3 Big Myths About Health Care Reform

Don't be taken in by misinformation, warns Paul Krugman
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2010 1:23 AM CST
Updated Mar 12, 2010 6:08 AM CST
Opponents of proposals to overhaul the health care system protest on Independence Mall in Philadelphia.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(Newser) – Health care reform has made a miraculous comeback but its opponents are going to try to hoodwink the public with misinformation and lies down the home stretch, writes Paul Krugman. He outlines "three big myths" about reform in the New York Times.

  • "The government is grabbing control of a sixth of the economy." Private insurance—mostly regulated, subsidized employee plans—only makes up a third of health spending. The only extra place the government is intervening now is the "disastrous" market in which people buy their own plans, he notes.

  • "Reform does nothing to control costs." The Medicare actuary found that the plan will mean health care costs in 2019 would be just 1% higher with the plan than without: a "pretty good bargain" for insuring an extra 34 million people, Krugman writes.
  • "Health reform is fiscally irresponsible." This claim is just foolish, given that even the Congressional Budget Office—which is generally pessimistic—predicts that the plan will bring the deficit down.
"This is a reasonable, responsible plan," Krugman concludes. "Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise."

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