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Ezra Klein: October 11, 2009 - October 17, 2009

Tab Dump

1) Assessing Hillary Clinton's strategy at the State Department. 2) Superheroes photoshopped into old war pictures. Better, and less cheesy, than it sounds. 3) Bruce Bartlett argues against cutting the payroll tax. 4) Some serious climate change/CBO wonkery from David...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 16, 2009; 6:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
 
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Olympia Snowe's Conservatism -- and Ours

My final question to Olympia Snowe was a bit of a throwaway. But it yielded the most telling answer of the interview. What’s the single idea you’d most like to see in the bill but that you don’t think is...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 16, 2009; 5:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Obama Gets Feisty

From a DNC fundraiser: Now, to the non-Democrats who may be watching today (laughter) I want everybody to know we believe in a strong and loyal opposition. I believe in a two-party system where ideas are tested and assumptions are...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 16, 2009; 5:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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An Interview With Sen. Olympia Snowe

When Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) became the first congressional Republican to cast a vote for health-care reform, she also became the most influential Republican on health-care reform. Keeping her vote is a priority for Senate majority leader Harry Reid....

By Ezra Klein  |  October 16, 2009; 5:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Interviews  
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More on Super Freakonomics

Brad Plumer joins the chorus assailing the climate change chapter in Super Freakonomics. He gestures towards the same problem I noticed: Much of the original Freakonomics was based on Steven Levitt's original research. Fairly little in Super Freakonomics is based...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 16, 2009; 3:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Books  
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HCAN Vs. the Excise Tax

Health Care for America Now is running the above ad to pressure the Senate to ditch the excise tax. The back story here, at least according to some observers, is that unions don't like the excise tax but were...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 16, 2009; 3:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Health Reform , Taxes  
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Understanding the Tea Parties

It's worth reading this crazy Chris Muir comic, if only to understand the narrative that hardcore conservatives have created for themselves. To be fair, there's definitely a political party willing to represent that guy....

By Ezra Klein  |  October 16, 2009; 2:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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How to Improve the Finance Bill

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has some suggestions for improving the Finance Committee's bill. The Senate should listen to them. If you follow the link, there are also some great tables showing how much people at different income...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 16, 2009; 2:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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The Shoddy Statistics of Super Freakonomics

Super Freakonomics is getting a lot of flak for its flip contrarianism on climate change, most of which seems based on incorrectly believing solar panels are black (they're blue, and this has surprisingly large energy implications) and misquoting important climate...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 16, 2009; 2:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Books  
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Joe Lieberman (Probably) Won't Support a Filibuster Against Health-Care Reform

That, at least, is what he told the New Haven Register. Lieberman said he was “inclined to let the motion to proceed” (or cloture) go forward, but “I haven’t decided yet.” That's not what you say when you're looking to...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 16, 2009; 1:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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What Comes Next for Health-Care Reform?

The first of Harry Reid's meetings to merge the Finance and HELP Committee bills and create one compromise bill able to survive the Senate floor happened Wednesday. The participants in the room were a high-powered bunch: Reid, of course;...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 16, 2009; 1:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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The Business of Business in Washington

The American Farm Bureau's vicious opposition to addressing climate change is a good example of the different biases that affect trade groups. When someone like the AFB blasts out an angry press release, there's a tendency to say that "farmers"...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 16, 2009; 11:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Does the Stock Market Affect Elections?

Joshua Tucker says no: Studies of economic voting in the United States show a strong relationship between economic conditions and presidential vote (or vote for the president’s party in congressional elections), but the variables that have tended to matter have...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 16, 2009; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Balloon Boy a Hoax?

It seems depressingly possible that Balloon Boy was a hoax dreamed up by a family with an uncommon appetite for appearing on television (the parents have been on the reality show "Wife Swap." Twice). But whether or not the...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 16, 2009; 9:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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CBO Estimates The House Bills: 95%+ Covered, About $900 Billion, And Public Plans

Lori Montgomery reports that the House has gotten its new CBO scores, and they look pretty good: $905 billion for the more generous package that also includes the strongest public plan, and $859 billion for the less generous package that...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 16, 2009; 7:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Tab Dump

1) Some cool maps showing how credit card defaults and house foreclosures and student loans are distributed across the nation. 2) Did you know Michael Savage's son is behind Rockstar energy drinks? 3) The AMA wavers on health-care reform. 4)...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 15, 2009; 6:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Lindsey Graham Steps Up on Climate Change

It looks like Lindsey Graham is really trying to fashion a compromise on climate change legislation. There are a couple other Republican senators who have made encouraging noises, but none of them -- think Alaska's Lisa Murkowski -- have much...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 15, 2009; 6:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Climate Change  
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The Maestro Writes a New Tune

It's not uncommon to hear financial commentators say that "if [banks are] too big to fail, they’re too big." But it is uncommon to hear Alan Greenspan say that....

