Why Krugman Feels Sorry for Mitt Romney

Paul Krugman feels sorry for Mitt Romney.

“Mr. Romney’s party … actively hates government programs that improve American lives, especially if they help Those People. And this means that Mr. Romney can’t celebrate his signature achievement in public life, the Massachusetts health reform that served as a template for Obamacare.”

“Ben Carson, who is leading the latest polls of Iowa Republicans, has declared that Obamacare is the worst thing to happen to America since slavery; 81 percent of likely Republican caucus-goers say that this statement makes him more attractive as a candidate.”

“You have to wonder: Does Mr. Romney really think that his party would look more favorably on Obamacare if it worked even better than it has, if it cost no money at all? If so, he’s delusional. After all, the great majority of Republican-controlled states have turned down free money, refusing to let the federal government expand Medicaid (and in so doing pump money into their economies).”

“The point is that from the point of view of the Republican base, covering the uninsured, or helping the unlucky in general, isn’t a feature, it’s a bug. It’s not about how much it costs in taxpayer funds or economic impact: the base is actually willing to lose money in order to perpetuate suffering.”

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  • evave2

    Question: I know the GOP governors/states have turned down about $4B (I think) for expanding Medicaid and are paying an extra $20B or so in taxes for not taking the Medicaid expansion. Does this money go into an enforcement kitty and end up with the states who accepted Medicaid coverage or does it just end up in ‘general’ administrative funds to be used in any way the Administration wants (like moneys they get from case settlements when Citibank or somebody pleads no-contest to breaking a law and pays a huge fine)?

    • daddyoyo

      The latter. They would have flipped if it were the former, even more than they’re flipping now.

  • EricFromTheHill

    Don’t feel bad for him, Paul. He could have, you know, campaigned with some watered-down version of integrity, but really hated the idea.

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