Jonathan Cohn
Senior Editor

Obama's Secret Plan To Enact His Agenda
January 30, 2009

The Wall Street Journal editorial page has an article critical of President Obama's recent moves to expand government health care programs. Shocking, I know. But what's particularly interesting about this latest essay, by Kimberly Strassel, is the way it frames the argument. Under the headline, "Democratic Stealth Care," she writes: Tom Daschle is still waiting to be confirmed as secretary of health and human services, not that he's in any rush. Democrats are already enacting his and Barack Obama's agenda of government-run health care--entirely on the QT.

Waxman: Health Care Reform This Year
January 29, 2009

Barack Obama has said he wants to pursue major health care reform this year. Two key committee chairmen in the Senate, Max Baucus and Ted Kennedy, have said they watn to pursue health care this year. But what about the House? The leadership has been strangely silent on the question, except for some recent statements by James Clyburn, the Majority Whip, that it might be better to move slowly and expand coverage incrementally. A few minutes ago, Congressman Henry Waxman made his feelings known--and did so with no ambiguity.

The Kids Aren't Alright. Neither Are Their Parents.
January 28, 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 here, as well. For those who have any doubt about the need for state aid in the economic recovery package, consider what California is contemplating. In the negotiations about our budget crisis, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is proposing to deny Medicaid coverage to over a half-million Californians, largely low-income working parents.

I Need Glasses. Or A Bigger Tv.
January 28, 2009

I just glanced over at the television, which is tuned to MSNBC and carrying a press conference by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. It's on the other side of the room and, from a distance, it looked for a moment like Phil Gramm. Seeing Gramm's face at the White House press office made for a disturbing, if blessedly fleeting, moment. So be aware: It's an easy mistake to make. --Jonathan Cohn 

Republican Whining On S-chip, Cont'd
January 28, 2009

The Republican Senate leadership is trying to hold up extension of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP), arguing that Democrats added new, more expansive provisions to the bipartisan compromise they passed previously. And, as I note below, there are good reasons for that. More people need help getting health insurance, because the economy is in such trouble. And the Democrats just won the presidency and extra Senate seats, after an election in which they ran on promises to expand expand programs like S-CHIP.

Elections Have Consequences, S-chip Edition
January 27, 2009

Via Congressional Quarterly, it seems that Senate Republicans are angry over the bill to extend the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) now coming to the floor for a vote.

The Early Betting Line On Universal Coverage
January 26, 2009

Ezra Klein and I discuss the prospects for health care reform on Bloggingheads. We tried to disagree. Really, we did.     --Jonathan Cohn 

Will The House Kill Health Care Reform?
January 26, 2009

Historians will tell you that the Senate is where health care reform, like most sweeping pieces of liberal legislation, goes to die. But will this year's health care graveyard be in the House?

Your Hospital Shouldn't Make You Sick
January 22, 2009

When you go into the hospital, you probably worry most about whether your treatment is going to work. Will the medicine cure my disease? Will the surgery repair my broken body? But few people ever consider another kind of threat--the threat of hospital-born infection. According to some estimates, about two million people get preventable hospital infections every year. That's not only costly. It's also tragic, since nearly half of those people die. But there's now some good news to report.

Obama, Just As Advertised
January 21, 2009

Did you know President Obama's advisers seriously proposed establishing a national sales tax holiday to boost the economy--and that Obama rejected it, thinking it was a feel-good move that wouldn't make a long-term difference in the economy? Here's the full story, via Joe Klein's terrific new Time article about the transition, the Inauguration, and what lies ahead: In the midst of the transition, President Obama was faced with a telling policy choice: whether to declare a temporary sales-tax holiday. His economic advisers loved the idea.