DUELING ECONOMISTS…ON HEALTH CARE?

The Affordable (Health) Care Act (ACA), better known as ObamaCare, was signed into Law three years ago.  Some of the provisions are already in effect; however, some will not go into effect until Fiscal Year 2014, which begins on October 1, 2013.  The additional time was given to enable the various states to decide whether to establish insurance exchanges or go with the Federal Program, and also to give businesses the opportunity to decide which options they would provide to their employees.

David M. Cutler is a Professor of Applied Economics at Harvard University and was a Senior Health Care Advisor to the Obama Campaign in 2008.  His Economix column, in the NY Times, providing a somewhat positive opinion of the ACA, is linked as follows: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/07/the-economics-of-the-affordable-care-act/?ref=economy&pagewanted=print. Casey B. Mulligan is a Professor of Economics at the university of Chicago, and his somewhat more gloomy Economix column, also in the NY Times, is linked as follows: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/07/health-care-inflation-and-the-arithmetic-of-labor-taxes/?pagewanted=print.

Obviously, these two respected Economists have different viewpoints, which can be similar to what we might find in any intellectual discussion.  Different sources, varying approaches to the same topic, political viewpoints and numerous other variables can come into play.  Also, considering the differences in our own age, sex, pre-existing conditions, economic situations, etc., ObamaCare will effect us all in various ways–now and in the future.  However, it addresses something which, I believe must be considered.

As Professor Cutler points out, however, Massachusetts has already had an Affordable Health Care Program, very similar to ACA, signed into Law by (then) Governor Mitt Romney, in 2006.  Most citizens of the Bay State are pleased with their State-Mandated  Health Care and there have not been widespread problems.  Also, the warnings of opponents to the Massachusetts Plan have not proved warranted.

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