Health Care

August 27, 2009

The Weekly Standard's latest editorial, by Bill Kristol: Conservative policy wonks helped to explode the false budgetary and health-improvement claims made on behalf of Obamacare. Conservative polemicists pointed out how Obamacare--conceived in the spirit of budget chief Peter we-spend-too-much-as-a-nation-on-health-care Orszag and adviser Ezekiel we-need-to-stop-wasting-money-on-extending-low-quality-lives Emanuel--means, in effect, death panels. Right.

If Reform Dies, So Will Thousands of Women
August 26, 2009

is a professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and Special Correspondent for The Treatment. A colleague received the following fundraising letter from an organization I had not previously encountered: the Independent Women’s Forum. The letter says: Dear —-/ More American women are going to die of breast cancer if you and I surrender to President Obama's nationalized healthcare onslaught. It's as simple as that... Why? Because nationalized healthcare does not let doctors and their patients decide what's best.

Liberalism's Torch Bearer
August 26, 2009

The elder statesman. The dynastic icon. The man of personal excess. The man of a thousand legislative accomplishments. As the tributes and obituaries attest, Ted Kennedy was all of these things, at one time or another--for better and, yes, sometimes for worse. Like he famously said of his slain brother, Robert, Ted Kennedy "need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life." But Ted Kennedy was something else, too. He was a crusader.

What ESPN Could Teach the News Media About Covering Town Halls
August 26, 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 to the Treatment. When asked “Where are these lies from?” at the Organizing for America National Town Hall Meeting on August 20th, President Obama all but pointed to a certain television network: Well, look, we know where these lies are coming from, I mean, I don't think it's any secret.

The Right-Wing Attack on Bob Bennett
August 25, 2009

The Hill flags the latest right-wing attack on Republican Senator Bob Bennett--a TV ad from the Club of Growth that slams the Bennett for supporting "massive government control of health care" that will impose "job-killing tax increases." If you missed the first five seconds of the ad, it would be easy to assume that Bennett's bill--which the ad doesn't even bother describing--is one and the same as Obama's health care plan.

Do GOP Senators Dream of Electric Sheep?
August 25, 2009

At the risk of extending a ghoulish conversation, I think Noam might be overestimating the humanity of Republican Senators when he concludes that it was a tactical mistake for Ted Kennedy to try to guarantee that his seat isn’t vacant for any period of time should he die in office:   If Kennedy were to pass away in the next few months, the Senate math on any health care vote would almost certainly get easier, not harder.

More on the Administration's Drug Deal
August 25, 2009

What kind of deal did the administration and Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus make with the drug industry? And was it a good deal? I (try to) answer those questions in an article that appears in TNR's latest print edition--and is running on our (new!) home page today. As I note, albeit briefly because of the print edition's space constraints, three other articles advanced this story before I came along. One was a New York Times article, in which PhRMA chairman Billy Tauzin first spilled the beans about a key concession his group had secured.

If You're a Liberal and You Read One Thing Today...
August 24, 2009

...then please read Michael Tomasky. His analysis of the political situation is spot-on, as is his advice for the ambivalent left: liberals have to fight hard for something they're not terribly excited about. A health bill will likely have a very weak public option or it won't have one at all. But liberals will have to battle for that bill as if it's life and death (which in fact it will be for thousands of Americans), because its defeat would constitute a historic victory for the birthers and the gun-toters and the Hitler analogists.

Now the GOP Loves Medicare? It's So Hard to Keep Track...
August 24, 2009

Harold Pollack is a professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and Special Correspondent for The Treatment. In this morning’s Washington Post, RNC chairman Michael Steele weighs in with what he modestly calls a “Seniors’ Health Care Bill of Rights.” Continuing on the death panel theme, Steele comes out against various mythical rationing measures no Democrat proposes or supports.

The Schiavo Saga and "Death Panels"
August 24, 2009

At HuffPo today, Sam Stein explores an irony that I've also been thinking about: many of the very conservatives who are ventilating claims that health care reform will interject the federal government into end-of-life decisions--with or without "death panels"--were hell-bent on Congress dictating an end-of-life decision in the infamous Terri Schiavo case in 2005: Some of the same conservative figures taking potshots at Democrats for wanting to fund voluntary discussions about end-of-life decisions between doctors and their patients were leading the charge four years ago to contravene the deci