Jonathan Cohn
Senior Editor

I Hate Universal Health Care. Except That I Don't.
February 19, 2009

Today's Atlanta Journal-Constitution carries an op-ed on health care that is positively infuriating--but also, in one sense, encouraging. First, the infuriating part.

This Is How You Define Fiscal Responsibility
February 19, 2009

Word that the Obama administration was planning a summit next week on entitlements and fiscal responsibility sent shudders through the progressive community. Didn't we just get rid of the guy who wanted to gut Social Security? But Obama has said consistently that the federal government doesn't have an entitlements problem. It has a health care problem. The cost of medical care is skyrocketing. This is turning Medicare and Medicaid into massive drains on the federal treasury. To bring those costs under control, the government needs to change the way we deliver and pay for medical care.

Times: Sebelius Now Top Choice For Hhs
February 19, 2009

Peter Baker and Robert Pear of the New York Times are reporting that Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius has emerged as the top choice to become Secretary of Health and Human Services, the post Tom Daschle was once supposed to take. (As for Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, whose name generated so much controversy in the past two weeks, I'm hearing he is unlikely to get the job.) A Sebelius appointment would be both popular and, I think, smart.

This Won't Hurt a Bit
February 18, 2009

Health care reform for dummies.

An Emanuel Who Doesn't Curse But Knows Health Care
February 18, 2009

Ezekiel Emanuel has drawn lot of attention in the past few days. And it's not just because he's the older brother of Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel is the prominent oncologist and policy expert who's now working on health care reform for the Obama administration. In his writings, which include an article in this magazine and (more famously) a book called Healthcare, Guaranteed: A Simple, Secure Solution for America, Emanuel has called for replacing existing insurance arrangements with a voucher system. Everybody would choose from among a set of affordable private plans.

The Grade On Detroit's Bailout Proposals: Incomplete
February 17, 2009

Susan Helper is the AT&T Professor of Economics at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University, and an expert on the auto industry. In December, she co-authored an article making the case for a rescue of the Detroit Three--and then sketching out what such a package should look like. On Tuesday, when Chrysler and General Motors submitted their new viability plans, we asked her to write a follow-up: GM and Chrysler have submitted their plans for getting $22 billion in additional government loans.

Ronald Mcdonald Is Not Reform's Friend
February 14, 2009

Anthony Wright is executive director of Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition. He blogs daily at the Health Access WeBlog and is a regular contributor to the Treatment. I think President Obama found his new spokesperson for health reform: Julio Oseguida. The enthusiastic Mr.

The Right's Real Fear: People Will Like The Spending
February 12, 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, I have electronically subscribed to the Wall Street Journal. A simple accompanying pleasure is that I never click the “opinion” tab. The wicked and simple inner child of an otherwise great paper therefore never enters my world. Today, unfortunately, our paper man accidentally dropped off the Journal in place of the Times.

Gregg Not Joining Administration. This Should Upset Me?
February 12, 2009

Judd Gregg has had second thoughts. He won't be joining President Obama's cabinet after all. Here's an excerpt from his statement: I want to thank the President for nominating me to serve in his Cabinet as Secretary of Commerce.  This was a great honor, and I had felt that I could bring some views and ideas that would assist him in governing during this difficult time.

Betsy Is Still All Wetsy
February 12, 2009

Earlier this week, Elizabeth McCaughey wrote an article for, arguing against the stimulus package because it would allow government to destroy American health care. The article was wildly misinformed and misleading. But, surprise, that didn't prevent Rush Limbaugh and Fox News from citing it. Steve Benen has the whole story here. Alas, this is an old story with McCaughey, who put forth similarly dishonest arguments during the debate over the Clinton health care plan.