Jonathan Cohn
Senior Editor

Health Care Reform, A San Francisco Treat
March 12, 2009

Anthony Wright is executive director of Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition.

The Case For Presidential Multi-tasking
March 11, 2009

Warning: Highly speculative, possibly baseless poiltical analysis follows. Read at your own risk. My friend William Galston is not the only writer/pundit urging President Obama to focus on the financial crisis, while postponing action on other fronts. But he's certainly among the smartest and most persuasive. The usual case for Obama's aggressive agenda--seeking action on not just the economy but education, energy, and health care as well--is that FDR did it that way in 1933. But, as Galston notes, present conditions aren't as bad as they were in 1933.

A Liberal Is A Conservative Mugged By Health Care Bills
March 11, 2009

David Frum--yes, that David Frum--notes on his New Majority blog that self-employed workers in Manhattan may be trending Demoratic. Why the turn left, among a group that's traditionally held more conservative views? The problem seems to be affordable health care, or lack thereof, for people who can't get insurance through large employers. Here's the key passage, which Frum takes from a study by the Manhattan Institute: As some of the self-employed leave the tax rolls, they will lose one reason to vote Republican. Many will also have a reason to vote Democrat: health insurance.

Why Can't Detroit Make Cars Like This?
March 09, 2009

One reason a rescue package for the auto industry remains so unpopular is the firm conviction, widely held by many policymakers and much of the public, that the best cars come from abroad. Sure, Detroit can make adequate vehicles sometimes. But it's still Honda, Toyota, and other foreign automakers who do the most innovation. A new automobile review of Toyota's latest hybrid, by Washington Post car expert Warren Brown, is likely to solidify that impression: Many of you familiar with this column know that I'm not exactly an enthusiastic fan of hybrids.

Spooked Over Socialism?
March 09, 2009

Some quick thoughts on that over at the Plank. --Jonathan Cohn 

Who's Afraid Of Socialism?
March 09, 2009

Who's afraid of socialism? I'm talking here about the label, not the idea. Conservatives have spent a lot of time calling President Obama a "socialist," for endorsing such heresies as higher taxes on the wealthy (as we've had for much of this country's history) and universal health insurance (which happens to exist in every developed country except ours). But is the Obama administration taking these attacks seriously?

Insurers Warming To Health Reform?
March 09, 2009

Forgive the light blogging today; I'm on deadline for multilple stories. In the meantime, for your reading pleasure, here's Ron Brownstein at the Atlantic suggesting insurers (among others) are more open to reform than their reputation and history suggest. And here's Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times suggesting insurers really haven't changed at all.  Discuss amongst yourselves. --Jonathan Cohn 

The Happy Talk Is Great. Don't Expect It To Last.
March 06, 2009

Thursday's White House summit on health care was all about cooperation and optimism. Republicans promised to work with Democrats. Corporate lobbyists pledged to find common ground with liberal activists. If you support comprehensive reform to make health care affordable for all, it was hard to walk away without feeling enthusiastic--about both President Obama and what he's trying to do. But at least one forum participant, West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller, wasn't feeling so cheery. Rockefeller is no enemy of reform.

When The Health Care Crisis Becomes Your Crisis
March 05, 2009

Just hours before President Obama kicks off the White House forum on health care, Time magazine is out with a cover article telling another heartbreaking, fury-inspiring tale about our health care system. But what makes the story poignant--and particularly revealing--is the author. It is Time senior writer Karen Tumulty. The subject of the story is Karen's brother Patrick, who has been battling kidney disease. Karen (who is a friend) has been helping him to navigate the world of insurance.

Iran's Drug War--and Ours
March 05, 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. I took the red-eye to Austria for a two-day conference at the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy. The deeply-cushioned comfy chairs in our windowless auditorium at the Vienna International Center didn’t help me fight the jetlag.