Fareed speaks with New York Times columnist Paul Krugman about the Affordable Care Act.
You’ve written recently that Obamacare is working. Explain very simply why you make that claim.
There were a bunch of things that Obamacare was supposed to do in its first year. It was supposed to sign up a lot of people through the exchanges, through people buying, essentially, private insurance, but through the government-run exchanges. It was supposed to insure a bunch of additional people through Medicaid. It was supposed to do this without causing a spike in health care costs. It was supposed to substantially reduce the number of people who are uninsured. All of those things have happened.
If you put just about any of the numerical targets for the first year, it's done better than that. It's the most amazing thing that people don't know that, but, you know, after the big problems last fall, everyone was assuming that year one would come in short of expectations. In fact, it's come in ahead of expectations. And it looks very clear that this is a workable policy.
Health care costs – this is the part that everyone worries about. What is the evidence that health care costs are going down? Because you hear anecdotally that lots of people's premiums are going up...
Lots of companies say they're going up. What does the aggregate data show?
The aggregate data shows something which has got people pinching themselves, which is health care costs are growing so slowly, it's really hard to believe. Medicare is currently spending about $1,000 less per beneficiary than what's projected just four years ago. So Medicare is way down. It's aggregate health expenditures is growing much more slowly. Premiums are rising, but premiums have risen every year forever…They seem, if anything, to be rising more slowly than before.