July 21st, 2014
09:43 AM ET

Krugman: Affordable Care Act coming in 'ahead of expectations'

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.



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soundoff (163 Responses)
  1. john

    getting tired of republicans who had a crappy or no policy at all complaining that they're now being forced to buy coverage.

    we're tired of paying your costs in the form of a higher bill for us. you need to have a policy that meets minimum standards. just like if you want to drive you need car insurance that meets minimum standards. since we all get sick and use dr's and hospitals, we all need to be insured to not shove our cost on someone elses bill. your previous policy that didn't cost anything also didn't cover anything. you need to pay up because I'm done paying for your foolishness in not having a decent policy.

    July 21, 2014 at 5:29 pm | Reply
    • Mia

      John, I'm a republican who always maintained my health insurance, even when the company policy cost me $80 a month and I made $7.00 an hour supporting myself. Non of my libral college educated friends accepted the coverage becase the said it was too much. I also managed to buy my birth control, BTW. Before Obama I had an individual policy that cost my family 600 a month. It covered 100% after my deductible which was 5k. It covered everything but maternity which we DO NOT NEED! I lost that policy thanks to Obamacare. It was not junk, it was better than my coverage now that costs our new employer and arm and a leg 1,700 a month. All for maternity coverage I don't need. I'm sure I'm not alone.

      July 21, 2014 at 5:47 pm | Reply
      • TylerJozefowicz

        Mia: the mistake you make in your reply , is that healthcare needs to be universal.
        In other words, it's not about you.

        July 21, 2014 at 9:31 pm |
      • john

        I am a 60 year old man and I don't need that coverage either, IT iS about ME!

        July 21, 2014 at 10:03 pm |
      • olaffek

        No, it's about me. I gotta great policy through the ACA. Touche'.

        July 21, 2014 at 10:51 pm |
      • Robert

        I am 71, and moved to Costa Rica four years ago. I receive universal coverage for $75 per month, including prescriptions. The healthcare here is as good ad that available in the US, if not better. Here, the patient takes priority, not satisfying the billing requirements of an insurance company.

        July 21, 2014 at 11:12 pm |
      • charles116

        That you or anyone can 'buy their own birth control"
        Isn't the issue regarding that segment of the insurance equation.
        Controling pregnancies is PART of human healthcare.
        Not a moral or religious issue,

        July 22, 2014 at 8:52 am |
      • Ben

        Sorry MIA,
        ObamaCares is working as reports are proving along with the FAR-RIGHT abandonment of BASHING ObamaCares across their networks!
        Oh and you can also throw in our Economys Recovery!

        November 4, 2014 at 7:34 pm |
    • nick

      righhhht it's republicans that have no coverage.....tool....the few republicans I know who don't have coverage self insure...the few people I know who were DROPPED from their old plans and had to pick up obamacare have been nothing but screwed.....in one case had to foot the ENTIRE bill for their son's surgery because their exchange plan was the ONLY plan the hospital didn't accept from the particular insurer. OUR premiums and copays have doubled since Jan...Krugman has been visiting Colorado too often and smoking wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy too much legal weed.

      July 21, 2014 at 6:03 pm | Reply
    • Chad

      You have it all backwards nimrod. We Republicans are tired of carrying you lazy democrats, paying your doctor bills and supporting your lazy families. Put down the Obama-aid cluck and get a clue.

      July 21, 2014 at 6:28 pm | Reply
      • Billy

        Krugman, Is nothing but a Lying Communist Obama Boot Licker !!!!!

        July 21, 2014 at 8:16 pm |
    • Stanley P

      It so expensive now I'm thinking of dropping mine. Health care would get a lot cheaper if all medical insurance was made illegal. Had health care my entire life.

      July 21, 2014 at 7:07 pm | Reply
    • dapedigos

      John I am getting tired of Democrats who lie about their policies and then never take any blame. Republicans as well as Independents have come up with several options other than Obamas plan the media is just not reporting it but I am sure you already new that. The only thing I find crappy is the fact that 30 million people are still not insured, instead of saving $2500 a year I will spend $1500 more, and my policy is not as good as the one I had. Take your lies and put them were the sun don't shine.

