For the last twenty-four hours or so, analysts and experts have been poking holes in the new study, commissioned by and for the insurance industry, purporting to show that health care reform would raise insurance premiums. But now one of the experts everybody (myself included) has quoted has put together a quick memo showing that, at least for people trying to buy coverage through the new exchanges, premiums would actually come down. Way down. The expert is MIT economist Jonathan Gruber.
That seems to be the takeaway from her interview this morning with NBC's Ann Curry, which contained this back and forth, as transcribed by the WaPo's Garance Franke-Ruta (under the hed Hillary Clinton Bids Presidential Hopes Adieu): "Will you ever run for president again? Yes or no," Curry asked. "No," replied Clinton. "No?" Curry followed up. "No. No," Clinton emphasized. "I mean, this is a great job. It is a 24/7 job. And I'm looking forward to retirement at some point." Seems fairly Sherman-esque. Then again, there's that "I mean," which suggests a certain hesitation on Clinton's part.
I was a little disconcerted a few weeks ago when I read that Barney Frank's House Financial Services Committee was weakening the proposed consumer financial regulator. As the Journal reported: Mr.
I am back again to Barack Obama's speech in Cairo. And here's what I wrote about it in early summer. Among other topics, the president focused for a long moment on the hijab (and, in case you want to buy one, here is a link to Hijab Girl, a salacious hook, if you don't mind me saying so.) And here is what Obama said on the topic word for word: “[F]reedom in America is indivisible from the freedom to practice one's religion. That is why there is a mosque in every state in our union, and over 1,200 mosques within our borders.
The Wall Street Journal has the goods on the medical device industry’s “11th hour scramble” to hammer out a health care deal with the Baucus folks. In dispute is the $40 billion in fees that the Senate Finance bill would impose on the device industry—a proposal that isn’t in any of the other bills.
If Obama's Nobel peace prize does nothing else, it at least has briefly united Michael Steele and the Taliban. And, I have to confess, my initial reaction was the same as theirs, and pretty much everyone's outside the White House: What has Obama done to deserve this? But if you think about it for a second, desert is almost irrelevant here.
According to Obama administration officials, Al Qaeda's capabilities have been severely degraded by a deadly combination of U.S. intelligence operations and unmanned aerial drone strikes. Now, the White House is reportedly considering a strategy that relies on these targeted assassinations over a troop increase in Afghanistan. Click through this slideshow to see some of the militants who have been killed by U.S. drones.
I. In 2006, the Sunlight Foundation launched a campaign to get members of Congress to post their daily calendars on the Internet. "The Punch-Clock Campaign" collected pledges from ninety-two candidates for Congress, and one of them was elected. I remember when the project was described to me by one of its developers. She assumed that I would be struck by its brilliance. I was not. It seemed to me that there were too many legitimate reasons why someone might not want his or her "daily official work schedule" available to anyone with an Internet connection. Still, I didn’t challenge her.
A few weeks ago, David Keith, a physicist at the University of Calgary, got a write-up in The New York Times for pointing out that world governments are lavishing a fair bit of R&D money on fancy new solar panels or carbon sequestration for coal plants, but very little money—a paltry $3 million globally—on researching ways to suck out carbon that's already in the air. Now, Keith wasn't trying to dismiss research into advanced solar technology and the like—if anything, there's not enough of that R&D right now. But given that, according to one recent U.N.
The Huffington Post has broken the news that yet another incarnation of the public could be coming into favor with Senate Democrats: a plan that would begin with a robust, national public plan, but allow state governments to “opt out” of the system should they chose. It’s worth noting that the compromise carries echoes of the Cass Sunstein-Richard Thaler school of policy design—the government would try to nudge things in the right direction by making the public plan the default option, but gives states the ability to opt out if they had the impetus, energy, and will to exclude themselves.