Yesterday, the good Professor again mounted his steed and aimed his lance at Barack Obama, in defense of Hillary's supposedly superior plan.
But as I’ve tried to explain in previous columns, there really is a big difference between the candidates’ approaches. And new research, just released, confirms what I’ve been saying: the difference between the plans could well be the difference between achieving universal health coverage — a key progressive goal — and falling far short...
[...] Mr. Gruber['s research] finds that a plan without mandates, broadly resembling the Obama plan, would cover 23 million of those currently uninsured, at a taxpayer cost of $102 billion per year. An otherwise identical plan with mandates would cover 45 million of the uninsured — essentially everyone — at a taxpayer cost of $124 billion. Over all, the Obama-type plan would cost $4,400 per newly insured person, the Clinton-type plan only $2,700.
Well that sounds pretty cut and dry. Maybe Krugman is right.
But wait, look closely—PK isn't comparing Obama's plan to Hillary's plan—he's comparing a plan of unknown similarity to Obama's plan with one that doesn't even exist—that same "Obama-like" plan, plus mandates—it's got nothing to do with Hillary's plan. I call bullshit.
And those per person costs are not per insured, they are per newly insured. So, they are wildly effected by the numbers enrolled, not actual costs. And how do this "research" conclude the differing numbers of newly insured?
It "assumes." In other words, makes it up.
[link] Professor Gruber writes: "In particular I assume that 95% of those who would not voluntarily choose to insure are forced to insure through the mandate."
Massachusetts has yet to enroll more than half the uninsured in it's mandated plan, so how does Gruber "assume" near-perfect enrollment? Especially considering Clinton has not given ANY indication yet how she plans to enforce a mandate?
Krugman goes on to make some more valid points about the politics of all of this, and yes, I wish Obama's plan was more aggressive—hell, I wish they were both talking single-payer—but I've read plenty of counterpoints that make Obama's plan seem every bit as viable as Clinton's, and they've done a better job of doing so without (that I can tell) making shit up out of whole cloth.
Quit with the fucking litmus test and the stretching the truth, Professor. It's speaks poorly of your "conscience as a liberal."
[via Mark Kleiman]
An additional critique on Krugman here. [via Sullivan]