Cutting Through The Affordable Care Act 'Double-Counting' Nonsense

Paul Krugman

Photo: Dave Shankbone via Flickr

Some readers have asked me for a reaction to Steve Rattner’s piece on Medicare and the Affordable Care Act. The short answer is that it’s a classic piece of concern trolling – the practice, all too common among a certain class of commentators, of professing sympathy with progressive policy goals, then, invariably, finding a way to support right-wing talking points.The way to cut through the whole double-counting nonsense is to ask the following: did the ACA improve or worsen the fiscal outlook compared with what it would have been without the legislation? The answer is that it improved the outlook – the additional revenues plus cost savings outweigh the cost of the subsidies. End of story. Don’t take my word for it — that’s whatRobert Reischauer, the good trustee, says.

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