Why GOP Governors Should Love Medicaid
March 08, 2011
Republicans governors have spent a lot of time lately beating up on Medicaid--threatening to drop out of the program altogether or, at the very least, lobbying for more flexibility over how to manage the program within their states. Harold Pollack, writing for TNR, wonders whether they’ve thought through the implications for politics as well as policy: Consider what would happen if Texas governor Rick Perry, who has mused about dropping Medicaid entirely, could do what he wanted. Talking about dropping Medicaid might attract attention for Perry’s new book.
March 07, 2011
Republican governors came to Washington recently with a pretty clear message on Medicaid: Cut the program or, better still, let us cut it on our own. At first glance, their arguments seem compelling. Medicaid, the joint federal-state program that provides health insurance for low-income and disabled Americans, costs states a lot of money. The poor economy creates new demands on Medicaid at the precise moment that states face the weakest revenues to support such programs.
February 19, 2011
Many Beltway insiders seem to have convinced themselves that abortion doesn’t matter anymore. Just look at the press clippings from CPAC, where Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels wowed his D.C. cheerleaders with a speech doubling down on his earlier call for a “truce” over culture-war issues like abortion. Chris Christie came into town a few days later, and excited a lot of the same people with a speech focused almost exclusively on the idea that entitlement-spending cuts are the nation’s top priority.
Everything's Subsidized in Texas
January 24, 2011
For several years now, Texas has been the conservative model for responsibly budgeting by avoiding "big government." Here's Kevin Williamson: Governor [Rick] Perry sums up the Texas model in five words: “Don’t spend all the money.” Here’s what a good long run of small-government, low-tax conservatism has achieved in Texas: Once a largely agricultural state, Texas today is home to 6 of the 25 largest cities in the country, more than any other state.
January 06, 2011
National Journal has a new poll of Republican insiders over who is likely to be nominated for president: Republican insiders are screwy! I keep saying this: Mitt Romney has a serious flip-flopper problem and a far more serious not-insane-on-health-care problem. He can't solve the latter without worsening the former. It's over. What's really odd is that Sarah Palin is up three points. Her polling numbers against Obama have cratered and the whole establishment, even former defenders, is ganging up on her. And what did Pawlenty do to crater? Nothing I can think of.
The GOP's Strange Ideas About Helping the Poor
December 17, 2010
My latest column for Kaiser Health News: Rep. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana is not just a Republican. He's also a doctor. And that means he has not one but two reasons to dislike Medicaid. Not only does it cost the government a lot of money. It also serves a lot of its beneficiaries poorly. Cassidy explained in a Dec. 16 column for Politico that Medicaid is the stingiest payer in our health care system. For most services, it reimburses less than both Medicare and private insurance.
Executing an Innocent Man
November 15, 2010
From the Texas Observer: Claude Jones always claimed that he wasn’t the man who walked into an East Texas liquor store in 1989 and shot the owner. He professed his innocence right up until the moment he was strapped to a gurney in the Texas execution chamber and put to death on Dec. 7, 2000.
August 17, 2010
Rick Perry should be riding high. Chasing his third full term as governor of Texas, Perry is a blood-red conservative running in a blood-red state in a blood-red cycle. In April of last year, he cheered a bill in the statehouse aimed at reasserting Texas’s sovereign rights against an “oppressive” federal government. A few days later, he began publicly musing about how, in its struggle against tyranny, Texas might find it necessary to secede.
July 29, 2010
-- Richard Posner is not a fan of the Post's "Top Secret America" series. -- A thorough debunking of Stanley Kurtz's case that Barack Obama is a socialist. -- Ezra Klein interviews Paul Ryan, Alan Blinder, and Mark Zandi. -- For Rick Perry, "worst uninsured rate" equals "best healthcare in the country."
March 31, 2010
For the better part of an hour, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has been kicked back in the front cabin of Coast Guard One, the small but handsomely appointed plane on which she travels, chatting easily about the challenges of running the third-largest Cabinet department. En route back to Washington after three days of nonstop meetings in Mexico City--a whirlwind visit made more challenging by the fact that Napolitano broke her right ankle playing tennis last month and is still hobbling around on crutches--the secretary is in wind-down mode.