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Ezra Klein: December 6, 2009 - December 12, 2009

Tab dump

1) How restaurants use menus to trick you. 2) What happens when Wall Street gets its hands on cap and trade? 3) I liked David Brooks's take on Chanukkah. 4) Henry Ford as Sarah Palin. 5) Megan McArdle's gift guide...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 11, 2009; 6:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
 
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Second-guessing the Fed

Paul Krugman goes directly at Ben Bernanke today: Mr. Bernanke has received a great deal of credit, and rightly so, for his use of unorthodox strategies to contain the damage after Lehman Brothers failed. But both the Fed’s actions,...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 11, 2009; 6:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Federal Reserve  
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Natalie Portman ... and zombies

Good news: Natalie Portman's production company, handsomecharlie, is planning to adapt "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" for the big screen. Portman will play Elizabeth Bennet, which does somehow make sense. Less clear is the justification for the film -- Annette...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 11, 2009; 5:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Did Clinton have it easy?

Noam Scheiber compares the task facing deficit hawks in 2009 to the task facing deficit hawks in 1993: The decision about whether to rein in the bulging deficit or spend money on the rickety economy divided the incoming Clinton...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 11, 2009; 4:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Economy  
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A tale of two Mitches

Steve Pearlstein's column today compares Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, "a principled but practical conservative who respects the intelligence of voters and would rather get something done than score political points," with Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell, "the charmless and...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 11, 2009; 3:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Congress  
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Financial reforms takes another step forward

Big news out of the House of Representatives today, as they beat back attempts to kill the Consumer Financial Products Administration and then managed to pass financial reform. The final vote had 223 in the "aye" column, which is slim,...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 11, 2009; 2:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Financial Regulation  
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The Senate turns to global warming

Health-care reform is sucking up a lot of oxygen lately, and what attention is going to global warming is directed at Copenhagen, but there have also been some big developments in the Senate's efforts to agree on an approach...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 11, 2009; 2:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Climate Change  
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An argument I'm glad to disagree with

Bruce Bartlett argues that we don't need more fiscal stimulus. I don't buy his argument, but I'm glad the economy is stabilizing enough for me and Bruce to begin disagreeing again....

By Ezra Klein  |  December 11, 2009; 2:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Senate bill allows insurers to establish annual limits

"A loophole in the Senate health care bill would let insurers place annual dollar limits on medical care for people struggling with costly illnesses such as cancer," reports the AP. The Senate Finance Committee barred annual caps altogether. The merged...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 11, 2009; 1:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Baucus slams the Conrad-Gregg deficit commission

Matt Yglesias beats me to Stan Collender's post on Max Baucus's pithy slam of the Conrad-Gregg deficit commission: If the Chairman and Ranking Republican Member of the Budget Committee are in such broad agreement on their goals, why don’t...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 11, 2009; 1:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Budget  
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Lunch break

Ted McCagg suggests the perfect holiday gift:...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 11, 2009; 12:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Barack Obama: Employee of the month?

"Perhaps the most profound issue surrounding my receipt of this prize is the fact that I am the commander in chief of the military of a nation in the midst of two wars," Obama said during his Nobel prize...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 11, 2009; 12:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Barack Obama  
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Post Carbon

I've not been doing a great job focusing on Copenhagen, in part because this is the slow week, and in part because health care has consumed my life. But my colleagues Steve Mufson and Juliet Eilperin have set up a...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 11, 2009; 12:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Government should set the rules, not play the game

In the comments to my earlier post on health care, Wisewon, who's always worth reading on these matters, offered a fair critique of positing Medicare as the answer to our health-care woes: Medicare is comfortable with just simple pricing...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 11, 2009; 11:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Budget , Health Reform  
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Meet the value-added tax

First, a simple fact: Tax rates will rise over the next decade. Even with painful spending cuts, tax rates will rise. At some point, taxes have to come further into line with spending, and that means the direction they will...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 11, 2009; 11:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
 
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First, stop doing harm

“I can’t see it,” Olympia Snowe said after considering the Medicare buy-in proposal for a day or two. “I am talking to a lot of my providers this afternoon and I know they are mighty unhappy.” "My providers." Think about...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 11, 2009; 10:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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The behavioral economics of taste

