In early January, most of Barack Obama's senior staff assembled with the president-elect for a meeting inside a windowless, eighth-floor office at the transition headquarters in Washington. It was a pivotal moment in Obama's transformation from candidate to commander-in-chief. Obama's advisers had taken all of his campaign pledges, factored in his promise to reduce the deficit, and put together a provisional blueprint for governing.
In December 2003, Brent Cambron gave himself his first injection of morphine. Save for the fact that he was sticking the needle into his own skin, the motion was familiar--almost rote. Over the course of the previous 17 months, as an anesthesia resident at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Cambron had given hundreds of injections. He would stick a syringe into a glass ampule of fentanyl or morphine or Dilaudid, pulling up the plunger to draw his dose. Then he'd inject the dose into his patient.
On an oppressively hot Saturday morning last month, a handful of pro-life activists gathered outside of a Starbucks in suburban Virginia to strategize about how to influence the Democratic Party’s national platform. The meeting quickly turned into a support group of sorts, as the members justified the seeming contradiction inherent in pro-life Democrats.
Has any word done more to cloak the modern conservative agenda than "choice"? As President Bush and Republican congressional leaders regularly remind us, Social Security privatization would give workers investment choices, school vouchers would give parents education choices, and Medicare privatization would give retirees health care choices. All of this is technically true: Social Security privatization, for example, really would present new opportunities for investing retirement savings.
This week, after months of congressional wrangling, President Obama signed historic health care reform into law. For the last ten years, TNR’s resident health care expert Jonathan Cohn has been writing about the big structural problems in our health care system and what can be done to fix them. This week’s archive piece is a Cohn classic: a 2001 examination of why America’s best hospitals were suffering under the existing health care system.
If these facts surprise you, it's because you haven't been given a straight story about the Clinton health bill. Take two examples: on November 4, Leon Panetta, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, testified to senators that the bill does not "set prices" and "draw up rules for allocating care"; a month later Hillary Rodham Clinton assured a Boston audience that the government will not limit what you can pay your doctor.