Obamacare’s disastrous rollout is mostly “past the hump,” Republicans have lost, and health care reform has won, economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said.
“It’s going to be OK,” Krugman said in an interview with Business Insider Friday. “They’re going to have several million fewer people signed up in the first year because of the mess. And, of course, there are still technical problems.”
“But the worst is past,” he said. “It was always obvious, if you knew anything about the underlying policy, that the problem was an IT problem. It was not a health care policy problem. It was just a really mismanaged piece of government contracting and that would eventually pass, that that would be fixed, and by all accounts the front-end experience is enormously improved. The back end still has problems, but those will be fixed.”
Krugman said that if the site had been 100 percent unworkable around Christmas time, the political damage could have undermined the entire law.
“But that didn’t happen,” he said. “So now we’re past the hump and you got Republicans out there saying, ‘But there are other things wrong with it,’ but they basically lost it and … basically health reform has won.”
“It’s going to be OK,” he said.
Krugman later said that the only people who would feel “rate shock” from increased premiums under Obamacare would be “young, healthy and high-income” Americans purchasing plans on the individual insurance market.
“We’re really talking about a relatively small group of people who … are not the exactly the people you want to feel most sorry for,” he said.
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