The basic insight here holds for a lot of things in life: If I'd had it at an otherwise unremarkable restaurant, I would have thought it was terrible. Why didn't they at least sprinkle on some black pepper? But if...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 11, 2009; 8:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Food  
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Spanking and the 2008 election

In states with lower percentages of people that endorse spanking and washing kids' mouths out with soap, which is the case in New England and much of the Middle Atlantic, Obama did very well. In states with higher percentages,...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 11, 2009; 7:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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Tab dump

1) The big banks get bigger. 2) Global warming deniers mount their counter-attack. 3) Why the Senate is confused about the public option. 4) Alec McGillis reports from MedPAC's annual meeting. 5) I've long thought Pasta Mia is a sham....

By Ezra Klein  |  December 10, 2009; 6:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Armed and afraid

It wouldn't really bother me if, say, Common Cause's membership was composed of the intensely paranoid. It's a bit more unsettling when it's the National Rifle Association: Gun owners continue to worry that President Obama "will attempt to ban the...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 10, 2009; 5:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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The age of widget banking cometh

And I, for one, welcome our new Yodlee overlords. Felix Salmon explains: Yodlee is the engine behind the online banking operations of most banks in America — and, for that matter, of mint.com. (I wrote about Yodlee and Mint back...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 10, 2009; 5:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Krugman: Recovery means adding 300,000 jobs a month

Paul Krugman builds a benchmark: I thought it might be useful to create a sort of benchmark for the level of job growth that would really count as good news. I start from the fact that we’ve lost about...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 10, 2009; 4:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Economy  
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Steny Hoyer explains how Newt Gingrich broke Congress

On Monday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer delivered a startling speech on the obstructionism of minority Republicans and the dangers that poses to Congress and the country. It's not common for politicians to address structural problem directly, or at...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 10, 2009; 3:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
Categories:  Congress , Interviews  
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Lunch break

Obama's speech at Oslo today repeatedly mentioned the address Martin Luther King Jr. gave decades ago. So here it is:...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 10, 2009; 1:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Chat transcript

Note: I've deleted the Top Chef spoilers. Ashland, Mo.: Intuitively the following argument has some appeal: Medicare is going broke. The rate of reimbursement is driving providers out of the program. States can't afford any increase in Medicaid. Adding 10...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 10, 2009; 1:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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Chris Dodd offers up some real talk

Chris Dodd really let loose on the floor of the Senate this morning, blasting his colleagues who've painted health-care reform as a relentlessly partisan process that allowed no input from the minority party. It's a good speech, and it makes...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 10, 2009; 12:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Obama accepts the Nobel Peace Prize

I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the considerable controversy that your generous decision has generated. In part, this is because I am at the beginning, and not the end, of my labors on the world stage....

By Ezra Klein  |  December 10, 2009; 11:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Barack Obama  
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Thursday chat

Got a live chat today. Health care, Top Chef, and whatever else is on your mind. You can submit questions in advance here, or join in live at noon....

By Ezra Klein  |  December 10, 2009; 11:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Yes, bankers made money despite the crash

One of the louder arguments started by the financial crisis has been whether banker pay was a direct contributor to the crash. On the one hand, well, of course it was. Outsized risks generated outsized returns, and everyone loves...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 10, 2009; 11:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Financial Crisis  
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Want to listen to the Senate's health-care debate on your iPhone?

There's an app for that. (Warning: Link opens into iTunes.) Update: Speaking of the iPhone, I've spent a year annoyed by the fact that I couldn't get the screen to go horizontal and vertical on command. Then someone explained to...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 10, 2009; 10:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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The 4,000-page health-care bill?

Stan Collender explains how health-care reform could balloon to 4,000 pages: [D]epending on whether the bill is drafted as an amendment to what is already being debated or as new standalone legislation, it may have to start by striking out...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 10, 2009; 10:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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A question of emphasis

These tweets are summarizing the same poll....

By Ezra Klein  |  December 10, 2009; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Israel/Palestine  
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How liberal is Obama?

