Paul Krugman is very concerned about ideologues. "The most reckless and dangerous ideologues," he wrote in the New York Times last week, "are often those who imagine themselves ideology-free." You know, people like this guy.
The Krug is especially annoyed that certain ideologically and intellectually bankrupt deviants (i.e., Republicans) refuse to admit that everything they ever said about Obamacare turned out to be wrong:
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As far as I can tell no important Republican figure has admitted that none of the terrible consequences that were supposed to follow health reform — mass cancellation of existing policies, soaring premiums, job destruction — has actually happened.
In a column about intellectual integrity, Krugman asserts that "mass cancellation of existing policies" never happened as a result of a healthcare law sold to the public on the premise that "if you like your plan, you can keep your plan." He can only justify this by shrugging off millions of cancelled policies (and more to come) in the relatively small market for individual insurance plans.
Premiums aren’t soaring, he insists, except when they are:
Krugman and other liberals also championed one of Obama’s favorite selling points about the healthcare law regarding the use of emergency rooms.
"Taxpayers currently end up subsidizing the uninsured when they're forced to go to the emergency room for care, to the tune of about a thousand bucks per family," Obama said in a 2010 speech. "You can't get those savings if those people are still going to the emergency room. So the fact is, health reform only works if you take care of all of these problems at once."
Well, according to a new study, emergency room use is on the rise:
Three-quarters of emergency physicians say they've seen ER patient visits surge since Obamacare took effect — just the opposite of what many Americans expected would happen.
A poll released today by the American College of Emergency Physicians shows that 28% of 2,099 doctors surveyed nationally saw large increases in volume, while 47% saw slight increases. By contrast, fewer than half of doctors reported any increases last year in the early days of the Affordable Care Act.
Such hikes run counter to one of the goals of the health care overhaul, which is to reduce pressure on emergency rooms by getting more people insured through Medicaid or subsidized private coverage and providing better access to primary care.
"Runs counter to one of the goals of the health care overhaul" is a rather generous way of putting it. No doubt Krugman is very concerned for the intellectual integrity of the Democratic politicians who fail to admit their predictions were wrong. Because, in Krugman’s view, "never being able to say that you were wrong is a serious character flaw," and "moral cowardice should be outright disqualifying in anyone seeking high office."
Krugman, of course, has never been wrong—except when he has. Fellow liberal Jeffrey Sachs recently took him to task for repeatedly predicting that efforts to reduce the federal budget deficit in 2013 would inflict "severe economic damage" and prevent the economy from ever experiencing a full recovery. The budget deficit was reduced, and yet the economy did recover, as Krugman noted in his celebratory 2014 column, "The Obama Recovery," in which Sachs chided him for "claiming vindication for ideas that recent trends seem to contradict." Ramesh Ponnuru wrote a longer examination of Krugman’s fallacious predictions here.
Krugman gonna Krug.