Krugman: Budget proposals ‘only considered serious if you inflict pain on vulnerable people’
Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman on Tuesday said it was “unfair” to accuse President Barack Obama of not putting forth serious reforms to Medicare amid the fiscal cliff negotiations.
Krugman noted on PBS’ Newshour that Obamacare seeks to reduce Medicare costs without affecting eligibility or benefits. The law is estimated to have provided $716 billion in savings by reducing payments to hospitals and insurers.
“He’s actually done more to bring down the cost curve for Medicare than anyone has ever done before,” Krugman remarked. “But in Washington, that is considered not serious because he’s not actually taking benefits away from people who need them. So, it’s a really weird thing. It’s only considered serious if you inflict pain on vulnerable people.”
Republicans have proposed reducing the cost of Medicare by raising the eligibility age. Currently, Americans can enroll in Medicare when they turn 65. Some Republicans have proposed increasing the eligibility age to 67 or 68.