Paul Krugman: Republicans “transparently rigged” their Obamacare data

The Times columnist takes the House GOP to task for a twisted survey -- one that proves they know they're lying

Topics: Paul Krugman, Obamacare, Affordable Care Act,

Paul Krugman: Republicans "transparently rigged" their Obamacare dataPaul Krugman (Credit: Reuters/Brendan Mcdermid)

The Republicans are acting in bad faith about Obamacare — willfully twisting the facts in their report so as to make the president look bad.

So writes Paul Krugman in his latest column for the New York Times, one in which he looks at the House GOP’s recent survey on enrollment under the Affordable Care Act and finds it woefully short on facts. The survey found that only two-thirds of those who’ve enrolled via healthcare.gov have paid a premium, a result the House Republicans are using as evidence the system is broken — and a result Krugman chalks up to “lies, damned lies and — in this case — bogus statistics.”

To wit:



[T]he survey was rigged. (Are you surprised?) It asked insurers how many enrollees had paid their first premium; it ignored the fact that the first premium wasn’t even due for the millions of people who signed up for insurance after March 15.

To Krugman’s mind, the framing of the question relies upon the surge in enrollments post-March 15: “The staffers who set up that survey knew enough about the numbers to skew them, which meant that they have to have known that Obamacare is actually doing O.K.” For now, that’s consolation enough, perhaps. But as for what will happen if a party willing to twist the facts grows yet more powerful in the 2014 and 2016 elections — Krugman says it’ll be “nothing good, that’s for sure.”

Daniel D'Addario is a staff reporter for Salon's entertainment section. Follow him on Twitter @DPD_

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