It's not every day that Christian conservative Ross Douthat enthusiastically recommends people read social democrat Tony Judt: Whether you instinctively agree with them or with me probably says a lot about where you fall on the left/right spectrum. But what’s...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 10, 2009; 9:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Barack Obama  
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Susan Collins and Ron Wyden get to work

Later today, Sen. Ron Wyden and Sen. Susan Collins will release a bipartisan package of amendments to the health-care reform bill. One of them is really good. One of them is harder to evaluate. And one of them is...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 10, 2009; 7:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Tab dump

1) Harold Meyerson on the second stimulus. 2) Ben Nelson is playing nice with the public option compromise. 3) Sarah Palin's op-ed on Copenhagen, annotated. 4) Don't fear the fiscal reapers. 5) Imagining a world without the filibuster. I'll be...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 9, 2009; 6:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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The costs of saying 'no'

David Frum on the cost of choosing ineffectual obstructionism rather than negotiations: Two reports last night of what the GOP’s “No, no, no” policy has wrought: 1) Instead of a healthcare reform to slow cost increases, Democrats in the Senate...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 9, 2009; 5:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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Where's your $25 billion?

According to the Congressional Budget Office, even the weak public option would have saved $25 billion over 10 years. As part of the compromise, shouldn't the moderates who wanted that removed from the bill have to come up with the...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 9, 2009; 4:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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The virtues of inconsistency

I've been a bit lost in health-care land lately, but Steve Pearlstein has kept an eye on the White House's new job proposals, and he likes what he sees -- even, and maybe especially, the parts that contradict each other....

By Ezra Klein  |  December 9, 2009; 4:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Republicans for single-payer health care

Republicans spent the first day of the Senate's health-care reform debate extolling the virtues of Medicare and swearing to protect it from even the lightest of legislative love taps. Today, however, a bunch of them have taken to the floor...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 9, 2009; 4:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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The little commission that couldn't

If you were worried about the deficit-reduction commission being developed by Democrat Kent Conrad and Republican Judd Gregg, then worry no longer. These is no deficit-reduction commission. There's a commission that will think up ideas for deficit reduction, but...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 9, 2009; 3:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Budget  
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Lunch break

Like holiday music, but think too little of it is Jewish, and too little of it is sung by aging United States senators? Then does Orrin Hatch have a Hanukkah song for you... Eight Days of Hanukkah from Tablet Magazine...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 9, 2009; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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The theory of the exchanges

Matthew Yglesias on the context of health-care reform: Anything limited to the exchange won’t impact most Americans very much even when reform goes online in 2014. But the exchanges will get much bigger over time. Part of what’s going on...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 9, 2009; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Design matters

Jon Cohn asks 10 technical questions about the design of the Medicare buy-in and the national nonprofit plans. I'd like the answers, too....

By Ezra Klein  |  December 9, 2009; 12:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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David Vitter and the advantages of single-payer health care

Louisiana Senator David Vitter (R) is speaking on the floor of the Senate right now in favor of Byron Dorgan's amendment allowing the "reimportation" of drugs from, among others, Canada. "This amendment gives Americans immediate relief from high prescription...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 9, 2009; 12:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Howard Dean: This is 'real reform'

In an interview with Greg Sargent, Howard Dean seems pleased with last night's compromise. His big concern is that subsidies won't be available to people buying into Medicare. I haven't heard that, but if it proves true, it would...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 9, 2009; 11:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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Letting insurers 'win'

"We WIN," some insurance industry insider crowed to Ben Smith. "Administered by private insurance companies. No government funding. No government insurance competitor.” Similarly but oppositely, a few anxious e-mailers have written to ask whether Medicare buy-in isn't just a gift...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 9, 2009; 11:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Lieberman on the Senate deal

“My opposition to a government-run insurance option, including any option with a trigger, has been clear for months and remains my position today," says Joe Lieberman. “Regarding the ‘Medicare buy-in’ proposal that is being discussed, we must remain vigilant...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 9, 2009; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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Industry gears up to oppose Medicare buy-in

Politico reports that hospitals are readying to fight Medicare buy-in tooth-and-nail: Even before the deal was struck, the nation’s two largest hospital trade groups were asking members to weigh in against the Medicare buy-in, which is not a good sign...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 9, 2009; 10:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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The team of 10 reaches a deal on the public option

