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Ezra Klein: December 13, 2009 - December 19, 2009

Still time to think small

This is a good bill. Not a great bill, but a good bill. Imagine telling a Democrat in the days after the 2004 election that the 2006 election would end Republican control of Congress, the 2008 election would return a...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 19, 2009; 3:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Sentences I am happy about in the Senate bill: Part II

Page 48: The Exchange shall require health plans seeking certification as qualified health plans to submit to the Exchange, the Secretary, the State insurance commissioner, and make available to the public, accurate and timely disclosure of the following information: (i)...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 19, 2009; 2:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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Change to the Senate bill

Here's the summary document Reid's office is sending around on the changes in the manager's amendments. I've bolded the bits I think are important. Tougher Accountability Policies for Health Insurance Companies • Stronger medical loss ratios. Health insurers will be...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 19, 2009; 1:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
 
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Sentences I am happy about in the Senate bill: Part I

Page 12: Each hospital operating within the United States shall for each year establish (and update) and make public (in accordance with guidelines developed by the Secretary) a list of the hospital’s standard charges for items and services provided by...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 19, 2009; 1:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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The abortion compromise

The basic compromise is that states can impose the Stupak rules on their own exchanges, but the rules will not be imposed by the federal legislation. I've been assured that at least one plan in each state will cover abortion,...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 19, 2009; 12:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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The Congressional Budget Office scores the amended Senate bill

Another day, another Congressional Budget Office report (pdf) saying that health-care reform will cover more than 30 million people while substantially cutting the federal deficit. There are a couple of changes worth noting here. First, the CBO says that the...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 19, 2009; 12:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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60 votes

And then there were 60. A smart observer told me that the bill would come down to whether Ben Nelson, in his heart of hearts, wanted to vote for it or wanted to use his demands to kill it. It...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 19, 2009; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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The case for moving forward

It's not been the easiest week for health-care reform. The final days of a bill are, almost by definition, the hardest. Critics have had time to mobilize. Industry has had time to lobby. Supporters have endured one painful compromise after...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 18, 2009; 5:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
 
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The Senate doesn't work

Jeff Merkley -- who is, in fact, a senator -- explains: There’s no question that the procedure itself is dysfunctional. I’m working with a colleague to come up with some ideas to improve that. It’s going to be a long-term...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 18, 2009; 4:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Senate  
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The 60th vote?

The health-care bill, according to Senate sources, is at 59 votes. Joe Lieberman, for better or worse, seems placated. The question is who will be number 60. No one thinks Susan Collins will even entertain the notion. Olympia Snowe also...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 18, 2009; 3:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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The purpose of health-care reform is to cover more people, not figure out how to cover fewer people

SEIU president Andy Stern on the individual mandate: The whole purpose of this is to cover people, not figure out how we don’t cover people. Our goal is to solve, in the conference committee, some of the affordability issues that...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 18, 2009; 2:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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Snowjob

Bill Kristol wants Ben Nelson to join a Republican filibuster tonight because it is likely to snow in Washington, D.C., this weekend. Seriously....

By Ezra Klein  |  December 18, 2009; 2:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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What should the Fed fear?

The blogger Thorstein Veblen -- not to be confused with the Thorstein Veblen -- thinks the Federal Reserve should fear doing too little. Someone please tell me how the risks of doing too much and of doing too little are...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 18, 2009; 1:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Federal Reserve  
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Mailbag: Is this the end of state regulation?

A reader writes in: One of Howard Dean's claims in arguing against the Senate bill on Morning Joe yesterday was that the bill enables insurance companies to operate across states lines -- is this true? Sort of. The legislation allows...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 18, 2009; 1:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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Lunch break

This MoveOn.com ad makes me think sock puppetry has been an underutilized medium for explaining the workings of the United States Senate....

By Ezra Klein  |  December 18, 2009; 1:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Does this end the individual mandate debate?

