The Difference between Paul Krugman and Chuck Schumer on Obamacare

Paul Krugman criticizes Chuck Schumer for criticizing Obamacare. Why are they different?

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Paul Krugman and Chuck Schumer are both liberals. They are both partisans to the Democrat Party. But they are displaying a divergence of opinion.

As David Linton has posted, Schumer has issued a kind of Mea Culpa on the Affordable Care Act. Krugman has now responded in the New York Times:

It’s easy to understand why Republicans wish health reform had never happened, and are now hoping that the Supreme Court will abandon its principles and undermine the law. But it’s more puzzling — and disturbing — when Democrats like Charles Schumer, senator from New York, declare that the Obama administration’s signature achievement was a mistake.


The Schumer critique — he certainly isn’t the first to say these things, but he is the most prominent Democrat to say them — calls health reform a mistake because it only benefits a minority of Americans, and that’s not enough to win elections. What President Obama should have done, claims Mr. Schumer, was focus on improving the economy as a whole.

So what is the difference between Krugman and Schumer? I suppose I could interact with some claims that Krugman makes that he thinks show Obamacare is a rousing success. Sorry, a man who thinks a rumor of a hostile space alien attack would help the economy is not worth anyone’s time. There is no reason to believe anything the man says.

The real difference between Krugman and Schumer is that Krugman gets to keep making money and doing what he does no matter who wins elections. In fact, he becomes even more important if Republicans win because his work is to keep producing delusions for Liberals to believe in. He is an academic. He has an assured position.

Schumer will do all right as well as a lobbyist or some other kind of corruption-pusher. But he likes being in office and he sees that his ride may soon be coming to an end. He can’t just declare Obamacare to be working, he has to convince voters.

As Krugman admits, The Affordable Care Act “has not, of course, been a political winner for Democrats.”

Of course not.

But why not?

Because of some media conspiracy that wanted to hide Barack Obama’s successes from the American people?

That makes less sense than news of a space alien attack stimulating the economy.

The reason why Schumer is trying to do damage control on Obamacare is because Obamacare is damage. Krugman can spin fantasies behind his fortress but Schumer is closer to the battlefield. And he sees that the Liberal “victory” is self-destructive.