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Posted at 7:30 PM ET, 01/ 7/2011


By Ezra Klein

Recap: The December jobs numbers; what defaulting on the debt would mean for the economy; and the biggest threat health-care reform faces.


1) The theory of this article is correct, but only about Medicare-for-All. The public option has nothing to do with whether you use an individual mandate or some sort of automatic/coercive enrollment.

2) Sitting too much can kill you.

3) "Obama’s senior staff is undergoing the restructuring that most presidential staffs undergo after a president’s second year in office, as they begin transitioning from governing to campaigning." If you click the link, you'll find a graph.

4) I'll be talking health-care reform on "Countdown With Keith Olbermann" tonight.

By Ezra Klein  | January 7, 2011; 7:30 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: When opposition to health-care reform stops being polite and starts getting scary
Next: Some thoughts on the shooting in Arizona


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Yea, it is becoming completely ridiculous to try to talk sense into the liberals.

They continue to fail to recognize reality.

The liberals are out-of-touch.

The ECONOMY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE. Instead, all we have heard for the past two months from the liberals is whining about the liberal agenda. THE LAME DUCK SESSION OF THE DEMOCRATS DID NOTHING FOR THE ECONOMY.

What a disgrace.

The democrats let down the country again - and again the liberals PROVED they dont care about the country, and dont care about the Economy - they only care about satisfying the special interests in their liberal coalition.

It is pathetic.

The lame duck session PROVED the democrats are unfit to govern.


All they cared about was the liberal agenda.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 7, 2011 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Talking sense into conservatives isn't going to work on HCR, even if it was originally *their idea* to do the regulate/subsidize/mandate thing. The partisanship is just too strong for rational thought on this issue for some reason.

The Dems really, really need a new issue to focus on for the next two years or else this is just going to keep going on forever and ever, making the GOP super unpopular and the Dems unable to do anything else. Hopefully the pres unveils an education or tax policy push @ the SOTU ...

Posted by: Chris_ | January 7, 2011 10:50 PM | Report abuse

The only health care reform that is possible will arise form the repeal of Obamacare. Klein, I suggest that you read the US Constitution (any 5th grader can read and understand it, give it a try). Find for your dear readers, where in the Constitution, the Executive Branch is empowered to control the health care industry. Show us why individual mandates are constitutional. Show us how state mandates are not a violation of the 10th amendment. After all, powers that are NOT explicitly granted to the Federal Government are reserved for the States and the Citizens. Think about it, Klein. Obamacare is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Period.

Posted by: ecartr5 | January 8, 2011 8:49 AM | Report abuse

It's really hilarious that Democrats, after spending two years implementing Obama's marxist, job-killing agenda, complain that the House should focus on creating jobs (something that Democrats never cared about until their butts were kicked out of the House last November), and not overturning unconstitutional, job-killing laws like Obamacare.

Posted by: ecartr5 | January 8, 2011 8:54 AM | Report abuse

--*what defaulting on the debt would mean for the economy*--

Perhaps the government shouldn't have insinuated itself so tightly into the economy, eh, Klein?

Posted by: msoja | January 8, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse


One of David Brooks's points about the Health Care bill being unworkable regards the low opinion of doctors in private practice as regards the health care law. Brooks cites the threat that doctors will go out of business or stop seeing patients as a potential issue for PPACA.

This argument of course falls in the same category as the Doc-fix cost argument - Doctors were and are facing this issue regardless of PPACA. With a ~20% cut looming annually, and Medicare reimbursement rates barely able to support an operating profit, much less an economic one, doctors have been avoiding primary care careers like the plague. One massive, structural issue we face in primary care access is a shortage of doctors. However, PPACA is beside the point on this one. All the pressures that discourage private practice existed before, much like the cost of the doc fix.

My father, for example, has a moderately successful practice, and is partnered with 11 other doctors who collectively own an outpatient hospital. They make most of their money providing specialized treatments - the primary care offices function as a form of loss-leader for the the business in some respects.

Nevertheless, he can't find young doctors who want to buy in to his business, and hasn't been able to for a decade, long before anyone even knew Obama's name. As his partners age and retire, it appears his business will simply close, lacking any sort of succession plan for ownership. Apparently young doctors want to work fixed hours, and earn a salary, and essentially reduce their risk and abdicate business management responsibilities. This is probably a logical division of labor and a productive way to untether capital raising requirements from doctors, but the point is that Doctors have been avoiding primary care for a long time.

I think it would be great if you can point out Brooks' inconsistency on this point - blaming PPACA for doc shortages in the future is really no different than blaming PPACA for the costs of the Doc-fix. both existed prior to PPACA.

Posted by: ethanadennison | January 8, 2011 12:25 PM | Report abuse

The Liberals have completely disregarded the Will of the American People over the past 2 years.

Seriously, the lame duck session was SHAMEFUL AND A DISGRACE.


The liberals have been OUT OF CONTROL for far too long.

The liberals TWISTED the meaning of the 2008 election as well. Just because someone votes for "bipartisanship and post-racial policies" that DOES NOT mean that the THE NATION WANTS THE THE LIBERAL AGENDA.

AND yet, the liberals - for 2 years - have INSISTED that the meaning of the mandate was something CLEARLY DIFFERENT FROM WHAT THE NATION INTENDED.

The lame duck session WAS INFLAMMATORY.


Posted by: RainForestRising | January 8, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Best blog of the week-->

Posted by: staticvars | January 10, 2011 12:13 AM | Report abuse

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