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This is a rant and I need to just write about it so read at your own risk...

This morning, like every other morning, I go to the New York Times Opinion Page and look for interesting editorial pieces.  This morning, I ran into this:

Health Care Now
Why has the Obama administration been silent about one of the key promises during the campaign — the promise of guaranteed health care for all Americans?

By Paul Krugman

After I read it I almost bought a ticket from DC to New York and wanted to find this guy and beat him to oblivion...or at least knock some sense into him.

Before you accuse me of being a bully or anything, please hear me out.

I understand that Paul Krugman is a Nobel prize winner.  I understand that he's one of the best economist that we have.  I understand that he's likes to give his opinion on everything besides economics.  But I also understand that he must or should know what's going on with the Obama administration.

Here is my take...

First, we know that Obama is working really hard on his second week in office to pass one of the most expensive bills in the history of this nation.  He's spending a lot of political capital to do it and we all hope that his popularity and approval stays as high as it's one or two years from now.  We all hope that his plans to fix the economy actually works and every single American can see the difference, especially after 8 years of digging this country into the ground.

Second, we all know that Obama appointed former Senator Daschle to be the Health Czar because of his vast experience and contacts with Congress and because he knows how to move the bill through it, and hopefully get some bipartisan support.  However, we know that there is been a delay in his confirmation for political and personal reasons (family emergency is the last thing I heard) so his confirmation has been pushed to sometime soon, hopefully.

But as any impatient child because that's the only thing I can come up with right now and fits perfectly, Krugman is calling out on President Obama to speak up about universal healthcare.

I mean, that's just nuts!

Does Krugman think that because President Obama is not speaking up about Universal Healthcare that it means that he's not doing it?  I understand that he can chew gun and walk at the same time but he has been doing just that during the past two weeks.  However, I also know that one must find the perfect timing to introduce something new, such as affordable healthcare, to the national discourse.

Right now, everyone is focusing on the $800 billion bill that's going through Congress.  We don't have a Health Czar who will be the key architech to move it through and President Obama has been busy these past TWO WEEKS getting his staff in the key positions, signing his first major bill, and reversing 8 years of Bush bullcrap!

So Mr. Krugman, shove your Nobel prize up your you know what and stop sounding false alarms about issues that will take the right place at the right time in the national discourse.  We're just in week two of President Obama's tenure so please check back by week 20 before you start complaining that nothing was done.


Like I said in the first line, this was a rant and to read at your own risk.  Now that's out of the way, I read every single, seriously, comment made on my diary.

I understand as someone mentioned, that "Healthcare reform is a life and death issue, an immediate one.  It deserves to be nagged about."

I also understand as someone mentioned, that "It's never too early to bring up universal health care, especially now, when so many are losing their jobs, can't afford Cobra and then, if they have a pre-existing condition, they might not get health care again.  It's a huge part of putting the Country back together."

I agree with the above statements 100%...BUT

Would you agree that talking about bringing up and passing "affordable" healthcare now would sidetrack the stimulous bill or both?

Would you agree that passing "affordable" healthcare will take a lot of time and effort and manuvering?

Would you agree that we tried this before during Clinton and it failed; so we need to approach this differently and carefully?

Would you agree that we're just in week two and the stimulous bill would probably be ready for signing before President's Day (mid-February) and Obama can focus on his next big project, hopefully Healthcare?

And finally, do you know that the stimulous package has some provitions that help indviduals and families with affordable healthcare right away?

If you answer NO (except for the last one) to any of my questions then you're more obtuse that I thought some of you were.

Originally posted to ovelarde on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 07:47 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  hmmm... ovelarde v. Krugman... (6+ / 0-)

    how will this turn out...?

    You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know - John Barlow

    by bottles on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 07:49:21 AM PST

  •  i didn't think it was his strongest op-ed piece (8+ / 0-)

    inDeed. i think Paul might be safer leaving the health care issue rants to nyceve.

    but beat him up? never. he has become, over the bushCo years, a hero of mine.

    and find what he says always worth considering.

    "Well we don't rent pigs and I figure it's better to say it right out front because a man that does like to rent pigs is... he's hard to stop" Gus McCrae

    by pfiore8 on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 07:53:15 AM PST

  •  Sometimes the point... (7+ / 0-) just to open up the conversation.  Looks like maybe he succeeded.

