You can always tell that a person is losing an argument when he throws reason, logic and factual evidence aside and starts personally attacking his opponent. That's the modus operandi of Paul Krugman, liberal columnist for The New York Times.
Opponents of ObamaCare are telling "lies," wrote Krugman the other day. In fact he used the word "lie" three times to characterize the critics in the space of a single column. Those who disagree with him "make stuff up" and concoct "completely fraudulent" statements, he adds.
While he's ranting and raving about people he calls "the enemy," Krugman tells a few whoppers of his own, however. This is his defense of ObamaCare:
The fact is that individual health insurance, as currently constituted, just doesn't work. If insurers are left free to deny coverage at will — as they are in, say, California — they offer cheap policies to the young and healthy (and try to yank coverage if you get sick) but refuse to cover anyone likely to need expensive care.
Now anyone who knows anything about the health insurance business knows that it is illegal under federal law for an insurance company "to yank" (cancel) someone's insurance because he or she gets sick. That's not only illegal; it's been illegal for the past 16 years!
What about insurance companies refusing to sell insurance to people because they need expensive care? It happens. But this is a problem that is turning out to be relatively minor and not very expensive to fix. If Krugman is going to write about health care, he should have known that fact as well.
One of the most interesting parts of ObamaCare is the new federal risk pools that offer coverage to the very people Krugman is talking about. Anyone denied insurance because of a pre-existing condition can buy insurance in Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) risk pools for the same premium that would be paid by healthy people.
So how many people have signed up? Only 49,000. Think about that. We are in the process of nationalizing the entire health care system. The federal government is going to tell 300 million Americans what kind of health insurance they must have. We are going to create 159 new regulatory agencies and spend close to $1.8 trillion over the next 10 years getting it done. Yet the primary reason for doing all of this — according to Krugman — is to solve the problem of 49,000 people!
John C. Goodman is President and CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis, Senior Fellow at The Independent Institute, and author of the acclaimed book, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis. The Wall Street Journal and National Journal, among other media, have called him the "Father of Health Savings Accounts." He is also the Kellye Wright Fellow in health care. The mission of the Wright Fellowship is to promote a more patient-centered, consumer-driven health care system.