Why Health Reform Matters: Some Personal Illustrations
September 09, 2009

Want a hint about what the president will say tonight? Check out the guest list for the First Lady's box, which the White House just published.

The Price is Right
September 01, 2009

Fifteen years ago, when I was a relatively young freelance writer with no health insurance (one of “the immortals,” as this group is sardonically referred to by medical professionals), I was being bothered by an ankle injury I’d suffered several years earlier. I made an appointment with a local orthopedist specializing in foot and ankle problems, hoping for some simple advice on how to make it hurt less. After filling out a form indicating I had no insurance, I handed it to the receptionist and asked her what the visit would cost. She said she didn’t know. I saw the doctor anyway.

Slideshow: Golf? Surgery? What Congressmen Are Doing On Holiday.
August 10, 2009

This week, senators and congressmen are fleeing the capital for the official August recess. Most will be going home, visiting family, and touching base with constituents--as well as angry town hall meeting hecklers. But some have bigger plans. Click through this slideshow to see other ways legislators are using their vacation time. Courtesy of Getty Images --Elise Foley  

What Treasury Needs Is A Distraction
May 05, 2009

The bank stress tests are beginning to create a perception problem, but not--as you might think--for banks. Rather the issue is top level Administration officials' own optics (spin jargon for how we think about our rulers). At one level, the government's approach to banks--delay doing anything until the economy stabilizes--is working out nicely. This is the counterpart of the macroeconomic Summers Strategy and in principle it is brilliant.

Going Under
December 31, 2008

In December 2003, Brent Cambron gave himself his first injection of morphine. Save for the fact that he was sticking the needle into his own skin, the motion was familiar--almost rote. Over the course of the previous 17 months, as an anesthesia resident at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Cambron had given hundreds of injections. He would stick a syringe into a glass ampule of fentanyl or morphine or Dilaudid, pulling up the plunger to draw his dose. Then he'd inject the dose into his patient.

Mark Schmitt On The Unity Ticket
May 08, 2008

The idea of a Barack Obama-Hillary Clinton "unity ticket" has been floated quite a bit the last few days. But, seriously, is the idea any good? We asked a few friends of the magazine to weigh in. Here's Mark Schmitt, senior fellow at the New America Foundation. There are fights within the Democratic Party that reflect deep structural and ideological rifts that, in turn, are embodied by individual candidates: Eugene McCarthy and Bobby Kennedy vs. Hubert Humphrey in 1968, George McGovern vs. everyone else in 1972, Ted Kennedy vs. Jimmy Carter in 1980.

Creative Destruction
November 12, 2007

The best case against universal health care.

Health Care Special Issue: Creative Destruction
November 12, 2007

More than a decade ago, Michael Kinsley, the journalist and former editor of this magazine, developed Parkinson's disease--a degenerative condition that impairs motor and speech control, producing tremors, rigidity, and eventually severe disability. While the standard regimen of medications helped, he knew that his symptoms were bound to get steadily worse with time. He needed something better--something innovative--before the disease really progressed. In 2006, he got it at the famed Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. The treatment Mike received is called Deep Brain Stimulation, or DBS for short.

Reserve Your Tickets Now

I hope you're sitting down: NEW YORK, NEW YORK (October 23, 2007) –On November 30th, “Awake” will debut in theaters nationwide exposing the horrifying, true-life surgical event known as “anesthetic awareness.”  In “Awake” a patient's failed anesthesia leaves him fully conscious but physically paralyzed during surgery.

Heart of Darkness; Dick Cheney's mind/body problem.
March 19, 2007

What is wrong with Dick Cheney? Since the earliest days of his vice presidency, people have been asking this question. At first, it was mostly out of partisan pique; but, increasingly, it's in troubled tones, as one of the most powerful men on the planet grows evermore rigid, belligerent, and just plain odd in both his public utterances ("Go fuck yourself," Senator Leahy) and private actions(shoot a man in the face and not bother to call your boss 'til the next day: What's up with that?).