Robert Pear

Repeal and Replace, Without the Replace
May 17, 2012

“Repeal and Replace"—the slogan is as meaningless as it is catchy. The Republicans have zero intention of replacing the Affordable Care Act with a law that would make insurance available to everybody, regardless of income or pre-existing condition. That was obvious before an article that appeared in Politico on Thursday.

More Super Committee Chicken-Littleism
November 14, 2011

The only thing that's alarming about the super committee's struggle to reach a deal on $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction is the eagerness of reporters and Washington chin-pullers to be alarmed. What exactly will happen if Thanksgiving comes and no deal is reached? "If the panel falls short," Robert Pear explains in the Nov. 14 New York Times, "a series of automatic cuts, split evenly between military and civilian programs, would take effect, starting in 2013." This might be cause for alarm if the current month were Nov.

Why This Summit Matters
February 25, 2010

On one end of Pennsylvania Avenue yesterday, administration staffers were busy making preparations for an event that will likely determine whether comprehensive health care reform goes forward. And on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, their counterparts in Congress were busy making the case for why it should. For several hours, members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee grilled the chief executive officer of Wellpoint, to see why the company's California subsidiary was raising health insurance premiums by nearly 40 percent for some customers.

Pharma's Win, Your Loss
November 16, 2009

Will legislation that expands health insurance coverage also bring down the cost of medical care? That question has been driving the political conversation over reform in the last few days, as much as at an time before. And I'll have more to say on it shortly.

Backdoor Cost Curve-Bending
September 07, 2009

It sounds like the insurers aren't too keen on the insurance company tax Max Baucus is now flirting with for his Finance Committee compromise: Insurers and many Republicans in Congress oppose the fees, saying they would be passed on to families and employers who buy insurance. Robert E.

Is Obama Redefining Bipartisanship?
July 23, 2009

Ed Kilgore is managing editor of The Democratic Strategist, a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute, and a frequent contributor to a variety of political journals.  In recent news coverage of congressional action on health care reform, we're back to one of Washington's favorite games: the bipartisan trashing of the idea that Barack Obama cares about bipartisanship.

Coming To An Er Near You: The "pre-uninsured."
December 08, 2008

A few weeks ago, a friend who works at a major hospital mentioned that a different kind of patient was increasingly showing up at the emergency room. In addition to the uninsured and underinsured, who'd always been coming, he was seeing more patients who might be best described as "pre-uninsured"--that is, people who were about to lose their jobs and, as a result, their insurance coverage.