      July 21, 2014 at 8:49 pm | Reply
    • Thomas Christie

      John's ignorant quote:
      "just like if you want to drive you need car insurance that meets minimum standards. since we all get sick and use dr's and hospitals, we all need to be insured to not shove our cost on someone elses bill."

      Now my answer in the form of a question: Who gets penalized for not driving? And how do "we" shove our cost onto someone elses bill? By the way, who the hell is "we"? Apparently you don't believe in the concept of choice because you are obviously incapable of choosing an intelligent response.

      July 21, 2014 at 11:26 pm | Reply
    • Jason

      Johnny, here is the big picture, thanks to your lord and savior, Saul Alinsky! Obamacare is a piece of crap, period! It is not intended to save you and your brethren, it is intended for keeping tabs on your every move! It is step one for making this once great, sovereign nation into a miserable eastern bloc, government controlled, disaster. Follow along in your copy of Rules for Radicals, if you like. Next is to expand poverty, get the good people's guns, increase taxes on the few that work, control what is taught in schools. Put that in your pot pipe and smoke it! GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH! Good Americans will know who said this quote!

      July 22, 2014 at 9:59 am | Reply
  2. GLK

    This just in...White House Quietly Exempts 4.5 million people in Five U.S. Territories from Obamacare. With no legal basis whatsoever American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Northern Marina Islands and Virgin Islands who've seen their healthcare bills skyrocket under Obamacare have now been quietly exempted. The original House and Senate Bills included these territories as Obama promised when he campaigned there. But the $14.5 Billion in subsidies for the territories was dumped as ballast when the Democrats needed to claim the new law reduced the deficit. You people that continue to champion Obama and remain advocates for Obamacare are nothing more than the biggest suckers on the planet.

    July 21, 2014 at 5:35 pm | Reply
    • Woodman

      The ACA also exempts Muslims from participation.

      July 21, 2014 at 10:56 pm | Reply
  3. Jayson

    Paul Krugman does not know what he is talking about. Obamacare is NOT working. Premiums are going up an average 13%. I also was one of the millions who received a letter canceling my insurance because my plan did not cover the 10 mandated benefits that all health insurance plans must have. For example, all plans must cover pregnancy, even if you are a male or a menopausal female. Also, according to the most recent jobs report, we lost over 500,000 full-time jobs, and this can be blamed on Obamacare because businesses will not be required to offer insurance to their employees if they work under 30 hours a week. Hey Krugman, can I have what you are smoking?

    July 21, 2014 at 5:44 pm | Reply
    • charles116

      As a gay man
      I HAVE NEVER HAD ANY ISSUES with my coverage including
      pregnancy and all female health care issues.
      Ya don't get to pick and choose,
      That "argument " is tired and makes you appear silly.

      July 22, 2014 at 8:55 am | Reply
  4. Kruger

    If you think things are going well in America, vote for Democrats in November. If you think things are not going well in America, vote for Republicans in November. A second "shellacking" would be a good thing...

    July 21, 2014 at 5:48 pm | Reply
    • Chad

      "Shellacking"?? Yep sure can tell your one of Obama's braindead puppeteers Freddie.

      July 21, 2014 at 6:32 pm | Reply
  5. JJO

    Obamanocare is a disaster. Obama and the Democrat Party have destroyed the US healthcare system, the greatest in the world. Tens of millions of people are losing their current policies, seeing huge insurance premium increases are losing their doctors and some will die because they will have no insurance. This is a travesty. Obamanocare was originated, written and passed only by the Democrat Party and they should be held accountable. Obama should be IMPEACHED for lying to the American people (and Fast & Furious, Benghazi, IRS, NSA, VA & Immigration disaster), every Democrat should be voted out of office in 2014 and 2016 for creating this catastrophe of a law and all should feel the wrath of the American people. Someone needs to publish the names of all the Democrat lawyers and activists like Ezekiel Emanuel, Jacob Hacker, Tides Foundation and Jonathan Gruber (MIT), who wrote this 2,600 page disastrous bill so that they can also feel the wrath of the American people.

