As some Republican lawmakers continue to hide from angry constituents who are upset about their plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is calling them out for what he sees as hypocritical pleas for civility.
In his Friday column, Krugman pointed out that many Republicans — who like to cast themselves as tough-minded individualists who tell the truth regardless of whether it hurts someone’s feelings — are being awfully sensitive about the negative receptions they’re receiving at constituent town halls across the country.
“Many prominent Republicans haven’t even gotten to the point of trying to respond to criticism,” writes Krugman. “They’re just whining about how mean their constituents are being, and invoking conspiracy theories. Talk about snowflakes who can dish it out but can’t take it!”
On a more serious note, Krugman notes that Paul Ryan and the Republican Party have had seven years to come up with a reasonable alternative to the ACA and have completely whiffed in every regard.
“After years to prepare, Mr. Ryan finally unveiled what was supposedly the outline of a health care plan. It was basically a sick joke: flat tax credits, unrelated to income, that could be applied to the purchase of insurance,” he said. “These credits would be obviously inadequate for the lower- and even middle-income families that gained coverage under Obamacare, so it would cause a huge surge in the number of uninsured.”
Krugman then says that after Ryan’s proposed outline went over like a lead balloon, he and Vice President Mike Pence began issuing vague platitudes about restoring “freedom” to American health care — a move that Krugman believes is the “refuge of a scoundrel.”
“I very much doubt that this is going to fly, now that ordinary Americans are starting to realize just how devastating loss of coverage would be,” he writes.