By Ezra Klein  |  October 15, 2009; 5:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Will Consumer Spending Rebound?

Conventional wisdom holds that this recession marks the end of America's fast-paced spending habits. There will be less consumption, less borrowing, more saving and more thrift. A post-consumer economy, as some have called it. James Surowiecki is not convinced. [Y]ou...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 15, 2009; 4:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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Social Security Strangeness

This will be the first time since 1975 that there's no cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security. The reason? The cost of living hasn't gone up. In fact, it's probably gone down. As the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities explains,...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 15, 2009; 4:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Social Security  
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Democrats Do Not Have 60 Votes

The fact that the Democrats have 60 seats in the Senate occasionally obscures more than it illuminates. This Jon Walker post, for instance, makes a lot more of the fact that Democrats have 60 votes. But they don't, really....

By Ezra Klein  |  October 15, 2009; 2:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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Blog Action Day!

I look forward to the day when health-care reform is signed and I can lift myself a bit out of the weeds of the issue. That day, however, is not today. So rather than sully Blog Action Day with a...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 15, 2009; 2:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Lunch Break

This is really an obscenely large pumpkin....

By Ezra Klein  |  October 15, 2009; 1:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Chat Transcript

Austin, Tex.: Hi Ezra - Please help quiet the voice in my head that speaks of conspiracy. When the insurance industry launched their recent anti-reform media blitz, my first thoughts was "The reform bill must be pretty good, it's clearly...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 15, 2009; 1:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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Olympia Snowe Vs. Ben Nelson

A lot of people are concerned that Sen. Olympia Snowe is going to have an outsized role on health-care reform. It's a fair concern. Indeed, it's a virtual certainty. But it's worth comparing Snowe's outsized role to the alternative:...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 15, 2009; 11:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Regulating Derivatives

The House Financial Services Committee just approved an amendment mandating that derivatives traded between financial institutions must be traded on an exchange. That would mean the pricing would be public and the counterparties clear, something that manifestly didn't happen when...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 15, 2009; 11:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Financial Regulation , Solutions  
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Post Chat

You know how I do those live chats for the Washington Post every Thursday at noon Eastern? You do? Then you probably already know that I'm doing one later today, and you can head thisaway to submit questions in advance...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 15, 2009; 11:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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The Medicare Advantage Scam

Philip Rucker takes a good, hard look at the scam that is Medicare Advantage. Essentially, it works like this: Congress allowed private HMOs to compete for Medicare patients under the rationale that they could offer better service at lower cost...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 15, 2009; 11:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Giving Max Baucus Some Credit

Was Max Baucus misjudged? Jon Chait thinks so: I've been pretty hard on Max Baucus for a while, especially as he spent months and months negotiating fruitlessly while Democratic political capital rotted away. But it's worth pointing out that...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 15, 2009; 10:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Another Perspective on the Antitrust Exemption for the Insurance Industry

Health economist Austin Frakt and antitrust lawyer Ian Crosby argue in favor of the antitrust exemption for the insurance industry. In short, repealing it doesn't simply make insurers weaker. It makes them weaker vis-a-vis providers, and that may not be...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 15, 2009; 10:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Tab Dump

1) Can consumer spending rebound? 2) How Goldman Sachs could solve Wall Street's collective action problem on compensation. If they wanted to. Which they don't. 3) Good luck to my dear friend Dana Goldstein, who's leaving The American prospect for...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 14, 2009; 6:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Why Are Insurers Exempt From Antitrust Laws?

