Paul Krugman: Republicans are America's pre-existing condition -- and they're killing us
Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman smiles during the World Business Forum in New York (AFP)

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman blasted the Republican Party's latest bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on Friday as "incompetently drafted" and teeming with "obvious, blatant lies."

On top of all of that, he wrote, the Graham-Cassidy bill is "stunningly cruel" in its seeming indifference to the suffering of patients and its savage cuts to programs that benefit women, children and the poor.

As late night host Jimmy Kimmel said, the bill will allow states to inflate the price of coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. It will destroy the individual mandate which is essential to holding the system together and it will cut off the federal subsidies designed to make healthcare coverage affordable.

Nonetheless, the bill's sponsors insist that the legislation does not induce these hardships on consumers, which Krugman flatly said are lies, writing, "Independent analyses find that most states would, in fact, experience serious cuts in federal aid -- and everyone would face huge cuts after 2027."

He continued, "So we’re looking at an incompetently drafted bill that would hurt millions of people, whose sponsors are trying to sell it with transparently false claims. How is it that this bill might nonetheless pass the Senate?"

The answer is the Republicans' unthinking desperation to "destroy President Barack Obama’s legacy in any way possible, no matter how many American lives they ruin in the process."

Whether the bill will actually pass is frighteningly uncertain, he said.

"But even if the handful of Republican senators who retain some conscience block it --  we’re looking at you, John McCain -- the underlying sickness of the GOP will remain," he concluded. "It’s sort of a pre-existing condition, and it’s poisoning America."

Read the full column here.