Let’s get clear on the basics. Everyone agrees that Obamacare involves a massive increase in spending and a massive increase in taxes. Defenders of the law, including Krugman, want to suggest that the massive tax increases are larger than the massive spending increases, so the bill would reduce the deficit overall. Immense tax and spending increases certainly make for an odd path to deficit reduction, but this is their argument in defense of the law’s fiscal merits. To allow for that case, the law was designed to game the CBO scoring system, and to impose some very implausible assumptions of massive entitlement spending cuts by future congresses. Even with these assumptions, neither the CBO nor the Obama administration’s own CMS actuary argues that the law will actually reduce health-care spending or the rise of health-care costs–which are the actual problems at the core of our health-care dilemma and the reason why insurance has moved out of the reach of a growing number of American families. The solution to the problem, therefore, is not a new entitlement program modeled on the ones that are already bankrupting the government but rather a means of empowering consumers to make purchasing decisions and therefore to put a downward pressure on costs for a change. Republicans have proposed to repeal Obamacare (a repeal that, as the CBO has said, would constitute a massive spending cut and a massive tax cut over the next ten years), and have offered an array of ideas to better empower consumers to reduce costs and extend access to coverage.
Levin’s post has more, including relevant links.
UPDATE: I’ve added the link to Yuval Levin’s NRO/Corner post. James Capretta also checks in on Krugman and finds him unwell.