Just had a quick chat with Sen. Chuck Schumer, which didn't offer up enough for an interview transcript, but did yield an interesting nugget on the effort to strip insurers of their antitrust protection. I asked Schumer what would actually...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 14, 2009; 5:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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The House That Private Insurance Built

Following the old adage to never stop digging when you've created such a nice hole for yourself, AHIP is now touting a report (pdf) released by one of its member insurers: the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Like AHIP's...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 14, 2009; 5:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Great Moments in Chutzpah

A lot of people have quoted this today and termed it a shining moment in international chutzpah: Saudi Arabia is trying to enlist other oil-producing countries to support a provocative idea: If wealthy countries reduce their oil consumption to combat...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 14, 2009; 4:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Reasons for Hope on Cap-and-Trade?

I'm pretty pessimistic on the chances for cap-and-trade to pass the Senate anytime soon, but David Roberts offers seven arguments for optimism, and they're more convincing than I'd have originally thought. The first one is the biggest one: the steadfast...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 14, 2009; 4:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Climate Change  
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Wall Street Loves Money

It's a bad time for the country, but struggling Americans can take some comfort in knowing that Wall Street is finally having fun again. According to the Wall Street Journal, "major U.S. banks and securities firms are on pace...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 14, 2009; 3:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Financial Crisis , Financial Regulation , Solutions  
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Adventures in Cable News

It's hard out there for a ... talking head? Bruce Bartlett explains: [A] friend of mine, economist Richard Rahn, recently had a segment on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer canceled. In this case, however, it wasn't because he had the...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 14, 2009; 2:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Harry Reid Gets Tough With the Insurance Industry

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid appeared before the Judiciary Committee today in an unusual capacity: as a witness. He was there to argue that the Senate should repeal the insurance industry's exemption from anti-trust statutes (an exemption that they...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 14, 2009; 2:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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The Next Step for Health-Care Reform

This post was published last week, but in the aftermath of the Finance Committee's vote, a number of people have asked me to write about what comes next for health-care reform. This is the answer. The only real update...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 14, 2009; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Lunch Break

The amazing Alton Brown has been on the air with his show Good Eats for a solid 10 years now. To celebrate, here's a clip from the very first episode of Good Eats, which was all about steak. (Via Eater.)...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 14, 2009; 1:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Lunch Break  
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Does America Have the Best Health Care in the World?

Americans don't think so: According to Americans, the United States does not have the best health care in the world. Most see our health care as average (32%) or below average (27%) when compared with health care in other...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 14, 2009; 1:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Health Reform , Health of Nations , Polls  
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Sneaky Calories

Joshua Green, who co-authored Henry Waxman's memories, argues that one reason for attaching calorie labels to menus is that corporations often purposefully mislead consumers about the health content of their food. Congress considered the lack of information on most products...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 14, 2009; 12:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Food  
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Global Warming vs. Farms

This article originally appeared in Wednesday's Food section. This column has focused on the effects of food production on climate change. But what about the effects of climate change on food production? After all, few things are as sensitive...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 14, 2009; 11:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Climate Change , Food  
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What Olympia Snowe Got for Her Vote

The list of senators charged with merging the Finance and HELP bills into the legislation that will actually come to a vote on the Senate floor is vanishingly small, and every participant is there for a reason. Harry Reid...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 14, 2009; 11:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Not Over Yet

Jon Cohn lists the 10 aspects of health-care reform that people should still be fighting to improve. I agree with every word of his post....

By Ezra Klein  |  October 14, 2009; 10:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Putting Hospitals on a Diet

Shadowfax makes the case for the existence of "cost-shifting" between public programs and private insurers: [T]he cost of providing health care -- especially for a hospital -- is relatively inelastic on a year-to-year basis. The number of nurses, the...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 14, 2009; 10:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Health Economics  
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Do We Care More for Planes Than Congressmen?

As Matt Yglesias notes, European countries are a lot more lax on airport and museum security, and Copenhagen Airport doesn't appear to be suffering from a raft of shoe bombers. This despite the fact that the large and relatively...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 14, 2009; 8:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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Tab Dump

1) Crunch time for K Street. 2) Why counterinsurgency strategies won't work in Afghanistan. 3) Ready for the Goldman Sachs bonuses? 4) Supply-side economics, R.I.P. Recipe of the day: How to make the perfect hard-boiled -- or soft-boiled! -- egg....

By Ezra Klein  |  October 13, 2009; 6:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Who Killed Gourmet Magazine?

