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Paul Krugman: Why Trump Continues to Oppose Obamacare |  Commercial

Paul Krugman: Why Trump Continues to Oppose Obamacare | Commercial

Donald Trump hasn’t talked much about politics this election cycle, except for some vague claims that he’ll somehow bring back low unemployment and low inflation, which has already happened. (Unemployment has been at or below 4% for nearly two years. Thursday’s report on consumer spending showed the Federal Reserve’s preferred core inflation moving closer to its 2% target.)

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Donald Trump hasn’t talked much about politics this election cycle, except for some vague claims that he’ll somehow bring back low unemployment and low inflation, which has already happened. (Unemployment has been at or below 4% for nearly two years, and Thursday’s report on consumer spending put the Federal Reserve’s preferred core inflation target close to its 2% target.) The former president seems to be devoting much of his energy to the prospect of revenge on his political opponents, “eradicating” them “like a bug.” ” assures.

However, in recent days, Trump has announced that if he returns to the White House, he will again try to end the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a reform that led to a significant drop in the number of Americans without health insurance. .

What is the reason for this new attack? “Obamacare is shit!” Former and potential future president announced. For those offended by the language, these are Trump’s own words, and I feel I owe it to my readers to report what he actually said, not whitewash it. Trump also promised to provide “excellent health care,” without providing specifics.

So let’s talk about the essentials. Is Obamacare Really Stupid? Can we trust Trump’s promise?

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On that last question, keep in mind that Trump and his allies came very close to ending the ACA in 2017 and replacing it with their own plan, and the Congressional Budget Office conducted a detailed analysis of the nearly-passed law. The bureau predicts that by 2026, under the Republican bill, 32 million people would have lost health insurance and the premiums paid by those buying their own insurance (not through their companies) would double.

To my knowledge, there is no reason to believe that Trump has come up with a better plan since then, or that new analysis of his plan will be any less depressing.

But when it comes to ending Obamacare, how well did the ACA actually work?

A key point in favor of Obamacare is that the number of uninsured Americans has fallen dramatically since the law took effect. We are still far from the more or less universal coverage offered by all other developed countries, and the health insurance that some Americans have is inadequate, but the gap has narrowed considerably.

Now, Obamacare’s success isn’t exactly what its defenders hoped for. Much of the original debate about reform focused on creating marketplaces where individuals could buy their own insurance. Indeed, that “non-group” coverage has expanded, but most of the coverage increase was due to the expansion of Medicaid (which would have been even more if some red states like Texas and Florida had not continued to refuse to accept federal funds to help their own residents).

Still, a win is a win, even if not as one might expect. I would argue that insurance markets provide important benefits beyond the number of people who currently use them. Before Obamacare, Americans with pre-existing conditions who weren’t lucky enough to get coverage through their employers found themselves in a dilemma: insurance companies wouldn’t cover them or charged exorbitant premiums. I know a few people who stayed at jobs they hated for fear of health issues and losing insurance. Insurers are now prohibited from discriminating on the basis of medical history, and this, combined with subsidies that keep premiums low, has given Americans much-needed protection.

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But what about costs? Is Obamacare a financial disaster? Calculating the true costs of the ACA is complicated because the law, while providing extensive subsidies, also includes many measures aimed at reducing health care costs. What surprises me is that since the passage of the ACA, federal health care spending has grown much more slowly than anyone expected.

For example, in a 2010 report on the Long-Term Budget Outlook, the Budget Office projected that spending on major health programs would range from 7.4% to 7.9% of GDP in 2023. He now predicts that number will be only 5.8%. Predictions that Obamacare would lead to runaway spending have been proven completely wrong.

So why is Trump still hell-bent on ending a program that improved the lives of so many without blowing the budget? Much of that no doubt reflects the general hostility of the modern Republican Party to any program that helps less fortunate Americans.

But it’s hard to resist the idea that something personal is also at stake. In his rambling speeches, Trump often believes that Barack Obama is still president. Regardless of whether Trump is really confused about it, the Affordable Care Act is Obama’s greatest achievement. And everyone calls out Obamacare. Is Trump so vain and petty that he rips off his predecessor’s legacy by taking away health care from millions of people? you tell.

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