Obamacare's (Somewhat) Happy Birthday
March 23, 2012
When President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act two years ago, the law's proponents (including me) were confident of two things: That it would become more popular with time and that it would make our health care system more humane and efficient. History has not been kind to the first prediction. Most of the law’s components command broad support: Overwhelming majorities still support the requirement that insurers cover people with pre-existing conditions, for example. But overall the Affordable Care Act is unpopular.
Finishing 'The Treatment'
April 11, 2010
A little less than ten years ago, inside a dark hotel restaurant in Utica, New York, Gary Rotzler told me the story of wife Betsy. They had been high school sweethearts and, by the early 1990s, had settled into their version of the American dream: Three young children and a home in Gilbertsville, a village of around 400 people nestled into the foothills of the Catskill mountains. When Gary lost his job at a defense contractor, he lost his health insurance. After piecing together part-time construction work, he got his old job back—but as an independent contractor without benefits.
BREAKING: Nelson Says Yes; That Makes 60
December 19, 2009
The Washington Post is reporting, and multiple independent sources are now confirming, that Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson has said he will support the Senate Democrats' health care reform bill. That would give Majority Leader Harry Reid the 60 votes necessary to break a Republican filibuster and pass the legislation. After weeks of negotiation that culminated in a 13-hour session yesterday, the clincher was some tinkering with Medicaid to help his state and modified abortion language. Critically, the language does not seem to have cost the support of abortion rights advocates in the Senate.
Living With Another Public Option Compromise
December 02, 2009
As you’ve probably read or heard by now, the public option debate seems headed back to an old compromise, albeit with a new twist or two. This clearly isn’t good news. But I’m not sure it’s awful news, either. In the two weeks since Harry Reid rounded up sixty votes to begin debate on his health reform bill, it’s become clear that he probably can’t count on the same sixty votes to pass it. The single biggest reason is the public option. Reid’s bill included a relatively weak version of the public option. The plan would negotiate rates with providers, rather than use Medicare rates.
Daily Treatment, Giving Thanks Edition
November 25, 2009
Readers may have noticed that the "Daily Treatment" isn't really daily. Instead, it's daily when I have time to write it, which isn't as often as I would like. And that's unfortunate. It means I don't get to chance to highlight many worthy articles--or, more important, to thank, implicitly, the writers and thinkers whose work influences me.