Dear God this is appalling economic analysis

And from a Nobel Laureate no less:

When Obamacare was enacted, Republicans had some claims, almost a theory, about why it was a terrible idea. It would, they claimed, fail to improve coverage. It would be a massive “job-killer”. It would cost far more than predicted, and blow up the budget deficit.

In reality, the percentage of Americans under 65 without insurance fell from 18 percent in 2010, the year Obamacare was enacted, to 10 percent in 2016 (and less than 8 percent in Medicaid expansion states). Unemployment was 9.9 percent when the ACA was passed, 6.6 when it went into full effect, 4.8 by January 2017. Costs have come in well below expectations.

The comparison is not what happened coincident with Obamacare, it’s what actually was the effect of Obamacare. That is, what would have happened to unemployment with and without it, not observing that the economy was recovering from the worst recession of modern times coincident with the introduction of Obamacare.

We want to know the effect of the change in health care insurance, not the effects of QE, ultra-low interest rates, the business cycle and all the rest. The analysis being offered here is about as useful a noting that Greggs now has cheap breakfasts and look, renewables output is rising!

Sigh.

11 comments on “Dear God this is appalling economic analysis

  1. Er…. they have never enforced the employer mandate.

    Obamacare hasn’t yet affected the employment situation because everyone is to scared to enforce it. When both political partied know its insane it’s good to see Paul Krugman stick up for insanity.

    I once heard the rumor his wife has to okay his pieces, I believe no one can be as dense as his columns.

  2. Some of the decline in unemployment is because people were moved from full-time to part-time (under 30hrs/wk), to avoid having to pay Obamacare premiums.

  3. Krugman knows what he’s saying is nonsense. He’s just a partisan shill for the Dems and he hopes most of his readers either agree with him or are so hard of thinking they wont see the BS.

  4. Krugman must be flattered that both Larry Summers and Martin Wolf at the FT have also given up writing economics and now do little more than partisan political hit pieces on Trump

  5. Andrew M
    Indeed. If you reduce staff hours below 30 hrs / week they can’t afford insurance.

    I’ve heard that the endlessly inventive Americans have got round the legislation. Different supermarkets do a deal to share cashiers, restaurants swap waiting staff, etc.

  6. Timmy –

    You know enough about economics and politics to not take anything Paul Krugman says outside an academic paper seriously.

    And you knew that 20+ years ago…

    So the surprise and disappointment here is what?

  7. If you reduce staff hours below 30 hrs / week they can’t afford insurance.

    But then they might be able to qualify for subsidies for that insurance, so you can’t really make any blanket assumptions.

  8. bif,

    “I’ve heard that the endlessly inventive Americans have got round the legislation. Different supermarkets do a deal to share cashiers, restaurants swap waiting staff, etc.”

    Yep, the sort of thing all the damn fools said would happen, but the wise men said wouldn’t.

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