    July 21, 2014 at 5:54 pm | Reply
    • Really

      What a retard.

      July 22, 2014 at 9:05 am | Reply
  6. lightnin00

    It's going to go out ahead of expectations, too!

    July 21, 2014 at 6:21 pm | Reply
  7. Helen

    Everyone with an IQ above the median knows that Krugman is a radical left wing hack working for the left wing biased New York Times. He is generally is wrong on anything he writes about. It is beyond me why anyone listens to anything he says or writes.

    July 21, 2014 at 6:22 pm | Reply
  8. Bily G

    Krugman, leftist hack with a leftist paper...enough said

    July 21, 2014 at 6:37 pm | Reply
  9. BillB

    Where are the comprehensive reports required from the Health/Services cabinet director as required under the ACA law? Articles like this with no numbers are baloney, feathers and arm-flapping.

    July 21, 2014 at 7:14 pm | Reply
  10. lothar baier

    Krugman is just another academic who is so far out of touch its not even funny anymore !
    Reality is that at the price tag of the ACA we could have send a $590 check every month to every single one of the 28M uninsured for 9.8 Years WITHOUT affecting anybody elses coverage !
    All democrats had to do was to find a solution for the uninsured but that was to simple for them , if you have a bad spot n your roof you patch it up , you don't tear down the entire house

    July 21, 2014 at 7:35 pm | Reply
  11. Cathy Castro

    This obama care is suppose to help insure Americans that cannot afford or do not have any health care, yet as an American that quit work to care for my dying son I cannot get any health care at all. I tried to sign up for obama care but was told I needed to pay for it. How can I pay if I have no income? I do not qualify for state benefits, so I am without any health care. So where is my health care obama? I know hundreds of illegal immigrants in my town that receive obama care so why can"t I? This health care I believe was for the illegals not Americans we only paid for it. Obama and his minions are the worst president and administration that this country has ever had, nothing but liars and traitors!

    July 21, 2014 at 8:02 pm | Reply
  12. Todd

    Here is my experience as a physician. My patients are telling me that their premiums, dedutibles, and copays are increasing.....some quite a bit even as high as a 13K deductible? Now what is the point of even having that if it's so high. So what happens.....people pay their insurance companies because of fear of catastrophe THEN they don't go to the doctor or they go when they should have went months before. Who wins? The insurance companies. Who loses? Everybody else.

    July 21, 2014 at 8:25 pm | Reply
    • Why

      Why don't you lower your prices? Then the insurance companies wouldn't have to charge so much. YOU are the PROBLEM!

      July 22, 2014 at 2:12 pm | Reply
  13. jakethegreat1

    They SEEM if anything, to be rising more slowly than before.

    Unbelievable! They SEEM?

    The sheer verbal chutzpah of liberals SEEMS to know no bounds.

    July 21, 2014 at 8:35 pm | Reply
  14. Josh

    My company just went through our new insurance policy because our current policy is not ACA compliant. Our premiums are going up 25%...what the heck. How is this supposed to be lower healthcare cost? How can this be considered a big win when all it has done is take away more money from my family to pay for subsidies for others and line the insurance company's with more money? A big win...give me a break.

    July 21, 2014 at 9:06 pm | Reply
  15. Kirk

    How does Krugman do his analysis when the government is not providing any real data on the law? And does he have any real job other than whining about conservatives and blowing Obama smoke up people's butts

    July 21, 2014 at 9:25 pm | Reply
  16. Richard

    Check the Kaiser Family Foundation (kff.org) site for the Obamacare subsidy calculator. This also gives premium costs by different areas of the country, closer to minimum available rates compared to my look at healthcare.gov last December. This I suspect would be in line with other available policies around the country. Mine at work is about as much as the gold plan through the exchange. The above site only gives rates for silver and bronze plans. Either way, nowhere near affordable for anybody I know. For people mid 40's and up, they can expect to pay at least $20,000 per year out of pocket before insurance covered anything. For people late 50's/early 60's, $30,000? I'd have to recheck.