  •  I think it's fantastic he's bringing this up now! (10+ / 0-)

    He seems to be saying, "Hey Obama - this is your 9/11 - do everything you can while the sense of urgency is upon us."

    I love Krugman.  He may sound like he's critical but I think his approach is good.  He doesn't come off as a crony - more of a critic.  With all the right intentions.

    •  I agree (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cofcos, jayden, foolmanchoo, nippersdad

      I think Krugman is advocating a more wholistic reform to the economy. If so, then I couldn't agree more.

      I'm not a fan of Krugman by the way. He's another idiot economist. But the reforms need to be systemic. Obne thing that is frustrating is that no one seems to be acknowledging that this economic crisis has arisen from many fronts - oil shock, outsourcing and wage decline, vulture capitalism, corporatization, deregulation, privatization and, of course, profiteering off the sick and elderly by health care corps.

      All of these factors combined to create the perfect storm we are witnessing. Not just one thing. And the solution has to be systemic.

      The biggest disappointment from Obama for me is he is allowing a fundamental philosophical paradigm shift to slip away. He's allowing the failed philosophy to retain credibility instead of using this historic opportunity to say enough - the corporocrat ideology of laissez fair, corporatist economics has failed. It's time to abandon it.

      Instead we get technocrat tweaks from the dim, unimaginative, Ivy League bulbs that got us here.

      I'm sorry, but that's what I see. Pathetic mediocrity and more of the same in the face of historical challenges. It's incredibly sad.

  •  Krugman is applying the fire from the outside (11+ / 0-)

    and we need to keep it there.

    Yes, it has only been a week-and-a-half, but still.

    Our rumbling on the left will help drown out the yahoos on the right that listen to Rush.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    -Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 07:58:16 AM PST

  •  What's your problem? (6+ / 0-)

    Obama may be no FDR but he damn well better be able to multitask. We're never going to avoid a greater depression than the last one if he can't pursue more than one major policy at a time. Screw the Repugs he tried they won't help so let's get on with it.

  •  Love Krugman (9+ / 0-)

    It´s great to have a top economist that criticize Obama from the left.

    I can see Iceland from my house!

    by Mariken on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 07:58:59 AM PST

  •  Krugman has no political acumen. (6+ / 0-)

    Never has.  never will.  Not interested in the politics of it.  

    But I wish progressives would think a little bit before hitting "send".  If Krugman believes -- and it's a reasonable argument -- that health care is important to the recovery of the economy, then think about how you say it.  To put it in terms of Obama reneging on campaign promises, 10 days into his Presidency, only feeds the knuckle-draggers who are out to defeat us on everything.  

    In a perfect world, we could have these criticisms.  I think we can criticize in ways that always feed the progressive cause and enable our Democratic President rather than tear him down.  

    This is why Republicans are better at politics than we are.  They get this game, they get it from the top leadership to every knuckle-dragger who calls c-span.  We don't get it on the left.  Krugman doesn't get it.  

    I would have loved to have the discussion about health care reform being integral to the recovery of the economy.  Instead, Krugman made it a bleeding cut to Obama.  It was irresponsible.  And it happens all the time on the left.  

    This is how we do damage to our causes.  I'm not saying to blindly support Obama.  I'm saying to think about the method and tone that brings issue to the forefront -- not just throw a childish punch.  Careful phrasing would have sent a message about the importance of health care reform and actually led to positive discussion and positive action.  Increase our chances for success, instead of tearing apart a President who is trying to initiate massive change for the American people.  Very irresponsible.  

    Are we ever going to learn?  

  •  Krugman is doing his job (9+ / 0-)

    holding Obama's feet to the flames. Just because Obama is our modern Moses doesn't mean we can't ask him to hurry down the mountain a little faster.

    Do I dare disturb the universe? T.S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

    by Greek Goddess on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 08:00:22 AM PST

  •  Hm... Well Passing SCHIP Was a Key Part of... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    odenthal, jj32, alba, Bene Gesserit1

    ...Obama's overall plan and that just happened.

    What exactly was he expecting, a Healthcare Omnibus Bill on January 21?

