July 16 2014

One News Now: Judging the success of ObamaCare

One News Now

Chris Woodward   (OneNewsNow.com) 

While a noted economist says ObamaCare is failing to fail, at least one health policy analyst begs to differ.

In an op-ed for The New York Times on Sunday, Paul Krugman wrote that ObamaCare is an "immense policy success" that is improving the lives of millions of Americans while slipping under the radar thanks to "nonstop attacks from partisans and right-wing media." Krugman also laments that even mainstream news has been harping on the Affordable Care Act's troubles. But despite the "predictions of disaster, none of which have come true," Krugman says ObamaCare is failing to fail.

Hadley Heath Manning, director of health policy at the Independent Women's Forum, sees things differently.

"I believe ObamaCare is failing," she responds. "I think you have to really pull the wool over your eyes to pretend like this law has been a success – or at least you have to ignore all of the promises that came along with this health reform."

Krugman does admit "there are losers from ObamaCare," those being young, healthy and affluent people who saw premiums rise while not qualifying for a subsidy or getting insurance from an employer. But the columnist pushes readers to consider the number of people who now have health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act, leading to "a sharp reduction in the number of uninsured Americans since last fall."

Manning's take on that? "Yes, there are more people now perhaps who have some form of insurance, whether that's through the Medicaid expansion or through the plans that are offered in the ObamaCare exchanges," she acknowledges. "But there's more to health reform than the question of how many people have some form of insurance."

The IWF spokeswoman says consumers have to ask questions such as: What kind of quality insurance do the previously insured people have at this time? Is it better than the insurance that some people had last year that was canceled? Is it something that can keep people out of the emergency room when they have a non-emergency health issue?

"If we're really airing for efficiency and improvements in our healthcare system, then there are many more questions we ought to be asking about ObamaCare than the sheer number of signups," she concludes. "Interestingly, in The New York Times, the same publication that Krugman writes for, there was an article called 'Why Improving Access to Health Care Does Not Save Money.'"

 

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