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New York Times columnist and Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman is questioning Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn’s claim that Obamacare caused him to lose his cancer specialist.
“It’s a garbage story, it really is,” said Krugman in a back-and-forth with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on CNN after the State of the Union on Tuesday.
Coburn, who announced earlier this month that he’ll resign from office at the end of the year as he battles his fourth bout with cancer, told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that his oncologist was no longer covered under his health care plan.
Imagine for a moment the intellectual gymnastics at work here. Krugman—awash in the moral self-satisfaction that accompanies supporting as high-minded and compassionate a program as Obamacare—has the license—nay, the duty—to identify the guy with cancer as the problem here. Broken eggs and omelets and all that. What’s a little collateral damage if it allows you to immanentize the eschaton?
John Hart, Senator Coburn’s communications director, is to be praised for getting the response just right:
“He’s experiencing an intellectual crisis due to Obamacare’s failures. A policy he supported is causing Americans to lose not only their doctors, but their specialists and treatments,” Hart said.
“We wish him the best as he works through his difficult period of disappointment and disorientation.”
Perfect—except for assuming that Professor Krugman’s disorientation is a transitory state.