Thursday, February 18, 2016

To Krugman, on "Worried Wonks."

(Posted in comments on Krugman's article, "Worried Wonks.")

Kraw…I think you are right. These are not minor figures, or conservative cranks.

Problem is, this now fits the narrative we've seen from so many conservative economists, the "nothing can be done about inequity, or unemployment, or health care, or anything that is not of interest to the very wealthy." Naturally, Sanders supporters are suspicious. I think, to answer that claim, liberal economists have to make the case by providing an alternative.

Let's start with health care. You recently asked "Who hates Obamacare?" One of the answers is "an awful lot of people on the Exchanges." For some people, the Exchanges are a godsend. For lot of them, though, they offer insurance that can barely be afforded on such terms that it can only be used at great need. In addition, the insurance companies who operate the system make more profits if care is more expensive, so there is no financial incentive to reduce the high costs of the US system.

So propose a realistic alternative: let's see something that doesn't hammer the working poor, who are often young (and Sanders supporters, funny thing about that) and takes the cost-raising incentives out of the system. It would be nice if brought insurance industry profits down to something reasonable as well; 15-20% gross, near-guaranteed by the government, is a bit much.

1 comment:

reason said...

We need someone to make the case for there always needs to be a public option (in schools, banks, post etc as well) to keep the bastards honest.