In his column this morning, Paul Krugman urges supporters of expanded health care for the [previously] uninsured to celebrate because heath reform has won:
So my advice to reform supporters is, go ahead and celebrate. Oh, and feel free to ridicule right-wingers who confidently predicted doom.NY Times, Paul Krugman, "Rube Goldberg Survives."
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.
He identifies the biggest threat to the Affordable Care Act's success to have been the complexity required to create a system that kept employer heath insurance and insurance companies. He understands that while single payer is much simpler and better, it was not political possible to enact it:
But it wasn’t politically possible, for a couple of reasons. One was the power of the insurance industry, which couldn’t be cut out of the loop if you wanted health reform this decade. Another was the fact that the 170 million Americans receiving health insurance through employers are generally satisfied with their coverage, and any plan replacing that coverage with something new and unknown was a nonstarter.NY Times, Paul Krugman, "Rube Goldberg Survives."
So health reform had to be run largely through private insurers, and be an add-on to the existing system rather than a complete replacement. And, as a result, it had to be somewhat complex.
Thus there was some complexity, and it was that which provided the biggest risk to success:
It’s a system in which many things can go wrong; the nightmare scenario has always been that conservatives would seize on technical problems to discredit health reform as a whole. And last fall that nightmare seemed to be coming true.NY Times, Paul Krugman, "Rube Goldberg Survives."
But the nightmare is over.
So celebration is called for. The dreaded "welfare-state" has been expanded. The Reagan war on the New Deal is beginning to be turned back.
There is much to do regarding a reduction in economic inequality and climate change, but change is possible and we can do it. Keep hope alive!
go ahead and celebrate. Oh, and feel free to ridicule right-wingers who confidently predicted doom. ... health reform has won.