But, err, they won't tell anyone what it is. At least not until they hear back from the Congressional Budget Office. The most telling tidbit so far has come from Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who said, "I've got a smile...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 9, 2009; 12:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
 
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Tab dump

1) Think you're a man? Well, do you wear khakis? DO YOU? 2) Jane Black explores "farm-washing." 3) Kids eat less junk food when schools stop providing it to them. 4) Ben Nelson isn't using the failure of his anti-abortion...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 8, 2009; 6:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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The only argument that matters

My colleagues Alec McGillis and Lois Romano do a nice job pointing out the utter bankruptcy of Joe Lieberman's approach to the public option: Lieberman says the public option is a sop to supporters of full government-run health insurance. He...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 8, 2009; 6:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
 
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Senate votes against Stupakifying its health care bill

The Senate just rejected Ben Nelson's Stupak-like amendment. The vote to table was 54 to 45, with Conrad, Pryor, Nelson, Casey, Dorgan and Bayh voting against tabling. Although that's the end for this amendment, Nelson's vote is important enough...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 8, 2009; 6:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Crippling Medicare buy-in

Sam Stein hears some worrying rumblings from the "Team of 10": Senate Democrats are also in negotiations over who, exactly, should be allowed to qualify for the expanded Medicare program. At this juncture, it doesn't appear that everyone in the...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 8, 2009; 5:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Judging the CBO

Doug Elmendorf, director of the CBO, responds to allegations that his organization underestimates savings, and other criticisms. Well worth a read. Incidentally, it wouldn't be that hard for some nonprofit to go back through, say, the last two decades and...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 8, 2009; 5:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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The Christmas tree

The children were charming. They absolutely refused to resemble their elders, notwithstanding the efforts of mothers and governesses. In a jiffy they had denuded the Christmas tree down to the very last sweet and had already succeeded in breaking...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 8, 2009; 4:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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The right argument for a carbon tax, made to the right people

I acknowledge that my arguments in favor of a carbon tax over cap-and-trade are made easier in that I am comparing my ideal hypothetical carbon tax to the actual cap-and- trade programs either passed by the House or proposed in...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 8, 2009; 3:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Climate Change  
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How health-care reform could pass go, skip conference committee

The expectation is that after the Senate passes its health-care reform bill, it will enter into negotiations with the House to merge the two bills. But maybe not! If the Senate passes a bill the House can live with, the...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 8, 2009; 3:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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What about the oyster guy?

Susan Collins seems to be taking a sensible view of the leaked climate e-mails: “There appears to be sufficient controversy and concern that I think it warrants the Environment and Public Works Committee taking a look at it,” said...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 8, 2009; 3:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Climate Change  
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Medicare vs. private insurers

Olympia Snowe is opposed to the Medicare buy-in idea. Joe Lieberman is open to it. We'll see if he stays that way. The more I think about it, the better it looks, which means the more likely it is to...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 8, 2009; 2:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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Lunch break

This is about the most effective presentation of data I've ever seen. I'm not even going to tell you the topic. It's just really, really good data presentation....

By Ezra Klein  |  December 8, 2009; 12:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Hoyer: Deadlocks make Congress 'less relevant every day'

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer headed over to the Center for American Progress to argue that "one of our two great parties is now an organization committed to an unprecedented level of lockstep opposition to the president." This is,...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 8, 2009; 12:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Congress  
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In praise of Manmohan Singh

Steve Coll offers a paean to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and the surprisingly stable democracy he's helped nurture: Singh’s low profile is misleading in important respects, however. His counterparts in the rising Hindu-nationalist movement have made more noise...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 8, 2009; 11:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Foreign Policy  
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Does Medicare discriminate against rural hospitals?

