Game On: Senate Committees To Mark Up In June
April 20, 2009

Senators Max Baucus and Ted Kennedy just sent the White House a letter, affirming their commitment to marking up health care legislation in June. It's not news per se. Staff and outside experts have been talking about such a timeline for a while. But this makes it public and official in a way it wasn't before.

Business Guru Embraces Reform. Should We Nitpick Why?
April 13, 2009

You may not have heard of Regina Herzlinger. But corporate America has. And it thinks she has something important to say. I'm not sure I agree. But I'm even less sure I should point that out. Confused? Let me explain. Herzlinger is a professor at Harvard Business School, author of countless works on health care, and a fixture on the corporate lecture circuit.

Pete Wehner Has Me Confused
April 08, 2009

I don't entirely understand this point from former Bush strategist Pete Wehner in his critique of Obamaism: On top of this almost $5 trillion figure we need to add the $250 billion the Obama administration has already signaled is likely to be needed for the second installment of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). More is sure to follow. Obama has also established a 10-year fund for health care which will cost more than $630 billion.

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.

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.

Health Wonk In Chief
March 24, 2009

This will surprise no regular Treatment reader, I know, but President Obama is currently conducting a superb seminar on the economics of health care--and why getting health care costs under control is the key to our fiscal future.  I don't always agree with Obama on health policy. (See "Individual mandates, 2008 campaign debate.") But it's very reassuring to hear the president speak so confidently, and astutely, about the problems of our health care system.  --Jonathan Cohn 

Response: In Massachusetts, We Got Reform Right
March 22, 2009

Jonathan Gruber is a professor of economics at the Massachsuetts Institute of Technology, an adviser to the nation's top policy-makers on health care, and--as readers of this space know--a frequent source for expertise on The Treatment. He was an architect of the Massachusetts health reforms and now serves on the board of the Massachusetts Connector, which oversees that program.

Response: Massachusetts Reform Is Not A Model.
March 19, 2009

Diane Archer is co-president of the Health Care for All Project, which is run by the Institute for America's Future. She's also the author of a report, about the results of health reforms in Massachusetts, that I criticized a few days ago. We asked her to respond and she has. Diane is also the founder and past president of the Center for Medicare Rights, where she got a close-up look at how American health insurance works. So it's worth taking her arguments seriously.

Democracy, Part Ii: What Is It Good For?
March 17, 2009

Ezra Klein has some thoughts on whether democracies--particularly our version--can respond effectively to economic crisis, a question I raised yesterday: Congress has been pretty pliant amidst all the rapid-fire bank bailouts and even the stimulus package. Republicans have been truculent about the stimulus, but truculence is also the luxury of the minority. If they were in the majority, they'd probably be much more constructive as they could claim credit for the recovery. Indeed, I think our political system is actually fairly well-designed for short-term crises.

The Real Obama Revolution
March 10, 2009

"Let there be no doubt, the future belongs to the nation that best educates its children." Speaking this morning before the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the president has put into one clear sentence the fatal choice we will be making if we fail to pursue those paths that can radically improve our schools and the learning of our kids.There are no secrets about which paths those are, and Obama touched on nearly all of them.