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Tab dump

1) "We often hear about people who are unlucky in love, but what of those who are unlucky in the business cycle?"

2) Jacob Hacker makes the case against the trigger.

3) American spends a staggering amount of money on "defense."

4) "China’s bad behavior is posing a growing threat to the rest of the world economy," writes Paul Krugman. "The only question now is what the world — and, in particular, the United States — will do about it."

Recipe of the day: Poached pears and mascarpone in Asian syrup.

The White House met with the Senate leadership earlier this afternoon. Reports from the meeting differ, but sources agree that they wanted you to have either a "good" or a "very good" weekend.

By Ezra Klein  |  October 23, 2009; 6:26 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Why hasn't Olympia Snowe pulled the trigger?
Next: Congress tiring of reading the White House's tea leaves on the public option


A workable trigger would, at a minimum, need to achieve three goals: (1) establish a reasonable and measurable standard for private plan performance that sets out clear affordability and cost-containment goals for a specifically defined package of benefits, (2) assess this standard in a timely fashion with information available to policymakers after reform legislation passes, and (3) if this standard were met, quickly create a public health insurance plan that would effectively remedy the situation.


Actually if the first two were met then the third would not have to be done. That's the idea of a trigger. It should read "If the standards were NOT met"

Posted by: visionbrkr | October 23, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

We are reaching "crunch time" in the Senate on the public option. Snowe is basically a constituency of one with regard to the "trigger" mechanism. Nobody else has come out in strong support of that, and several Democrats have said they oppose that as too weak. The only problem is the White House is being reported as so concerned with keeping Snowe's support that they are willing to remove the public option and bust it down to a "trigger" to gather her vote.

It is now widely reported that Reid has 58 votes to break a filibuster if he includes the public option with an opt-out option for states---the Carper/Schumer proposal---in the bill. I don't know with certainty, but assume the two members of the Democratic Caucus refusing to commit to breaking a filibuster are Lieberman and Ben---not Bill---Nelson. Some of the moderate/conservative Democrats like Conrad, Bayh, Lincoln, Landrieu who actually may vote to strip any public option from the bill apparently are willing to back a cloture motion to break a filibuster on the motion to proceed to consideration of the bill. Snowe and all Republicans apparently will not support cloture on a bill with any public option included. This has really become the ultimate GOP goal---blocking a public option. Republicans seem to realize that health care is going to pass, but they want above all else to protect the insurance industry from a public competitor.

I am thinking a more significant potential thicket here is not the public option, which is getting widespread attention, but the mechanisms of paying for health care---the various taxes that will be included. The potential for discord appears even larger on those issues, but the media seems to be ignoring that. In the end, I think that will be the major problem to getting health care reform passed.

Posted by: OHIOCITIZEN | October 23, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

"poached pears and mascarpone"

perfect for an autumn picnic.
here is a perfect movie scene,
from "picnic," circa 1955, william holden/kim novack.
perfect with poached pears.

Posted by: jkaren | October 24, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

"Reid still has some work to do. Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) has continued to express skepticism about the state opt-out, preferring instead to allow states to choose their own competitor to private insurance." -- Politico

So...Nelson would vote so that Nebraska itself will *not* have a choice about whether to opt-out of a national public option, and possibly "choose their own competitor"...!?

Let's all start writing letters!

Posted by: HalHorvath | October 24, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

you gotta watch this. it is wonderful, and you can even appreciate it more, if you watch it a second time.

Posted by: jkaren | October 25, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Here's my favorite compromise cobbled from house and senate versions plus a little extra:

Expand medicaid to 150% of the population
Provide public option on an opt-out basis to this group, using the level playing field approach
Here's my part: Allow any state to OPT IN to a public option at medicare plus 5% at any level of participation they want (from nothing to 1000% of the poverty level) but progressively tax the plan to help fund free medicare for seniors and the expansion of medicaid. So, 151% to 199% of poverty has a public option plan with a 1% tax. 200% to 299% of poverty level has a 2% tax, and so on up to 1000% of poverty level. If a lot of people sign up, we could easily have 50 million signed up, racking up 20 billion a year or more for Medicare for seniors or Medicaid expansion. And, even states who don't opt in would benefit because of the way the tax helps Medicare stay solvent. Well, maybe it would work, or just too much theraflu in my system...

Posted by: klaridad | October 25, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

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