Paul Krugman: The economy of race prevents Medicaid and Obamacare expansion

White voters "don’t like the idea of helping neighbors who don’t look like them"

Published August 29, 2016 12:24PM (EDT)

Paul Krugman       (AP/Heribert Proepper)
Paul Krugman (AP/Heribert Proepper)

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman argued Monday that the opposition of red states like Texas to accepting federal money to fund Medicaid expansion isn't based, as claimed, on a commitment to smaller government and the superiority of the free market so much as it is the politics of race, and who would receive those funds.

Medicaid expansion, Krugman noted, disproportionately benefits nonwhite Americas, and voters in red states -- particular the white ones -- "don't like the idea of helping neighbors who don't look like them." Instead, they elect politicians who paper over racism with the thin clapboard "fiscal responsibility" and deny access to healthcare to millions in their states.

Moreover, in so doing they're also tanking their own economies:

[W]e’ve lately seen strong evidence from the states that refutes this small-government ideology. On one side, there’s the Kansas experiment — the governor’s own term for it — in which sharp tax cuts were supposed to cause dramatic job growth, but have in practice been a complete bust. On the other side there’s California’s turn to the left under Jerry Brown, which conservatives predicted would ruin the state but which has actually been accompanied by an employment boom...

Read the rest at The New York Times...

CORRECTION: The headline of this post originally contained the word "Medicare," when "Medicaid" was clearly the program in question.

By Scott Eric Kaufman

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