Karen Tumulty

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.

And Now the Real Work Begins (Cont'd)
March 25, 2010

President Obama and his Democratic allies should enjoy the moment. This was a hard-fought victory, one not years but decades in the making. Still, there is work to be done. And some of it must begin soon. In the new issue of Time, Karen Tumulty and Kate Pickert with Alice Park sketch out the major challenges ahead.

Blast from the Past
March 17, 2010

Op-eds by members of Congress, present or former, are rarely worth reading. Today's Washington Post provides one that is. It's about health care reform and its author is Marjorie Margolies. Margolies became famous, and infamous, in 1993 for casting the deciding vote in favor of President Clinton's first budget. It was a tough vote; polls showed voters in her district opposed the budget. She agreed to support it only after a personal appeal from the president.

'We Will Likely Vote Friday or Saturday'
March 12, 2010

Somewhere in the White House or Capitol Hill, I imagine, is a whiteboard that looks like this: August recess September Columbus Day Thanksgiving Christmas New Year's State of the Union Valentine's Day St. Patrick's Day And now passing health care reform by St. Patrick's Day, which is next Wednesday, seems impossible.

How To Deal With Recalcitrant House Dems
March 10, 2010

Now this is the kind of Democratic primary challenge I can get behind: Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy Democrats in safe seats like Kucinich would be insane to vote against this bill. Of course, Kucinich is insane, but that's all the more reason to replace him with a Democrat who isn't. Meanwhile, even non-Kucinich Democrats need some pressure. They all clearly have a strong political interest in passing. The trick is to get House members, especially ones who voted against the first bill, to support it this time around.

If This Doesn't Excite Liberals, Nothing Will
March 09, 2010

Via Joe Klein, here's Rush Limbaugh confronting the increasingly likely enactment of health care reform: I'll just tell you this, if this passes and it's five years from now and all that stuff gets implemented--I am leaving the country. I'll go to Costa Rica. As Karen Tumulty notes, Costa Rica has actual government-run medical care. Maybe the Hawaii experience awakened Limbaugh's inner socialist?

The GOP's Pre-Existing Ideology
March 01, 2010

You’d have to be pretty cold-hearted to think somebody should go without insurance just because she has a kid with asthma, was born with diabetes, or survived a bout of breast cancer--just three of the conditions that today would render an individual “uninsurable” in the eyes of the industry. To fix this problem, President Obama and the Democrats would prohibit insurers from denying coverage, or even charging higher rates, to people with pre-existing medical conditions.

The Inkblot Test
March 01, 2010

An article that ran in Politico on Friday provided a Rorschach test for those of us following the health care reform debate. The story was about reform’s prospects following President Obama’s bipartisan meeting. And it dwelt, at length, with the situation in the House. In order to enact reform, as you probably know, the House will have to pass the Senate bill as written, as well as pass amendments that the Senate can consider through the budget reconciliation process.

Do You See a House Majority in that Inkblot?
February 28, 2010

An article that ran in Politico on Friday provided a Rorschach test for those of us following the health care reform debate. The story was about reform’s prospects following President Obama’s bipartisan meeting. And it dwelt, at length, with the situation in the House. In order to enact reform, as you probably know, the House will have to pass the Senate bill as written, as well as pass amendments that the Senate can consider through the budget reconciliation process.

Sticker Shock
February 09, 2010

When it comes to health care reform, many Americans are still asking: What’s in it for me? They should put that question to Californians who have individual insurance coverage from Anthem Blue Cross--and just learned their premiums will be going up by almost 40 percent this year. Beneficiaries started learning about the rate hikes last week, according to the Los Angeles Times, which first reported the story.

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