Jonathan Cohn
Senior Editor

This Is Not Britain. For Better And For Worse.
April 07, 2009

Tony Blankley takes to the opinion pages of the Washington Times today, trotting out a familiar but frequently effective line of argument. We can't have universal health insurance, Blankley says, because then our system will end up looking like Britain's, where the government makes everybody wait for services and frequently denies potentially useful treatments. First the federal government would get regulatory power over insurance.

Soaking The Rich: Now With Cool Charts!
April 06, 2009

Following up on my previous item--about Clive Crook's latest column and, more generally, whether we can pay for major domestic programs with progressive taxes--I checked in with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. A key question underlying this debate is just how progresssive our tax system is now. Chuck Marr, who is the Center's Director of Federal Tax Policy, wrote back with the following: Keep in mind that income in the U.S. is more unequal than in other OECD countries. Part of why they pay a larger share is that they make a larger share.

Has Obama's Organizing Machine Flopped Already?
April 06, 2009

Barack Obama's organizing machine was supposed to do more than get him elected president.

Detroit's Unions Seem Ready To Deal. And The Creditors?
April 06, 2009

With Chrysler and General Motors scrambling to meet government deadlines for restructuring, you're going to hear a lot of talk about which stakeholders are making the necessary concessions--and whether the unions, in particular, are giving up enough. As I've written before, the United Auto Workers deserves its share of the blame for the industry's troubled state. But, to its credit, it has already made significant concessions. And, by most accounts, it has indicated a willingness to concede even more.

Will Soaking The Rich Go Too Far?
April 06, 2009

Clive Crook--one of my favorite conservative writers--has a new column in which he warns against raising taxes on the rich to finance new government spending, particularly health care. The reason? The U.S. tax code is already very progressive by international standards. Making the tax code even more progressive will, Crook says, push it even more to that extreme. Mr. Obama intends to squeeze the rich, but the scope for this may be more limited than US liberals would wish.

Reconciliation Rules For Health Care?
April 03, 2009

If you like majority rule in the Senate, health care reform, or both, there's some very encouraging news over at The Treatment. --Jonathan Cohn 

Hill Sources: Reconciliation Likely To Survive Conference
April 03, 2009

If you believe in majority rule, health care reform, or both, I have some good news. Some well-placed sources on Capitol Hill* are saying it's likely that the final budget resolution will include "reconciliation instructions" for health care, effectively making it impossible for Republicans to filibuster reform. As you probably know by now, the House and Senate passed their respective budget resolutions on Thursday. And one of the few key differences was a proposal that would allow use of the reconciliation to pass health care reform, thereby limiting the time of debate and amendments.

Medical Miracle: Doctors Embracing Reform
April 02, 2009

Harold Pollack is a public health policy researcher at the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration, where he is faculty chair of the Center for Health Administration Studies. He is a regular contributor to The Treatment. For years, the medical profession has lagged only the insurers as a designated bogeyman for many who favor health reform.

Representative Jim Cooper Gets The Treatment
April 02, 2009

It would be something of an understatement to say that liberals don’t trust Representative Jim Cooper, the Democrat from Tennessee. That’s particularly true for liberals (like me) who remember the fight over health care reform in 1993 and 1994, when Cooper championed a centrist alternative to the Clinton health care plan. One former Clinton staffer has said “no Democrat did more to destroy our chances in that fight than Jim Cooper”--a verdict many experts share.

Baseball Season Is Health Wonk Season
April 02, 2009

If you're reading this blog, chances are good that you are a health wonk. And if you are a health wonk, you should be reading the Health Wonk Review. Health Wonk Review is a biweekly collection of posts about health care from around the blogosphere, spanning different specialties, topics, and worldviews. Two of my very favorite bloggers, Matthew Holt and Joe Paduda, established it. Participants take turns hosting it. This week, the Wonk Review appearing at Health Access, the site of Treatment contributor Anthony Wright.