Health

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.

GOP Health Care Plan: Even Worse Than You Are Hearing
November 05, 2009

From the moment the the Republican leadership released its alternative approach to health care reform, critics (including me) pointed out that it was unlikely to make a dent in the number of people without insurance. On Wednesday, the Congressional Budget Office came out with its preliminary estimates of what the bill will do. And, sure enough, the critics were right. Overall, ten years into implementation, the plan would not significantly change the number of people with health insurance.

Today at TNR (November 5, 2009)
and
November 05, 2009

Obama’s Sudan Envoy Is an Embarrassment. Fire Him. by The Editors Is Barack Obama Causing a Real Estate Boom in the West Bank? by Sarah A. Topol The One Conservative Argument Against Health Care Reform That You Should Take Seriously, by Jonathan Cohn Tall, Bronze, and Hideous: The Worst Statue of Bill Clinton EVER, by James Gardner Democrats Should Be Worried About Voter Disaffection, Not a Resurgent Right Wing, by E.J.

Numb
November 05, 2009

EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J. -- Tuesday's elections were a rebuke to the right wing and a warning to Democrats.  They were also a timely reminder that President Obama needs to tune up his celebrated political organization and find a way to make Americans feel hopeful again. The night's biggest loser was the national conservative political machine--the wealthy tax-cutters at the Club for Growth and the Palin-Limbaugh-Beck complex.

Cruise Control
November 05, 2009

When conservatives scream about socialized medicine and death panels, you should tune them out. But lately conservatives have been making an argument you should hear. It's about whether we can believe Congress when it promises to raise taxes or cut spending--and, as such, whether we can believe that health care reform can actually be fiscally responsible. As you may know, many promoters of health care reform say that the proposals in Congress will pay for themselves and, over the long run, actually reduce what we spend, as taxpayers and as a society.

On Predicting the Future
November 04, 2009

I don't want to get too Noam-y here, but I love Dave Leonhardt's new column raising--if not quite endorsing--the possibility that current economic pessimism is overstated, and that another boom could be hiding around the corner. In particular I find this compelling: When Bill Clinton convened a conference in the dark economic days after his 1992 election, some of the country’s top economists flew to Little Rock, Ark., to share their vision for the future. As Rahm Emanuel, now the White House chief of staff, likes to point out, they didn’t spend much time talking about the Internet.

Get This Guy a Committee Assignment
November 04, 2009

Most of you know John Garamendi (if you know him at all) as the former California state official who won a special election for Ellen Tauscher's old seat in Congress. But those of us in the business of health wonkery know him as one of our own. In the early 1990s, he developed the "Garamendi plan" for California, which later became a model for the Clinton health care plan of 1993-94.

Are Yesterday's Election Results Boosting the Market?
November 04, 2009

Apparently there’s a rumor making the rounds in some corners of Wall Street that yesterday’s election results are driving today’s stock market rally—the theory being that the results are a blow to Obama’s agenda, and stopping Obama is good for the market. (I just got a call from a producer at CNBC asking me what I thought about this). The reasons why this theory is utterly ludicrous are almost too numerous to catalogue, but let me give it a quick shot: First, as I write this (around 1:30 pm), the Dow is up about 100 points, or just over 1 percent.

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