Stanley Feld M.D, FACP, MACE
Paul Krugman did it again. He demonstrated his bias
for Obamacare by ignoring or misrepresenting the facts.
“As long as someone with Krugman’s
professional status gets his facts wrong in column after column, and does so in
an arrogant and pompous manner, attacking the integrity and hurling insults at
all who disagree with him…well, there will always be a market for a writer who
is able to show that the scourge of sensible people everywhere has written one
more erroneous editorial. “
This is a perfect description of Paul Krugman’s methodology.
His opening sentences demonstrate the arrogance and pompous manner in which he
attacks the integrity of his opponents and hurls insults at them.
“The Affordable Care Act, a k a Obamacare, goes
fully into effect at the beginning of next year, and predictions of disaster
are being heard far and wide. There will be an administrative “train wreck,”
we’re told; consumers will face a terrible shock. Republicans, one hears, are
already counting on the law’s troubles to give them a big electoral advantage.”
He uses misleading and false evidence to undermine his critics’
California's health insurance rates for some
companies with some physician networks for the new state-run marketplace (health
insurance exchange) did come in lower than expected.
However, there are certain downsides for many
consumers that Paul Krugman ignores.
There will be far fewer doctors and hospitals to
choose from in Covered California.
Covered California is California’s version of Obamacare’s health
Consumers who want UCLA Medical Center and its
doctors in their health plan network next year will have only one choice in
California's exchange. Anthem Blue Cross is the only carrier.
Additionally, Blue Shield of California said its
exchange customers will be restricted to 36% of its regular physician networks
These two insurers are decreasing physician reimbursement. Physicians and their networks are refusing to
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, one of Southern California’s most
prestigious and expensive hospital systems and physician networks said it’s not
included in any exchange plans at the moment because physicians and the
hospital system will not accept the reduced reimbursement.
There is a problem with Paul Krugman’s statement because he
does not define the real cost of healthcare
to the state.
The California health insurance exchange (Covered
California) is trying to make consumers believe they are getting more for less.
The facts are, when you get in the
weeds, Californians are getting less for more.
The health insurance exchange must be analyzed within the context
of each individual patient. The insurance industry is excited about Obamacare
because they believe young patients will be forced into the marketplace.
A hypothetical healthy 25 year old in San Francisco earning
$46,000 a year in 2013 can buy a PPO plan from a major insurer with a $5,000 deductible
and a 30% coinsurance plus a $10 copay for generic drugs and a total $7,000 out
of pocket expense for $177 per month.
a “Bronze” plan from the exchange with nearly the same benefits, including a
slightly lower out-of-pocket maximum of $6,350, will cost him between $245 and
$270 a month.”
The cost of coverage under Covered California is 38% higher
than comparable coverage in the present overpriced private sector for someone
whose chances of being sick are small.
Paul Krugman is talking about a fudged figure when he quotes
a 29% reduction using the health insurance exchange.
“The rates submitted to Covered California for
the 2014 individual market,” the state said in a press release, “ranged from two
percent above to 29 percent below the 2013 average premium for small employer
plans in California’s most populous regions.”
This sentence led Paul Krugman’s triumphant
is a home run for consumers in every region of California,” exulted the head of
Obamacare will drive
premiums up by between 100 and 123 percent for a typical nonsmoking 25-year-old
earning $45,000 per year.
It will also drive
them out of the market for healthcare insurance. They will buy healthcare
insurance from the health insurance exchange only in case of an emergency or if
they develop a chronic illness.
This is exactly what
President Obama wants to happen. He wants to drive everyone into health
insurance exchanges and then stick the bill to the states.
The traditional media
represented by Paul Krugman is spinning the story and the American public isn’t
The problem is they aren’t
feeling the pain yet. When Americans start feeling the pain there will be an
The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone
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