Health Care

Sunday Morning Gotcha: Gregory Busts Hatch
August 23, 2009

Health care was the main topic of discussion on Meet the Press this morning. And at one point, Senator Orrin Hatch made a misleading, if all too familiar, claim. If reform includes a public insurance plan, Hatch said, tens of millions of people would lose their private insurance and enroll in the public plan instead. Hatch went on to say that both government and private-sector economists agree, citing one estimate that more than a hundred million people could end up in the government-run plan. The claim is misleading because the government and private-sector economists didn't say that.

Chucking Grassley
August 22, 2009

'We should not have a government plan that will pull the plug on grandma." That's not Rush Limbaugh or Sarah Palin talking. That's Charles Grassley, the supposedly respectable Republican senator from Iowa, speaking before a town hall in August. Grassley knows better, of course. As the ranking minority member of the Senate Finance Committee, he's been immersed in the issue for months.

McKinsey On The Case For Playing Nice With China
August 20, 2009

A recurring source of anxiety among op-ed writers lately is the fear that China is winning some sort of clean-energy race. Earlier this month, venture capitalist John Doerr and GE head Jeffrey Immelt took to The Washington Post to fret that Chinese cars were 33 percent more efficient than U.S. cars, that China was investing ten times the fraction of its GDP on clean energy that the United States was, and that China was on track to generate five times as much wind power by 2020. "We are clearly not in the lead today," they concluded.

Why the Public Option S**t Storm is Great News
August 19, 2009

I'm almost certainly going to get in trouble for blogging on vacation, but I thought this point needed to be made and didn't see anyone making it: I have no idea whether the administration intended to shift its position on the public option over the weekend (you can make a plausible case that it didn't), and, if so, what it hoped to accomplish. But what it has accomplished seems really important and helpful.

At Jesse Jackson Jr.'s Town Hall
August 19, 2009

This evening I was sitting in a packed church at 113th and Halsted in the Chicago southland listening to Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr. present an impassioned populist defense of the United States Post office. Reverend Jackson and I were talking this morning about health insurance reform. He said ‘“Jesse, sum up this public option thing for me.’ I heard the President give an analysis that I think appropriate: Federal Express, UPS, DHL, the private option. The public option: email, the post office. If you want to pay your bill, sending it overnight for $30, choose the private option.

Cohn on Countdown
August 19, 2009

Jonathan Cohn was on MSNBC's Countdown last night, discussing why co-ops would be less effective than a public option. You can watch a video of his appearance here.

Divide and Conquer
August 19, 2009

Well, well, well. Maybe the Democrats are ready to get tough after all. The big legislative obstacle to passing health reform has always been the Senate, where it takes 60 votes to break a filibuster--60 votes the Democrats may not have. It seems increasingly unlikely the ailing Ted Kennedy could be present for a vote.

TNRtv: The Key To Resuscitating Health Reform
August 19, 2009

Ruy Teixeira, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and the Century Foundation, weighs in on the declining popularity of health care reform, and reveals what Democrats must do to save it. --Ben Eisler Check out the latest on TNRtv: Riedel: On The Eve Of The Elections, "The Taliban Are Winning" Kauffmann: The Reviews I Wish I Hadn't Written Johnson: What Obama Must Do To Pass Regulatory Reform

Should Health Care Be on The Backburner?
August 14, 2009

While the attention of politicians, pundits, and the people is focused on the increasingly bitter debate over health insurance reform, economic developments will have a more profound effect on the well-being of the nation and the fortunes of the Obama administration. Only an economy that provides a steady stream of new jobs and raises personal income can yield enough revenue to restore public confidence and finance the government we need. As the economy struggles to stabilize, we find ourselves in a deep hole--even deeper than we knew.

Hillary's Revenge
August 12, 2009

'One of the things that will happen if we pass this [health care reform] bill is that you will have more and more health care provided ... by community-based clinics or comprehensive health centers that have salaried professionals, including doctors. ... That's what you have at the Mayo Clinic." If you've been following the health care debate over the last few weeks, then you've heard President Obama say something like this a dozen times.