OPEN LETTER TO PAUL KRUGMAN: HONESTY IS NEEDED IN THE HEALTHCARE DEBATE

Paul Krugman is a respected progressive.

On healthcare, he would want a single payer system.

None of the Leading candidates went there; all of them favor private-public mixture.

Edwards and Clinton have individual mandate for all; obama wants mandates for children.

Throughout this debate, obama has said that he will be in a POSITION to enforce a mandate if there's ample proof that the health insurance provided by the government is cheap for working families.

obama's premise is that enforcing a mandate upfront is unnecessary since folks won't buy it unless it is cheap.

AND SPECIFICALLY OBAMA has said that he'll be open to mandates when he has the leverage to impose it and that he is not against mandates.

Krugman's entire basis for his criticism of obama is that his language provides fodder for rethugs. that's ridiculous. If obama is president he'll have the bully pulpit. AND IN A TRANSPARENT PROCESS rethugs will not be able to distort stuff.

Besides most people will enroll in a reasonable plan if it is cheap.

ANY HEALTH REFORM PLAN that doesn't aknowledge the fact that people will not buy a cheap plan they don't trust is dishonest.

Finally,

I take exception to Krugman calling obama "not serious" about universal healthcare. What?

Obama tried to make health insurance a constitutional right of every Illinois citizen as a young state senator; he was TOO ambitious about and it didn't work with a republican governor and republican senate majority in the Illinois legislature.

He didn't give up though, in fact he went ahead and did the hard work of forming a group to study it and that group's recommendation formed the basis of the current illinois plan by Governor blagovevich(geez, this name is hard).

Obama must pen and open-editorial in teh new york times to answer krugman.

Here, in an interview with NH Sentinel, he elaborated on his approach to universal healthcare.

http://www.nhelects.com/NHPrimaryVideos. asp?MultiID=74&HTitle=VLTitle

There's more...

Krugman Praises Edwards, Clinton Rips Obama on Healthcare

I think Obama goofed a bit in his healthcare plan - thinking it was to "audacious" to propose universal health care when it was needed and now paying the price.

Anyhow, Edwards has been leading on this and continues to.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/30/opinio n/30krugman.html?n=Top/Opinion/Editorial s%20and%20Op-Ed/Op-Ed/Columnists/Paul%20 Krugman

The central question is whether there should be a health insurance "mandate" -- a requirement that everyone sign up for health insurance, even if they don't think they need it. The Edwards and Clinton plans have mandates; the Obama plan has one for children, but not for adults.

Why have a mandate? The whole point of a universal health insurance system is that everyone pays in, even if they're currently healthy, and in return everyone has insurance coverage if and when they need it.

And it's not just a matter of principle. As a practical matter, letting people opt out if they don't feel like buying insurance would make insurance substantially more expensive for everyone else.

Here's why: under the Obama plan, as it now stands, healthy people could choose not to buy insurance -- then sign up for it if they developed health problems later. Insurance companies couldn't turn them away, because Mr. Obama's plan, like those of his rivals, requires that insurers offer the same policy to everyone.

....

Second, Mr. Obama claims that mandates won't work, pointing out that many people don't have car insurance despite state requirements that all drivers be insured. Um, is he saying that states shouldn't require that drivers have insurance? If not, what's his point?

Look, law enforcement is sometimes imperfect. That doesn't mean we shouldn't have laws.

Third, and most troubling, Mr. Obama accuses his rivals of not explaining how they would enforce mandates, and suggests that the mandate would require some kind of nasty, punitive enforcement: "Their essential argument," he says, "is the only way to get everybody covered is if the government forces you to buy health insurance. If you don't buy it, then you'll be penalized in some way."

Well, John Edwards has just called Mr. Obama's bluff, by proposing that individuals be required to show proof of insurance when filing income taxes or receiving health care. If they don't have insurance, they won't be penalized -- they'll be automatically enrolled in an insurance plan.

That's actually a terrific idea -- not only would it prevent people from gaming the system, it would have the side benefit of enrolling people who qualify for S-chip and other government programs, but don't know it.

you can read the rest worth a read.  there's a lot more that people can post in the comments - copyright rules and all.

There's more...

Krugman is Right Again

First Krugman had a column called "Edwards Gets it Right" about Healthcare, now he has a column about Hillary's decision not to say Iraq is a mistake.

OP-ED COLUMNIST
Wrong Is Right
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: February 19, 2007

The Democratic base wants someone who doesn't suffer from an infallibility complex, who can admit mistakes and learn from them.

http://select.nytimes.com/gst/tsc.html?U RI=http://select.nytimes.com/2007/02/19/ opinion/19krugman.html&OQ=_rQ3D1Q26h p&OP=34244894Q2F9B0h9Q3EdXzzQ3E9SccQ 2B9cS9Q2419zQ3BQ5EAQ5EzA9Q241eXpQ5BWMAsL Q3EWy

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