May 11, 2009
Department Of Crankiness
Ezra Klein has a less sanguine take about today's meeting and wonders if he's just being cranky. As one senior administration official said to me, "this is a commitment, not a plan." The industry coalition has gestured towards various areas of potential savings--among them billing reform, health information technology, and linking payment to outcomes. But they've not presented a detailed proposal for attaining them. They have not set down enforcement mechanisms. Put simply, they are, at this juncture, helping the White House with its messaging.
Marc Ambinder has more on the White House meeting with health care industry stakeholders, including this key passage: This convention has been in the works for a week, and its existence has been a secret of sorts even to many White House officials. The worry was that if news leaked that these groups were going to participate, they'd receive intense internal pressure--or pressure from their ideological compatriots--to withdraw their participation. Focus, for a moment, on the possibilty of "internal pressure" the groups might have faced if word of the meeting had leaked out.
Today At Tnr (may 11, 2009)
Rendezvous In Beirut: Dispatches From Our Cold War With Iran, by David Samuels When 50 Is Too Old: How To Get More Experienced Justices On The Supreme Court, by Richard Primus Progressive Health Care Reform Is Going To Be Remarkably Difficult To Pass. This Is What We CAN Do. by Henry Aaron What I Hope The Supreme Court Battle Will Look Like, by E.J.
May 10, 2009
Guess who's coming to the White House. On Monday morning, representatives for the nation's major health care industry groups--doctors, hospitals, drugmakers, device makers, and insurers--will pay a personal visit to President Obama. But instead of pitching a fit about health care reform, as they have so many times in history, they will offer their assistance. They will pledge their support for Obama's goals and they'll offer to do their part--by taking steps that would reduce the growth in national health care spending by about one-fifth over the next decade.
The Zardari Show
This week's visit from Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari included one White House summit and a number of 'I-Want-To-Tear-My-Hair-Out' interviews ("I" being the viewer, not Zardari). This morning, 'Meet The Press' aired its Zardari sitdown. Three exchanges were worth noting. The first: MR.
To explain why you can't trust Republicans on health care reform, TNR senior editor Jonathan Cohn hosts a special TNRtv health care edition of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? --Ben Eisler Check out the latest on TNRtv: Halevi: How to Stop Iran--"It's Now or Never" Johnson: Is Obama Finally Governing the Banks? Scheiber: Why Inflation Fear-Mongerers Don't Scare Me
May 09, 2009
The Art of the Possible
Behind closed doors all over Washington, serious people are working hard to design a major overhaul of the U.S. health care system. We should wish them well, but their chances of success are slim. Since yet another complete failure would be catastrophic, some attention should be given now to policies that are politically palatable, and would begin the evolution to a new and better health system.Three measures will start this process.
The Road From Damascus
The president's two emissaries to Bashar Assad left Damascus the other day with the message to Bibi Netanyahu that they and Barack Obama expected a deal between Syria and Israel. What they meant was a deal over the Golan Heights, the deal being mostly one-way: Israel should descend for the Golan, maybe with a symbolic I.D.F. contingent left someplace in the middle, and with Syria coming down to the waters of the Galilee where it had never been previously.
Via Marc Ambinder, this story from Bloomberg is worth flagging: Duke Energy Corp., the owner of utilities in the U.S. Southeast and Midwest, won't renew its membership in the National Association of Manufacturers partly because of differences over climate policy. "We are not renewing our membership in the NAM because in tough times, we want to invest in associations that are pulling in the same direction we are," Duke Chief Executive Officer Jim Rogers said last month in an interview. The association, the U.S.
May 08, 2009
I’ve just returned from London to find that my piece on Sonia Sotomayor has provoked an energetic response in the blogosphere. Many people have mischaracterized my argument, and I can understand why. The headline--“The Case Against Sotomayor”--promised something much stronger than I intended to deliver. As soon as the piece was published, I regretted the headline, which I hadn’t seen in advance. The piece was not meant to be a definitive “case against” Judge Sotomayor’s candidacy.