to progress. Importantly, the state health exchanges will offer all kinds of solutions and experimentation for these pragmatic and less ideological state governments. Again, possible only with non-Koch backed GOP leadership. An enhanced public option is still within reach.
+2 # rebelle 2012-07-01 14:49
OK morons, try to comprehend this. Health INSURANCE is NOT health CARE! There is no regulation on what they must cover or what they can charge us. Just because they can't turn you down for a pre-existing condition does NOT mean they have to cover treatment or medication for it either. Just because you may be able to see a Dr. (depending on copays and deductibles that are not mentioned either) that doesn't mean your treatment or medication will be covered. The world has lost it's critical thinkers and has been replaced by morons!
0 # Buddha 2012-07-03 16:52
When anybody brings up "cost" as a rationalization to shut out poor people from access to HC insurance, I look to see if they also support low taxes and a continuation of our bloated $1T/yr military/War spending. If so, then it isn't a matter of cost or debt, but just their priorities in play, where poor people don't factor very high. Obamacare isn't great, but it does work if you are going with the premise of keeping around for-profit insurers. It works in Switzerland, they have it, mandate and all. Personally, I wish we went with Medicare for All single-payer as most developed nations implemented, it takes out the profit motive from insurance coverage for health issues, as it should be. But 2 states, Vermont and Montana, have apparently implemented their own single-payer option, other far-looking states could do the same if we had enough politicians willing to stand up to the HMO industry...

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