    July 21, 2014 at 9:33 pm | Reply
  17. Bob

    How can you print this garbage. Where's the facts? Where's the support information. I have yet to meet anyone who says they are getting a better deal with Obamacare. Have you Fareed?

    July 21, 2014 at 9:40 pm | Reply
  18. American

    Whine, whine, whine, whine, i love it rebup actually facts don't mean alot for you its all about me myself and i.

    July 21, 2014 at 9:49 pm | Reply
  19. American

    Its hard for some haters to deal with facts. Plus most of them claim they are not qualified to comment.

    July 21, 2014 at 10:02 pm | Reply
  20. chri§§y

    @ Richard if that were true then why are people buying insurance? Why not just pay out of pocket when you need healthcare and pay the fine?

    July 21, 2014 at 10:35 pm | Reply
  21. clewis564

    Last year before ACA insurance for me was $68 a month. Now it's $220+. Who's it working for again?

    July 21, 2014 at 10:59 pm | Reply
  22. FB

    One thing we know for sure about Obamacare it was never about healthcare it was about health insurance. The deal with the devil, who is the devil DEMS or the Insurance companies. Either choice and you lose.

    July 21, 2014 at 11:34 pm | Reply
    • What

      What was the republican plan again? The one that didn't include insurance? What a Maroon.

      July 22, 2014 at 9:06 am | Reply
  23. Bart

    This comes from a majority opinion of ONE. Krugman don't know squat that's why he writes for the nytimes and time.

    July 22, 2014 at 5:33 am | Reply
  24. Vinnie from Tewksbury

    Why Fareed continues to allow Krugman this forum to spread his moonbat nonsense is beyond me? His claim that the anecdotal stories of increased health insurance premiums under the ACA have all been proven false is an out right LIE. I myself have spoken with people who are self-insured and have seen dramatic increases in the health insurance premiums since the passage of the ACA. Fareed, you must occasionally challenge this fool.

    July 22, 2014 at 6:42 am | Reply
  25. Troy

    Obamacare is not designed to help anyone it is designed as a forced income for insurance companies which I totally refuse to accept and pay for. Obamacare can stick it where the sun don't shine. Plus I am not paying the fine either the iRS can also stick it where the sun don't shine. I refuse to be the governments puppet.

    July 22, 2014 at 7:53 am | Reply
    • So

      So we should refuse to pay for your health care when you get sick.

      July 22, 2014 at 9:07 am | Reply
  26. Blame Republicans For Obamacare

    If the republicans had introduced a single payer solution (the ONLY solution that will allow us to negotiate (as an entire nation) better health care prices (the REAL problem)), we wouldn't have to worry about Obamacare today. But since the republicans introduced NOTHING of substance to address the health care crisis, we now have Obamacare. Blame republicans for Obamacare. After all it was a republican idea, supported by the Heritage Foundation, and actually implemented by Mitt Romney.

    July 22, 2014 at 9:19 am | Reply
  27. chri§§y

    @ Really, do you really feel better after that childish outburst?

    July 22, 2014 at 8:05 pm | Reply
  28. Aristotles

    Notice all the pro-Obamacare stats and figures, and then when it comes to the lie about health costs stabilizing, it's all pie in the sky?

    July 22, 2014 at 11:28 pm | Reply
  29. Robert

    This data shows for overall, yet for states like my own, Florida, that denied the medicaid expansion Obamacare is not insuring everyone that could be insured. Many are left without insurance. We have to focus also on the quality of care which I think still lags behind. Dr. Hernandez

    July 23, 2014 at 9:16 am | Reply
  30. Richard Pacheco

    "they seem to be rising more slowly than before" (health insurance premiums)...not true for me! Mine went up every so slightly each year for 10 years, then after <a href="http://social-security-tax.net"Obamacare went up by 40%!

    August 5, 2014 at 1:57 pm | Reply
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