Adam Roberts, who's normally quite mild-mannered in his guise as the Amateur Gourmet, is annoyed at Christopher Kimball's cranky New York Times op-ed blaming the Internet for the end of Gourmet magazine, and the death of expertise more generally. Roberts...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 13, 2009; 5:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Food , Journalism  
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Will Joe Lieberman Vote Against Health-Care Reform?

This morning, Joe Lieberman told Don Imus that he couldn't vote for the Senate Finance Committee's bill. "I may have made a major error focusing on red state Democrats and overlooking Lieberman," writes Jonathan Chait. Eh, maybe. I could...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 13, 2009; 4:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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How the Senate Finance Committee Got Ron Wyden's Vote

If you'd asked me six months ago which Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee would prove the toughest vote on health-care reform, I'd have had a couple answers for you. Blanche Lincoln, maybe. Or Tom Carper. Or Kent Conrad....

By Ezra Klein  |  October 13, 2009; 4:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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The End of Unipolarity

Some excellent thoughts on the structural forces behind the end of American unipolarity from Matt Yglesias: Nobody has proposed a halfway plausible mechanism by which the United States can alter the fact that India and China have a larger...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 13, 2009; 3:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Foreign Policy  
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Health-Care Reform Passes Go, Collects One Republicans

The vote in the Senate Finance Committee was 14-9. Snowe voted with the majority, and no Democrats defected. Health-care reform passes go, collects one Republican. Next comes the merger of the two bills....

By Ezra Klein  |  October 13, 2009; 2:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Lunch Break

"The Daily Show" takes on the fawning press coverage of Gen. Stanley McChrystal's athletic masculine manliness. David Petraeus got the same loving coverage of his physical fitness regimen, and it strikes me as a genuinely dangerous way to understand these...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 13, 2009; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Evan Bayh and Bill Nelson Open to State Public Plans

Shailagh Murray and Lori Montgomery have an excellent overview on the next steps for health-care reform, and in particular, for the various compromises needed to pass a bill. Particularly worth noting is that Sen. Ben Nelson and Evan Bayh are...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 13, 2009; 1:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Olympia Snowe Will Vote For The Senate Finance Bill

"The mark before us produces some bipartisan, landmark reform," Olympia Snowe said before the Senate Finance Committee. She'll vote for the bill. That doesn't mean she'll vote for the final bill, of course. "My vote today, is my vote...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 13, 2009; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Liveblogging In The SFC

TPMDC's Brian Beutler is liveblogging the Senate Finance Committee's pre-vote hearing. Liveblogging gets a bit of a bad name, as it's often terrible, but it's actually the best way to follow things like hearing, where there's not one overarching narrative...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 13, 2009; 12:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Estimating the Excise Tax

In a long defense of the PWC/AHIP report, Megan McArdle goes to bat for the most indefensible element of the analysis: the decision to avoid estimating the response to the tax on high-cost insurance plans (which is, in fact, the...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 13, 2009; 11:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Health Economics  
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Are Hospitals Extremely Nice to Insurers?

From 2007 to 2009, Keith Hennessey served as the director of Bush's National Economic Council (the same position Larry Summers holds today). Now, he's got an excellent blog, and his skepticism of "cost-shifting" -- the idea that cuts in the...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 13, 2009; 11:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Health Economics  
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The Senate Finance Committee Vote: 13-10 or 14-9?

The Senate Finance Committee votes on health-care reform today, and the question isn't whether the bill will pass. It's the margin by which it passes. The big question mark is Olympia Snowe: She's been given virtually everything she asked...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 13, 2009; 11:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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PriceWaterhouseCoopers Backs Away From AHIP

PriceWaterhouseCoopers spends most of its time as a fairly respected consultancy operation. It's entrusted with the audits for ExxonMobile, Ford, IBM, Walt Disney, CBS and many others. It also has a division where outside groups can pay a handsome sum...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 13, 2009; 10:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Bad Language

Thinking about yesterday's post on the "strong" and "weak" language that afflicts the currency debate, it's really striking how the masculine, muscular language always attaches to the conservative position in a given debate. "Hard" power, for people who want to...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 13, 2009; 9:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
 
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MIT Economist Jon Gruber Counters the Insurance Industry's Analysis

This morning, I wrote that "the insurance industry's analysis isn't credible, but the administration needs to get some credible numbers, or some numbers they can call credible, out there quick. The nightmare scenario is that someone more legitimate than...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 12, 2009; 7:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Tab Dump

1) A good profile of chef Rick Bayless, but the Gay Talese homage is a bit heavy-handed. 2) Even Michael Lewis got caught in the housing bubble. 3) Big businesses revolt against the Chamber of Commerce's intransigence on climate change....

