Paul Krugman Sends Us to Michael Mandel's Capital Age Chart
Joe Nocera on the Winners of This Year's "Stupidest Economist Alive" Contest--Wallison, Hennessy, Holtz-Eakin, and Thomas

We Really Would Be Better Off without the Republican Party


Yet another example of why there is something morally wrong with anybody who votes for Republican politicians.

Ezra Klein:

Republicans embrace ObamaCare, call it Ryan-Rivlin: If you're looking for a description of the Ryan/Rivlin Medicare reforms... Ryan-Rivlin plan basically turns Medicare into Obamacare. And in that context, Republicans love the idea behind ObamaCare and think it'll save lots of money.... [T]he current Medicare program is completely dissolved and replaced by a new Medicare program that "would provide a payment – based on what the average annual per-capita expenditure is in 2021 – to purchase health insurance." You'd get the health insurance from a "Medicare Exchange", and "health plans which choose to participate in the Medicare Exchange must agree to offer insurance to all Medicare beneficiaries, thereby preventing cherry picking and ensuring that Medicare’s sickest and highest cost beneficiaries receive coverage." Sound familiar?...

I don't know that accusations of hypocrisy are really worth making in American politics, but consider the way this policy and its rationale interacts with the case against ObamaCare. Right now, Medicare is much cheaper than private insurance. If you think that moving Medicare to a model of private insurance sold on exchanges will make it even cheaper, what you're saying is that an ObamaCare model will not only be cheaper than the current private-insurance system, but cheaper than the even-cheaper Medicare system. If you believe this logic, the Affordable Care Act is a great bill that will save much more money than CBO currently assumes. And yet this is the reform package that's gaining adherents among the group of people who want to repeal the Affordable Care Act and think it a monstrous and unconstitutional piece of legislation with no redeeming features worth mentioning.