    If spittle & tooth=vigor & youth Bill-O & Savage won't grow any older If wishes & dreams=bitches & beams We'll all live in skyscrapers bu

    by TooFolkGR on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 08:04:50 AM PST

    •  No, he was expecting Hillary to win (0+ / 0-)

      and to push through Congress the health care plan he'd give to her to push through Congress. He was carrying her water through the entire primary and frequently ignored or even misrepresented facts (i.e. lied) in doing it.

      It was the most pathetic series of mindless screeds I've ever seen from somebody who is purportedly so great as to merit a Nobel Prize, and they continue unabated to this day.

      •  Riiiight (0+ / 0-)

        Well it's clear that the scientists on your planet have put a lot of thought into this.

        If spittle & tooth=vigor & youth Bill-O & Savage won't grow any older If wishes & dreams=bitches & beams We'll all live in skyscrapers bu

        by TooFolkGR on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 09:12:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I was expecting a major overhaul in 2009 (0+ / 0-)

      Unfortunately, I knew when Obama got the nomination that it wasn't going to happen.

      "There -- it's -- you know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror." --GWB

      by denise b on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 09:17:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  How many days have we had a new president? why (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    can't Krugman realize how not economical his questions are given the amount of time the president has been in office. Really he can economize his time better by writing less and taking a a bit of vacation until it's time to talk again.

    Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions

    by publicv on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 08:05:11 AM PST

  •  On a side note, I was wondering what was (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    foolmanchoo, dditt

    up with Daschle's nomination. Hadnt heard anything, hope everything works out okay. I sort of agree. The economic bill is Obama's main priority, next will probably be the budget, and then Obama has a choice to make, which issue will he focus on then? But in terms of major bills, Obama does have to take it one at a time, I think.

  •  It's never too early (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KibbutzAmiad, wildcat6, TomP, Toon

    to bring up universal health care, especially now, when so many are losing their jobs, can't afford Cobra and then, if they have a pre-existing condition, they might not get health care again.

    It's a huge part of putting the Country back together.

    Chronic Share a new community for people wanting to share their experiences with chronic illness.

    by Ellinorianne on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 08:08:10 AM PST

  •  Eyes on the Prize, y'all. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, dditt, Toon, Nada Lemming

    Nothing wrong with reminders of what needs to be done. It's easy for things to get sidetrack with the limbaugh circus the gopers are trying right now.

    On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord" President Barack Obama 1/20/2009

    by UndercoverRxer on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 08:08:58 AM PST

  •  Krugman's right and you're wrong. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    matadorph, denise b, Toon

    Even if you had the Nobel Prize and he were a lowly Daily Kos diarist, he's still be right and you'd still be wrong.

    Al que no le guste el caldo, le dan dos tazas.

    by Rich in PA on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 08:12:02 AM PST

  •  Why isn't Krugman going after Kudlow? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    odenthal, alba

    Instead of questioning the president Krugman should directly address articles like those that Kudlow wrote today (on regarding the Stimulus. We have Krugman saying we need more stimulus and Kudlow saying the stimulus should be ditched. Krugman can do everyone a favor by debunking Kudlow's article point by point.

  •  a Colbert Report moment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    On the Colbert Report Stephen made his usual twisted take on situations stating that Obama has been given his 8 long days in office and that its time for a new look at things.

    Krugman falls into that scenario by bringing the healthcare topic up about why Obama hasn't said anything about it.  I recommend that Krugman go and beat up republican politicians, Obama can't even get an AG put into place without the AG promising not to do this job...investigating and possibly prosecuting the former administration for war crimes.

    After 8 years of darkness, a great nation chose to reapply power to the beacon of light America stands for.

    by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 08:16:21 AM PST

  •  Krugman loves Hillary and not Obama (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, alba, Malumaureus, JoanMar

    I guarantee you he would be kissing Hill's heinie.  Krugman peddled tons of shit all summer and fall.  To slam the O-Man on Jan. 30 is nonsense.  

    Wingnuts, asshats, losers: your time is OVER ...

    by Tuffie on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 08:16:42 AM PST

    •  Pffffffffffffffffffffft. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dabize, denise b, nippersdad

      Krugman is saying what must be said, loud and often.

      As FDR famously once said, "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it."

      Krugman is trying to make him do it. But to some O-bots, that's shit-peddling.

      •  O-bots? Seriously? Do you think before you post? (0+ / 0-)

        Aside from baseless personal attacks do you have any evidence or coherent argument behind your other assertions?