States can choose to get rid of the individual mandate. Whether you believe the mandate to be a good and necessary element of reform or a problematic and troubling gift to the insurance industries may not really matter. Section...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 18, 2009; 12:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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What Lieberman has wrought

Joe Lieberman's reckless decision to blow up last week's compromise has had exactly the impact many of us predicted. Much of the left has flipped into vicious, angry opposition to the bill. Is that because the Medicare buy-in, a...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 18, 2009; 12:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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The lessons of Massachusetts

Markos Moulitsas takes a look at Massachusetts and concludes that the individual mandate isn't working well, because Massachusetts's costs have merely improved from "the worst in the nation to merely one of the worst in the nation." There's a lot...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 18, 2009; 11:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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A long time ago, we used to be friends

Al Franken is onto something here. I think the left would calm quite a bit if they could be assured that Sen. Joe Lieberman would never be extended another extra minute, or any other sort of senatorial courtesy, again. After...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 18, 2009; 10:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Senate  
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Health-care reform in practice

A reader sends his take on the health-care reform battle to Josh Marshall: If I feel abandoned, it's not by Obama and the Democratic party, it's by those on the left advocating to kill the bill. I am unemployed and...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 18, 2009; 10:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
 
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Deficit hawkery

Andrew Samwick thinks through what it means to be a deficit hawk. There are, he says, two basic insights underpinning the approach: The federal deficit serves as a mechanism to facilitate the use of future taxpayers' income to buy votes...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 18, 2009; 10:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Tab dump

1) And the Rand played on. 2) I've been enjoying Jonathan Bernstein's blog. Lots of political science goodness. 3) Is the health-care debate a replay of the Iraq War debate? 4) Felix Salmon considers Ben Bernanke. Recipe of the day:...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 17, 2009; 6:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
 
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Can insurers use monopoly pricing under health-care reform?

"If insurance companies know people will be forced to buy policies, why would they lower premium prices?" Asks eegeterman over Twitter. "Why wouldn't they RAISE prices?" I've been hearing this a bit today, so let's talk it through. In a...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 17, 2009; 5:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Private insurance in theory and in practice

One of the givens in this debate is that private insurers are awful. And in some ways, they are. But not compared to being uninsured. I've quite a few friends at lefty institutions, and most all of them get private...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 17, 2009; 4:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Five cost controls in the Senate health-care bill

One of the impulses you have to resist as a writer is the desire to say things that are new, as opposed to things that you've already learned. A lot of this post will be stale to longtime readers, but...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 17, 2009; 4:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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RSS feed problems

Something is awry in the RSS feed. We're working on it....

By Ezra Klein  |  December 17, 2009; 2:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Sincerity

A reader hypothesizes: It seems entirely possible to me that Dean is just now doing what he should have done over the Medicare expansion -- screaming bloody murder. Assuming all Lieberman ever wanted was for Progressives to be furious, then...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 17, 2009; 2:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
 
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Chat transcript: Reconciliation, cost controls and Lieberman, oh my!

Reconciliation: Howard Dean and others on the left are saying that a better health-care bill can still pass through reconciliation. What is your take on this? Ezra Klein: I think there's no chance of it. First, the bill would likely...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 17, 2009; 1:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Shoud the White House have been firmer on the public option?

A Talking Points Memo reader has an excellent observation on the politics of the public option and the anger of the left: I think people are pissed right now less at the fact that they didn't get what they...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 17, 2009; 12:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Missing Ted Kennedy

Matt Yglesias and Kevin Drum are discussing what Ted Kennedy could have meant to the final weeks of this debate. Both agree that he would be voting for the Senate bill, and Drum notes that "One of Kennedy's great regrets...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 17, 2009; 11:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Live chat

We begin at noon, as always, but you can submit questions in advance here....

By Ezra Klein  |  December 17, 2009; 11:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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John Kerry's post-non-presidency

Since so much of the attention goes to the hostage-takers lately, I've been trying to highlight the quiet work of the folks who've been steadily, quietly improving the bill throughout the process, and who haven't done the screaming that...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 17, 2009; 11:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Too much hostage-taking

These days, it seems everyone wants to take a hostage, and everyone thinks they can. In 1994, the bar was a bit higher. Famously, Bill Clinton vowed to veto the legislation if it didn't achieve full universality. This year,...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 17, 2009; 10:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Toward a better bill

Paul Starr looks at the path forward: If things go as well as may be realistically expected, the Senate will pass a bill no later than January. Under normal circumstances, a House-Senate conference would then write a final bill, which...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 17, 2009; 9:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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Tab dump

1) Jay Rockefeller on Howard Dean's calls to kill the Senate bill: "It's nonsense and it's irresponsible and coming from him as a physician, it's stunning." 2) The final paragraph of Max Weber's 'Politics as a Vocation' has some good...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 16, 2009; 6:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Is health care the stimulus redux?