By Ezra Klein  |  October 12, 2009; 6:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Food  
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‘Information Is Stimulus, Confusion Is Contraction’

Another Stephen Waldman post, another brilliant paragraph for me to quote. A housing boom, any kind of boom, is attended by an increase in certainty. Information is stimulus, confusion is contraction. A bust occurs when the market is unsure of...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 12, 2009; 5:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Recession Graphs

Catherine Rampell rounds up some good charts on the state of the economy. And by "good," I mean "depressing, but visually attractive." The first comes from the Atlanta Federal Reserve and concerns part-time workers. There are two types of part-time...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 12, 2009; 5:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Charts and Graphs , Economy  
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The Worst Words for the Economy

Paul Krugman on the politics of the dollar: The truth is that the falling dollar is good news. For one thing, it’s mainly the result of rising confidence: The dollar rose at the height of the financial crisis as...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 12, 2009; 5:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Economic Policy  
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Better Shopping Through Technology

Mark Bittman's vision of a world where online grocery shopping is the norm is an appealing one. Keeping a stocked kitchen is one of the time costs of food that cooking advocates don't talk about that often. A meal...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 12, 2009; 5:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Food  
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The Ugliest Buildings in the World?

Travel and Leisure magazine has rounded up the 15 ugliest buildings in the world. The only problem? Almost all the buildings are pretty cool-looking. Not perfect, but visually interesting and ambitious. The headquarters of the Secret Intelligence Service in London...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 12, 2009; 4:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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What Do the Insurers Want?

The "analysis" the insurance industry commissioned should not be treated as a policy document. It's a political document. In it, the insurers assail policies they don't like (though under the guise of concerning themselves with consumer premiums) and pump up...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 12, 2009; 4:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Did the Kyoto Protocols Succeed?

It's fairly common to hear the Kyoto protocols dismissed as a well-intentioned failure. This is generally a reflection on the first year or two of the program, which got off to a bumpy start. But since then, the program...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 12, 2009; 3:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Climate Change  
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Lunch Break

A puppy. Moon walking. I'm pretty sure this is why Al Gore invented the internet. Moonwalking Puppy - watch more funny videos...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 12, 2009; 1:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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A Return to Form for the Insurance Industry

TPMDC's Christina Bellantoni asked Kurt Bardella, spokesman for Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), about the insurance industry's attack on health-care reform. After making pretty clear that he basically agreed with the report, Bardella cautioned that "any Republican that uses the...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 12, 2009; 1:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Nobel Fraud!

This year's Nobel prize in economics was awarded to Oliver Williamson and Elinor Ostrom. But more precisely, this year's Nobel prize in economics was awarded to no one, because there is no such prize. Matt Yglesias explains: I would note...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 12, 2009; 12:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Economics  
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Columnist: Heal Thyself!

It's strange to watch op-ed columnists using their valuable and finite real estate to complain that the real problem with Barack Obama accepting is that there were more deserving recipients. One might say the same about these op-ed columns, which...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 12, 2009; 12:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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What GDP Misses

David Roberts gives a good example of the problems with letting gross domestic product serve as the sole measure of national progress: GDP is a poor proxy for national welfare (see: Bobby Kennedy). It represents economic churn, but that can...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 12, 2009; 11:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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What 'The Naked Chef' Jamie Oliver Gets Wrong

According to the New York Times, chef Jamie Oliver's mission is "to break people’s dependence on fast food, believing that if they can learn to cook just a handful of dishes, they’ll get hooked on eating healthfully." Matt Yglesias...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 12, 2009; 11:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Food  
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The Insurance Industry's Deceptive Report

In the hallowed tradition of the tobacco and energy industries, the health insurance industry has commissioned a report (pdf) projecting doom and despair for those who seek to reform its business practices. The report was farmed out to the...

By Ezra Klein  |  October 12, 2009; 10:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (61)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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