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Friday, June 29, 2012

Paul Krugman: The Real Winners

The Supreme Court's decision on health care reform does not mark the end of the battle to improve health care in the US:

The Real Winners, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: 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...
How many people are we talking about? You might say 30 million... But ... add in every American who currently works for a company that offers good health insurance but is at risk of losing that job...; 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.
In short,... the winners from that Supreme Court decision are your friends, your relatives, the people you work with — and, very likely, you. ...
But what about the cost? Put it this way: the budget office’s estimate of the cost over the next decade ... is about only a third of the cost of the tax cuts, overwhelmingly favoring the wealthy, that Mitt Romney is proposing over the same period. ...
It’s not perfect, by a long shot — it is, after all, originally a Republican plan... And there will be a long struggle to make it better... But it’s still a big step toward a better — and by that I mean morally better — society.
Which brings us to the nature of the people who tried to kill health reform — and who will, of course, continue their efforts...
At one level, the most striking thing about the campaign against reform was its dishonesty. ... And, rest assured, all the old lies and probably a bunch of new ones will be rolled out again...
But what was and is really striking about the anti-reformers is their cruelty. It would be one thing if, at any point, they had offered any hint of an alternative proposal to help Americans with pre-existing conditions, Americans who simply can’t afford expensive individual insurance, Americans who lose coverage along with their jobs. But it has long been obvious that the opposition’s goal is simply to kill reform, never mind the human consequences. ...
The point is that this isn’t over — not on health care, not on the broader shape of American society. The cruelty and ruthlessness that made this court decision such a nail-biter aren’t going away.
But, for now, let’s celebrate. This was a big day, a victory for due process, decency and the American people.

    Posted by on Friday, June 29, 2012 at 12:33 AM in Economics, Health Care, Politics | Permalink  Comments (63)

          


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