Health Care

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.

The Enthusiasm Gap
August 07, 2009

Why we shouldn't scorn an imperfect reform bill.

Give It Up
July 30, 2009

Twice during Wednesday night's press conference, reporters asked President Obama what sacrifices his health care reform plans would ask of the American people. It's a common and intuitive question: in order to give the public something--like a guarantee of health insurance that they can afford--the public has to give something up. Of course, it hasn't always worked that way in practice, like in the Bush years. But just because the last guy in the White House didn't demand the American people to pay for some policies doesn't mean the new guy should.

Sorting Out The Great Pet V. Human Health Care Debate
July 14, 2009

This chart from Andrew Biggs at The American showing how spending on human and animal medical care has grown at nearly the same clip has gotten a lot of attention around the web:   The point Biggs wants to bring home is that we shouldn't be looking at the growth rate in spending but the overall level: Two things are interesting here: first, the rate of growth of spending from 1984 to 2006 wasn’t all that different—and in both cases, spending grew faster than the rate of economic growth.

At What Cost?
July 14, 2009

Negotiations over health care reform screeched to a halt late last week when 40 centrist Democrats--members of the House Blue Dog Coalition--signed a letter saying they could not support the House’s emerging legislation without significant changes. Their major complaint? They said the House bill would not do enough to bring down health care costs and, by extension, limit the taxpayers' liabilities. Without more changes to reduce the cost of medical care, they warned, it would be unwise to back massive expansions of insurance coverage.