Remember that picture? I pulled it from The Washington Post's archives. It was taken in February, though it feels further back than that. But back then, this picture was all over. It wasn't worth just a 1,000 words, but...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 16, 2009; 5:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Ben Bernanke as 'Person of the Year'

I'd like to stop linking to Matt Yglesias today, but it's hard to do that if he refuses to stop writing good posts. For instance, he could have taken a long lunch rather than writing this analysis of Time's...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 16, 2009; 4:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Federal Reserve  
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20 questions

Nate Silver has 20 questions for liberals -- or anyone -- who want to kill the Senate bill. The first one is particularly good: 1. Over the medium term, how many other opportunities will exist to provide in excess of...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 16, 2009; 3:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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The importance of the individual mandate

Markos Moulitsas explains his opposition to the Senate bill, and says it all comes down to the individual mandate. "Strip out the mandate," he says, "and the rest of the bill is palatable. It's not reform, but it's progress in...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 16, 2009; 3:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Wanted: Cost controls

Ruth Marcus has a sensible column on cost controls in the Senate health-care bill today. After running through some of the estimates -- some say the bill will save a lot of money, some say it will save a bit...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 16, 2009; 2:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
 
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Lunch break

Health care has been so busy lately that I've sort of forgotten the holidays are coming. But they are!...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 16, 2009; 2:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Should we cut the minimum wage?

The idea of cutting the minimum wage is gaining credence in some quarters as an answer to unemployment. Paul Krugman is not amused: Here’s how the fallacy works: if some subset of the work force accepts lower wages, it can...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 16, 2009; 12:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Economic Policy  
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Not-so-super Freakonomics

Statistician Andrew Gelman takes the "SuperFreakonomics" folks to task for making, and defending, the "All Else Equal" fallacy. Previous coverage of the book's shoddy statistics here....

By Ezra Klein  |  December 16, 2009; 11:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Harry Reid's results

Yglesias makes the case for Harry Reid: [L]iberals have rarely found themselves hailing Reid’s leadership. But the fact of the matter is that there’s almost no precedent for the legislative mission he’s been asked to accomplish of turning 59...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 16, 2009; 11:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
 
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Cap and dividend

Confused by the "cap and dividend" policy introduced by Sens. Maria Cantwell and Susan Collins, which has gotten plaudits from both Exxon Mobil and MoveOn.org? Then check out this admirably clear and short description from economist James Boyce. I'm skeptical...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 16, 2009; 10:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Climate Change  
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More explanations from Joe Lieberman that don't make sense

Joe Lieberman did a bit more 'splaining on Tuesday to sync his opposition to Medicare buy-in with his, uh, support for Medicare buy-in. The support, Lieberman said, came "before the Finance committee came out with this very large -- and...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 16, 2009; 10:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Want to read Ben Bernanke's homework?

Ben Bernanke hasn't been having much fun getting renominated. The other day, for instance, Sen. Jim Bunning handed him a questionnaire that ran to 70 items. Ever the dutiful student, Bernanke returned 34 single-spaced pages covering everything from the Lehman...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 16, 2009; 9:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Federal Reserve  
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A bailout for insurers?

There's an argument on the left that the health-care bill represents a "bailout" to the insurance companies. Matt Yglesias puts this in the proper context: I’ve seen Marcy Wheeler characterize the plan as an “industry bailout.” And, indeed, if I...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 16, 2009; 9:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (68)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Joe Lieberman, Jay Rockefeller, and Sheldon Whitehouse's bid to save the Medicare Commission

Joe Lieberman's successful effort to tank the public option and Medicare buy-in does not mark the end of his involvement in health-care reform, But his next major initiative is actually good: He's partnered with Jay Rockefeller and Sheldon Whitehouse...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 16, 2009; 8:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Starting over

Kevin Drum is baffled by the progressive demand to "start over" on health care: If you don't like the Senate bill, fine. Don't support it. But in what universe will healthcare reform get revived anytime soon if it dies this...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 16, 2009; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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Tab dump

1) Nate Silver thinks progressives are crazy to oppose the Senate bill. 2) A primer on reconciliation. 3) John Cassidy's interview with the late, great Paul Samuelson. 4) Adam Green lays out the hard-line strategy progressives would have liked to...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 15, 2009; 7:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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The heroes of health-care reform

Right on the heels of Joe Lieberman trying to kill the bill because it had a Medicare buy-in proposal, Howard Dean is exhorting Democrats to kill the bill because it doesn't have a Medicare buy-in proposal. Sigh. So let...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 15, 2009; 5:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Sitting at the table (by satellite)

I'll be on Charlie Rose tonight, I think towards the beginning of the program. Check local listings, etc....