I find the forced courtesies of the Senate wearying, so it was good to see Jay Rockefeller let loose when Kent Conrad suggested that Medicare buy-in should be scotched because Medicare doesn't pay North Dakota's hospitals enough. “I’m really...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 8, 2009; 11:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Lower health costs = higher paychecks

I've got an op-ed on the, well, op-ed page today. An excerpt: In 2009, the average employer-sponsored health-care plan cost a bit less than $13,500. But virtually no one cut a check for $13,500. Employers generally pay more than...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 8, 2009; 10:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Beats building a shed

When we last saw Neel Kashkari, he was building a shed out in the woods somewhere. But before that, he was managing the TARP program. And after this? Pimco! Felix Salmon comments: It looks like Neel Kashkari did manage to...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 8, 2009; 7:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Tab dump

1) Corby Kummer's guide to shopping for foodies. I agree that ceramic knives are a waste of time. 2) Economists are worried about some of the backsliding in the cost-control elements of the Senate health bill. 3) Jay Rockefeller is...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 7, 2009; 6:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Freshmen senators spending too much time on issues, not enough time chasing headlines

Though there haven't been any impressive coalitions of Republicans and conservative Democrats coming together to improve the bill's cost savings, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) has rallied his fellow freshmen behind a set of common-sense improvements to the delivery system...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 7, 2009; 5:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Mark Pryor makes the health insurance exchanges a bit more like Amazon.com

Backed by a 98 to 0 vote, Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) just passed a small amendment that might make a big difference in insurance markets. Pryor's amendment directs "the Department of Health and Human Services [to] establish, gather and...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 7, 2009; 4:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Department of bad graphs

I try to be pretty careful with my charts and graphs, but I made a mistake this morning when I graphed Vanity Fair's poll showing that most people can't confidently explain the public option. Google Spreadsheet began the Y axis...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 7, 2009; 4:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Charts and Graphs  
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Think tank

Been awhile since I've updated the "Think Tank" sidebar. My apologies. 1) The Commonwealth Fund thinks that the House and Senate health-care bills will save a lot more money than the CBO is projecting. 2) The Center for Budget and...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 7, 2009; 3:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Think Tank  
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The carbon pricing pony

Paul Krugman is annoyed by carbon tax utopians who oppose the most aggressive measures that seem possible in favor of much more aggressive measures that are simply impossible: For here’s the way it is: we have a real chance of...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 7, 2009; 3:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Climate Change  
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Ben Nelson proposes Stupak language for the Senate health bill

Ben Nelson has released his "Stupak-like" amendment to the Senate bill. You can read it here. Sen. Debbie Stabenow says she doesn't think it'll pass. That's probably right. But as Jeff Young reports, even if the amendment fails, it...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 7, 2009; 2:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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The Obama administration doesn't care about the public option and Congress doesn't care about cost control

Color me unsurprised that Barack Obama didn't mention the public option in his remarks to the Senate last weekend. One of the dynamics that hasn't really penetrated in this debate is that the Obama administration is mainly interested in the...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 7, 2009; 2:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Lunch break

We're pretty deep into the politics of health-care reform now. The conversation is all about votes and compromises and concessions. So it's good to listen to Princeton's Uwe Reinhardt explain the broader policy context. We've come fairly far, but even...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 7, 2009; 12:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Exclusive: Medicare buy-in attracting interest in the public option negotiations

Sources who have been briefed on the negotiations say that Medicare buy-in is attracting the most interest. Expanding Medicaid is running into more problems, though there's some appeal because, unlike increasing subsidies, expanding Medicaid actually saves you money. There's also...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 7, 2009; 12:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Joe Lieberman's revenge

Brian Beutler details the role Joe Lieberman played in leading the Democratic opposition to the public option, and possibly killing it altogether: After Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) threw down the gauntlet on the public option, political observers and liberal...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 7, 2009; 11:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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Five compromises beyond the public option

As I reported earlier, the public option discussions have begun focusing on a compromise that's, well, not a public option. The liberals see the potential necessity of that but aren't pleased about it. So the discussions have opened up to...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 7, 2009; 10:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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The not-a-public-option compromise, and beyond

There's a lot left to be decided in health-care reform, or at least there should be. The subsidies could use some help, and the Medicare Commission should be strengthened. The House and Senate need to figure out their revenue...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 7, 2009; 8:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Two-thirds of Americans don't understand the public option

I've long wished polls did more to question how much the American people know as opposed to what they believe, or think they believe. For instance, we've had dozens, maybe hundreds, of polls assessing the public's beliefs on the public...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 7, 2009; 7:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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