        Krugman was on-board the bash-Obama train from day one and lied, repeatedly, about Obama's positions on health care in order to support Hillary throughout the entire primary. He consistently either stated or implied that Obama wasn't for universal health care (he is), that Obama's plan was more or less the same as Hillary's, but without the bite and oomph to make it work (not true), and so forth.

        The man is exactly like a petulant child: if he doesn't get it his way, right now, he resorts to puerile attacks--like you did. He has little or no political acumen, as noted above, and for that reasons his screeds need to be taken with a hill of salt.

        •  YOU have no political acumen (0+ / 0-)

          This is not personal. It's the issue that's important - do you want health care reform or not? Obama and Krugman are both mature, pragmatic individuals with important things on their minds. They are not acting out childish grudges. The election is over.

          "There -- it's -- you know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror." --GWB

          by denise b on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 09:29:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Krugman consitently preferred Hilary's policy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      denise b, Cofcos

      on health care reform over Obama's because it was designed to cover everybody -- not leave out 15 million as in Obama's plan.

      Looking at Krugman's history, he is consistent in approaching issues from the policy and pragmatic side rather than the political.  So, Hilary vs Obama (as a candidate or person) makes no sense from Krugman's frame.

      Understand Krugman's POV or you risk continuing the war on (the dismal) science.  The war, as we all know, was about political and idealogic agendas vs. good data, rational thought, and pragmatic conclusions.

      the fact that you're right is nothing more than interesting

      by Egg on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 09:21:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is infantile (0+ / 0-)

      He feels deeply about health care reform, and I'm thankful that we have someone of his stature to keep pushing the issue.

      I think you're projecting your own view of things onto him.

      "There -- it's -- you know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror." --GWB

      by denise b on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 09:24:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  More Press Conferences Please (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catesby, Toon

    I know Obama has a lot on his plate, but if he has time to consider Republican tax cuts, he should have time to discuss health care.

    Especially because health care is a HUGE individual AND business expense.

    For our small biz, health insurance premiums are our largest monthly expense outside of payroll.

    You read that correctly.  

    We are also struggling, for the first since 1960, to get bank loans to cover us during the off season.  

    So, our biggest concerns are being able to borrow money and pay for health insurance premiums.  And, if the latter were addressed, the former wouldn't be such an emergency (because we need to borrow to cover insurance premiums).

    I understand cutting Obama some slack since he's only been in office 10 days, but, I'm also quite thankful Krugman is keeping health care in the headlines.

    I read that Obama was going to take of Family Planning in a different segment of the stimulus.  But, I've yet to read that health insurance will be properly considered.  A press conference on health care/insurance would go a LONG way in reducing anxiety for businesses as well as individuals.

  •  Healthcare (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    denise b, Toon

    reform is a life and death issue, an immediate one.  It deserves to be nagged about.

  •  I don't see the problem either (0+ / 0-)

    Not really or at least not yet.
    On reflection I'm wondering if Krugman just took a page out of the Obama Playbook(tm) and he's baiting the rightwing. If criticizing the new President is the order of the day then it would be a positive for the dead enders to start pounding away at the universal health care subject.

    Onoz! He lied! Where's MY universal health care! He promised me free medical coverage and I want it NOW!!! - random imaginary winger

    Imagine our reactions if the wingnut'o'sphere were to agitate for UHC because they wanted to make us look bad. (heh heh) I'd cry all the way to the doctor's appointment.

    I for one would gladly give them credit for stealing the idea if their hysterics would get it passed soon.

    This space closed for remodeling

    by Arthur Wolf on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 08:28:22 AM PST

  •  Something you should know about Obama (5+ / 0-)

    President Obama's background, as everyone knows, is as an organizer, and a Saul Alinsky-school organizer at that.  This means that Pres. Obama believes, as core value, that it's not the place for politicians to lead on issues -- it's their place to get in front of the right parades to make them successful.  It's the work of citizens, through organization and expression, to form the parades and prioritize the politicians agenda in a true democracy.

    Krugman knows that well, and his opinion piece is needed by Obama for any action to ever happen.  Presidents rarely, with success, get in the front of any issue.  It has to come from organized demands of citizens first. So if you want something from Obama, you're going to have to target him directly as Krugman is doing, even if you know he supports your cause.