By Ezra Klein  |  December 15, 2009; 5:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Can conference reports be filibustered?

This question was making the rounds on Twitter today, so may as well answer it here, too. The conference report -- that is to say, the consensus bill that emerges after the House and Senate conduct their negotiations -- is...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 15, 2009; 4:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Senate  
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Can banks increase lending?

If economic growth is going to pick back up, banks are going to have to start lending more money. After all, loans drive investment, and investment drives growth, and growth drives jobs. Barack Obama thinks this important enough that he...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 15, 2009; 3:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Economic Policy  
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It's beginning to look a bit like 1994

Sure are a lot of House Democrats announcing their retirements these days. Four isn't 15, but there's another year until the election. I'd be curious to know, however, whether there's any evidence that retiring legislators, and legislators who think they...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 15, 2009; 2:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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What we have here is a failure to communicate

amidst

By Ezra Klein  |  December 15, 2009; 1:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
 
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Lunch break

Jorge Columbo, an artist at the New Yorker, sketches a recent cover on the iPhone application Brushes....

By Ezra Klein  |  December 15, 2009; 12:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Do liberals have it wrong on inequality?

Bruce Bartlett doesn't think liberals or conservatives have it quite right on inequality: Implicitly, liberals tend to believe the pie is fixed. But, generally speaking, it isn't. A rising tide does tend to lift all boats even if those...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 15, 2009; 12:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Inequality  
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The 80 percent friend

Chris Cillizza explains the weird role Joe Lieberman plays in the Senate. And if you want proof, turn your attention to climate change, where Lieberman seems -- and seems is an important word there -- like he'll be a crucial...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 15, 2009; 11:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
 
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What should Rahm have done?

Matt Yglesias thinks reports of the White House's power are overrated: I know a lot of people out there on the Internet seem to feel that the White House could have saved the public option if only they’d put more...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 15, 2009; 11:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
 
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The political cost of failure

Austin Frakt reminds me of a post I wrote in November that's relevant to this week's events. An excerpt: Failure does not bring with it a better chance for future success. It brings a trimming of future ambitions. Truman sought...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 15, 2009; 11:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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Health care now, reconciliation later

A lot of e-mailers have asked whether Congress could pass health care now and then come back in a year and pass the public option, or Medicare buy-in, through reconciliation. The answer is yes, they absolutely can. They'd need to...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 15, 2009; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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On cost control, the theory is try, try and try again

Atul Gawande assesses the Senate health plan: Pick up the Senate health-care bill -- yes, all 2,074 pages -- and leaf through it. Almost half of it is devoted to programs that would test various ways to curb costs and...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 15, 2009; 10:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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Is the Senate health-care reform bill still worth passing?

"Insurance companies win," Markos Moulitsas tweeted last night. "Time to kill this monstrosity coming out of the Senate." This was, for progressives, a frustrating vote. But the flip side of it being morally unconscionable for Joe Lieberman to put...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 15, 2009; 10:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Finishing what they started

Ross Douthat calls on conservatives who successfully took ownership of the "crime issue" in the '80s and '90s to also take responsibility for the mass imprisonment that's been the consequence of their approach: Mass incarceration was a successful public-policy tourniquet....

By Ezra Klein  |  December 15, 2009; 9:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Crime and punishment  
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Don't blame Rahm

It looks like this post arguing that conflicting leaks from the White House and the Senate represented widening divisions was, well, totally wrong. Instead, the leaks now look like Harry Reid was setting the White House up as the...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 15, 2009; 9:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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The death of the public option

The public option died tonight. So did its eager successor, the Medicare buy-in.

By Ezra Klein  |  December 15, 2009; 12:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (106)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Tab dump

1) Life as part of Andrew Sullivan's brain. 2) "Those at the top are separated from the consequences of their actions." 3) Some perspective on Copenhagen. 4) Those rare moments when the legislative process actually make legislation better. 5) The...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 14, 2009; 6:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Tensions between Senate and White House?

