Conservatives have a new darling: Ben Carson. Or, as they prefer to call him, Doctor Ben Carson. READ MORE >>
The conservative reform that wouldn't screw the poor
David Brooks is nothing if not gracious. On Friday, the bespectacled and occasionally besieged New York Times columnist had a tantrum, or what qualifies for a tantrum by his mild-mannered standards. He did so by criticizing President Obama for failing to provide leadership in the debate over the sequester and fiscal priorities. READ MORE >>
The federal budget is going to increase, whether Republicans like it or not.
President Obama on Tuesday appeared alongside police officers and firefighters, warning that the automatic spending cuts set to take place on March 1 would cause local and state governments to lay off first responders. Get used to this sort of thing. As the cuts of “budget sequestration” approach, both sides of the debate will be talking about the dire consequences that worry them most. READ MORE >>
Conservative book publishing has a new obsession
Put aside the woes of the Republican Party: Not all opportunity is lost under the conservative umbrella. What appear to be the two most crushing recent moments for the American right—the Supreme Court's upholding of most of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the reelection of President Barack Obama—were in fact gifts from God to his favorite industry: the fundraising, merchandising, and publishing apparatus of the conservative movement. READ MORE >>
Slipping through the cracks of Obamacare
One of the presidential campaign’s most controversial advertisements came from President Obama’s supporters. It was the one about the steelworker who lost his job, after Bain Capital took over, and whose wife eventually died from cancer. As the ad explained, when the steelworker lost his job, he lost his health insurance, too. READ MORE >>
Will the pathway to citizenship lead towards health insurance?
Immigration reform is about to meet health care reform. And the meeting might not go so well. READ MORE >>
How to Survive Our Doctor Shortage
Welcome to The Laboratory, an occastional New Republic series where we celebrate policy solutions that should be getting far more attention than they've gotten so far. READ MORE >>
“Death panels” are out. “Sticker shock” is in. For the last few weeks, critics of Obamacare have spent less time on their more hysterical claims and focused, instead, on a practical argument. Because the new health care law mucks up the insurance market with regulations on pricing and benefits, they say, you’re going to pay a lot more for insurance. READ MORE >>
Sharon Cooper is not a national political figure. She is a state legislator in Georgia, one I happened to encounter at a recent event in Atlanta. But Cooper is also an archetype of Obamacare's newest adversary: the state official fighting health care reform on the ground. These officials can't stop the new law from taking effect. The Supreme Court and the presidential election settled that. But they can interfere with its implementation, potentially denying insurance to millions of poor people across the South and the interior West. To accomplish that, they're wielding some specious arguments.The most critical issue in these places is whether to expand Medicaid, the insurance program for the poor. The federal government provides most of the funding, but states manage the program and have leeway over who can enroll. At the moment, most states limit Medicaid to specific groups of low-income Americans, such as single women with children. Under Obamacare, states are supposed to expand eligibility so that the program includes all low-income Americans. But states don't have to undertake that expansion and lawmakers like Cooper, a Tea Party Republican from the north Atlanta suburbs, are working hard to see that they don't. Because Cooper presides over the Health and Human Services Committee in the state House of Representatives, her opposition makes a difference.Georgians have a lot at stake in this fight. According to projections from the Kaiser Family Foundation, about half a million additional people would become eligible for Medicaid if Georgia opts for the expansion. And if Georgia doesn't? Then most of those half-million people will have no insurance at all. The fate of these people was very much on the agenda at the meeting where I saw Cooper—the "Health Care Unscrambled" policy breakfast, sponsored by a group called Georgians for a Healthy Future. The group believes in health care reform, as did the majority of people at the event. It was to Cooper's credit, I think, that she agreed to appear and explain her views. (I was also speaking there.) But one of her arguments caught my attention, because in more than a decade of covering health policy I'd never heard it before. READ MORE >>
Can one very determined libertarian and one very distorted version of history keep millions of people from getting health insurance? We’re about to find out. READ MORE >>