  •  Bad call, diarist... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dabize, denise b

    First, President Obama is not expending, "...a lot of political capital..." to get his rebuilding plan passed. The passage of the bill is, and always has been, a slam dunk.
    Second Paul Krugman understands the fundamental connection that universal health care has tom the state of the economy.
    Every single day the US is shedding tens of thousands of jobs. Along with many of those jobs goes health care coverage for thousands of families.
    There is little more imperative than stemming the bleeding from that wound to the economy and to the health of the nation.
    You want to save America from economic collapse? START with health care - not road building.

    The one day you'd sell your birthright for something, birthrights are a glut.

    by miamiboats on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 08:36:34 AM PST

  •  Prof Krugman is spot on. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nada Lemming

    This diary? Not so much.

    Partisanship is good. Just say no to ". . . [t]he mushy, cowardly middle, one that never stands for anything too much or critiques anything too loudly." (kos)

    by Orange County Liberal on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 08:40:12 AM PST

  •  Krugman is right (yet again) (0+ / 0-)
    With the votes he has in congress right now, Obama can and should get some kind of universal health care passed within the next month. There will never be a better time for it.
  •  "Oh that poster who hates Paul Krugman" (0+ / 0-)

    I might get to be known as that if I say anything here.

    Tipped and rec'd.

  •  For healthcare, process is critical. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Arthur Wolf

    The current stimulus bill will hurt no special interest and therefore has minimal opposition except for politically-posturing Republicans. Business, labor, banking, state government - everyone likes it since it will shower them with money.

    Fundamental health care reform, however, will threaten deeply entrenched interests who wield huge influence on Democratic as well as Republican lawmakers.

    As the Clintons painfully learned, you can't ramrod through health care reform without building broad support for your specific approach. Krugman can shout - and he should, this is a critical issue - but that will take more than the 10 days Obama has been in office. Obama laid out his principles of having an open process for developing health care reform throughout his campaign, and the process will be critical for it to be successful.

    Also, unlike the stimulus, health care reform will have major long-term impact.  Getting it right is more important than doing it immediately.

  •  Keep up the pressure (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    denise b

    Krugman spoke in Seattle night before last.  He said that there will be more suffering and deeper suffering in the United States as a result of the economic crisis than in any other developed country, because our "social safety network"  -- think of a dip net not a seine-- is so puny (my words not his).  He believes that the crisis "lets" Obama address health care and therefore not to do so is a "political" miscalculation.  At this point he's keeping up the pressure, as should we all.

  •  I couldn't agree more (0+ / 0-)

    Not talking about healthcare in the first two weeks while desperately trying to put together the biggest stimulus package EVER doesn't qualify as hedging on a campaign promise in my opinion. Give Obama some time.

    I sometimes wonder if Krugman couldn't find a more efficient way to agitate for the kind of policy he believes in. I would assume he runs in the same circles as some of Obama's advisors, it would seem as if he could do more with a few phone calls and private conversations than he could in the NYT.

  •  Both you and Krugman are wrong (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    denise b

    Obama never campaigned on Universal Health Care.

    He campaigned on Universal Health Insurance Availability.

  •  Take a chill pill (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Really. You're seriously worked up about a Nobel economist, who writes a regular column, wrote about universal health care? I mean, WTF?
    We need the dialog to start. We need to talk about these things NOW t6o get the conversation open and get Americans to start thinking about it - and demand it.
    It's like the issue of cannabis reform. Even mention it and people go nuts - "We have more important things to do!"
    Well, it's all important. Anything that will give people health care and access to a benign drug (that would also save us billions by ending the war on drugs) is worth talking about.both have the potential to pump billions into the economy and create thousands and thousands of jobs.

    Electing conservatives is like hiring a carpenter who thinks hammers are evil.

    by MA Liberal on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 10:02:00 AM PST

  •  I for one have been over Krugman for somet ime (0+ / 0-)

    now. He has become another Tweety. One minute he writes something which makes you believe that he gets it, and the next you get the impression that he writes only because he can. He never saw this crisis coming and I am not convinced that he (like all the others) has a clue as to what to do to get us out of it. I don't care about his Nobel Prize!

    It's a beautiful day!

    by JoanMar on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 10:10:11 AM PST

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