Ryan Grim is reporting that Rahm Emanuel personally walked into Harry Reid's office today and pressured him to cut a deal with Joe Lieberman. "Get it done," he's reported as saying. "Just get it done." The White House is denying...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 14, 2009; 5:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Lieberman: Medicare buy-in 'duplicative'

Benjamin Sarlin at the Daily Beast gets a more substantive response from Lieberman's office. Lieberman, it seems, will filibuster this bill because he considers Medicare buy-in to be "duplicative": "Senator Lieberman has long been concerned about making health care more...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 14, 2009; 5:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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The unintended consequences of reconciliation

Joe Lieberman's compromise, it seems, is no compromise. And he's infuriated so many Senate and House Democrats, not to mention so many in the Democratic base, that his bitter reversal might have made the prospects of any compromise a lot...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 14, 2009; 5:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Tom Harkin takes aim at the filibuster

Finally, a post that's only tangentially about Joe Lieberman! In 1995, Sen. Tom Harkin joined with Sen. Joe Lieberman to end the modern filibuster. Lieberman and Harkin proposed a modification that would preserve the filibuster's protection of lengthy debate but...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 14, 2009; 4:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Senate  
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Oh no, Joe

Greg Sargent found video of Joe Lieberman recommending Medicare buy-in as an appropriate compromise from the public option. And not in 2000. Or 2006. Three months ago! "I was very focused on a group that's post-50, or maybe post-55," Lieberman...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 14, 2009; 3:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
 
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Lunch break

Heavy day around here, so this is as good a time as any to watch a chimpanzee make friends with a dog. Make sure to watch until the point when the chimp stuffs a banana in the dog's mouth. YouTube...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 14, 2009; 2:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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White House encouraging Reid to cut a deal with Lieberman

Carrie Budoff Brown reports that the White House is encouraging Reid to simply cut a deal with Lieberman and slice the Medicare expansion out of the bill. Reid, it seems, isn't quite ready to do that yet. A lot of...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 14, 2009; 2:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Venomous responsibility

My colleague Chuck Lane accuses me of a "venomous smear" against Joe Lieberman today, which is fair enough. He's hardly the first to see it that way. What is surprising is that Lane, well, agrees with my venomous smear. "I...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 14, 2009; 1:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (80)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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When OMB directors stop being polite and start getting real

OMB Director Peter Orszag goes hard at the Wall Street Journal editorial board: The editorial board that did more to bring supply-side economics – or in George H.W. Bush’s immortal words, "voodoo economics" – to Washington is raising the...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 14, 2009; 12:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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In other Lieberman news

It looks like he may get kicked out of the Connecticut for Lieberman party, which he started....

By Ezra Klein  |  December 14, 2009; 11:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Lieberman's principles, or lack thereof

There have been two strains of criticism to my earlier post on Lieberman. The first has been a terrible discomfort with discussing health-care reform in terms of its human impact. I go into that question a bit here. The second...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 14, 2009; 11:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Is Robert Rubin more important than the U.S. Congress?

Matt Taibbi's latest piece in Rolling Stone is attracting a lot of attention (Digby, Drum, Yglesias, Fernholz, Salmon), which is testament to Taibbi's talent for breathing life and urgency into topics that too many consider dull. But in this case,...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 14, 2009; 11:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
 
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Think Tank: The cost of being uninsured, how to boost employment and more

1) The Urban Institute estimates that 137,000 people died between 2000 and 2006 because they were uninsured. 2) A former Federal Reserve official argues that the Fed needs to be much more aggressive. 3) Atul Gawande thinks we don't need...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 14, 2009; 10:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Think Tank  
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The 150,000-life health-care plan

By now, you're probably used to hearing about the $900 billion health-care bill. But what about the 150,000-life health-care bill? Oddly, that label hasn't made its way into the conversation. But it is, if anything, a conservative estimate. The...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 14, 2009; 9:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Uncertain about uncertainty

"If anyone tries to tell you that uncertainty about climate change is a reason for inaction, he’s either a fool or a scoundrel," writes Mark Kleiman. "Probably a bit of both." He explains: Assume some climate model predicts that, under...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 14, 2009; 9:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Climate Change  
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The individual mandate is working in Mass.

Thus far, the individual mandate has been the dog that didn't bark in health-care reform. But unlike a lot of the more controversial policies in the bill, you could imagine it coming back in a big way later on. Bad...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 14, 2009; 8:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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Joe Lieberman: Let's not make a deal!

The Huffington Post and Roll Call are both reporting that Joe Lieberman notified Harry Reid that he will filibuster health-care reform if the final bill includes an expansion of Medicare. Previously, Lieberman had been cool to the idea, saying...

By Ezra Klein  |  December 14, 2009; 7:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (247)
 
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