Thursday, February 07, 2008

Obama is destroying chances for universal healthcare

Please read this very important article by economist Paul Krugman. He reiterates what I've repeatedly said -- unless a) everybody is covered, and b) everybody pays, you simply do not have universal health care. And Obama's plan only covers half of those who are currently uninsured, at the same cost as Hillary's plan. Without the universal mandate that everybody pays for health care costs, that's the best you can do -- and that's not just Krugman saying so. That's every reputable (yes, reputable) economist who has actually worked the numbers.

In other words, as Krugman states:

You see, the Obama campaign has demonized the idea of mandates — most recently in a scare-tactics mailer sent to voters that bears a striking resemblance to the “Harry and Louise” ads run by the insurance lobby in 1993, ads that helped undermine our last chance at getting universal health care.

If Mr. Obama gets to the White House and tries to achieve universal coverage, he’ll find that it can’t be done without mandates — but if he tries to institute mandates, the enemies of reform will use his own words against him.

If you combine the economic analysis with these political realities, here’s what I think it says: If Mrs. Clinton gets the Democratic nomination, there is some chance — nobody knows how big — that we’ll get universal health care in the next administration. If Mr. Obama gets the nomination, it just won’t happen.

I am sure I will now get an infestation of Obamabots telling me that Krugman is wrong because, well, because their Beatific Leader tells them that Krugman is wrong (sigh, what's the difference between an Obamabot and a Bushbot? The color of the skin of the person they worship, basically -- neither appears amenable to reason nor facts) via dishonest flyers to supporters. But facts are facts. Wishful thinking is not a plan, and lofty rhetoric doesn't provide health care for people. While Clinton's plan is not the plan I would devise (as Krugman explains, a universal single-payer system is the most cost-effective system), it still does cover everybody. That, unfortunately, is not the case with Obama's plan.

-- Badtux the Health Care Penguin


  1. yep, hillary's plan is the only one that is universal.

    eagle dance

  2. I'm not sure if Hillary's plan will be universal in practice. But I *know* Obama's won't -- and can't be -- universal, for the reasons that Krugman states plus more (see my latest post -- I believe Krugman is an optimist).

    - Badtux the Economics Penguin


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