Health

The Great Recession and Inequality
November 06, 2009

Amid the dark clouds of the Great Recession, more than a few people have identified a possible silver lining--reduced inequality in America. Job losses on Wall Street, and talk of reining in executive pay and raising taxes on the wealthy, suggest at least a temporary end to rapid growth of salaries at the highest end of the market--a trend which produced the highest share of income on record for the nation’s top 10 percent of families in 2007. But this is short-term thinking at best.

The Christian Right Meets Tea-Party Might
November 06, 2009

“We are turning to socialism and away from God!” Joseph Grab said as he stood amid the thousands who gathered on Capitol Hill today to attend Michele Bachmann’s “House Call” protest against the health care reform bill. Grab, a retired engineer from Hershey, Pennsylvania, was clutching a leather-bound King James in his hand and a green sign that simply said “Pray” in the other.

Today at TNR (November 6, 2009)
November 06, 2009

The UN Report on Gaza Is Biased, Shoddy, and Unrealistic. But Israel Must Deal Honestly With Its Own Failures. by Moshe Halbertal Bush is a Genius! Health Reform is Dead! ‘The Weekly Standard’ and the Powerlessness of Wishful Thinking, by Jonathan Chait The House Has Seriously Weakened the Public Option--But It Still Works, and Is Still Worth Fighting For, by Jacob S. Hacker and Diane Archer What Happens When Moderate Democrats Turn Into Pundits? Bad Things. Very Bad Things.

The Weekly Standard, Where It's Always Good News For Republicans
November 06, 2009

Matthew Continetti's editorial in last week's issue of the Weekly Standard--"The Inevitability Myth: Health care reform is not a fait accompli"--makes the case that, despite all evidence, health care reform may not be enacted after all. (Continetti does concede that "the chances of some sort of health bill passing, at some point, are by no means negligible." So he's telling us there's a chance.) This sort of argument is actually the signature style of the Standard. A magazine like National Review specializes in making the case for conservative ideas.

Yes We Can, Pinstripes Edition
November 05, 2009

Long-lost reader EC writes: In the past 40 years, the Yankees are undefeated in the World Series under Democratic presidents (1977, 1978, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2009). But they've lost every World Series with a Republican in the White House (1976, 1981, 2001, 2003). More broadly, in their 40 World Series appearances, the Yankees are 20-3 during Democratic administrations, but only 7-10 with Republicans in charge, and haven't won the World Series under GOP rule in over half a century.

The House Public Plan: Yes, It's Worth It
November 05, 2009

Jacob S. Hacker is the Stanley B. Resor Professor of Political Science at Yale University, author of The Great Risk Shift: The New Economic Insecurity and the Decline of the American Dream, and an occasional contributor to The Treatment. Diane Archer is the director of the Health Care Project at the Institute for America's Future and the founder and past president of the Medicare Rights Center. How short memories are in Washington.

The Doctors Are In. Mostly.
November 05, 2009

Earlier today, two key groups--the American Cancer Society and the American Association of Retired Persons--endorsed the House health care reform bill. On a conference call that's just wrapping up now, the American Medical Association (AMA) pledged its support, as well. But it did so with some crucial qualifications. The AMA made clear that it was endorsing not one but two bills: H.R. 3962, the bill that would expand insurance coverage, reorient the delivery system, etc.; and H.R.

The Insider
November 05, 2009

In the wake of defeats in New Jersey and Virginia, Democrats and the Obama administration are being advised to move to the center. I think the Republicans are well advised to take that advice, but I am not sure about the Democrats, and I am not sure what the "center" means in this case.

The Dodgy Political Punditry of Moderate Dems
November 05, 2009

One of the most frustrating consequences of an Election Day like Tuesday is that it invariably (if fleetingly) transforms moderate politicians with no particular insight into the dynamics of public opinion into all-knowing sages. More to the point, it elevates their perfect-for-every-occasion view of politics, which says that if your party suffers a setback, the reason must be that it was too far to one side of the political spectrum, and so the answer is obviously to move back to the middle.

Would UAW Wage Concessions Have Been Good for Louisville?
November 05, 2009

Just after Ford Motor Company announced third-quarter profits of nearly $1 billion, its UAW-represented workers rejected a package of concessions including a wage freeze for newly hired workers and a no-strike pledge when the current contract expires in 2011. The concessions would have put Ford’s labor costs on par with those that GM and Chrysler obtained earlier this year. Those concessions, in turn, brought the companies’ wages and benefits down to the levels of the (non-union) Japanese manufacturers with plants here.

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