Blog Post by: Joe Miller, on April 11, 2013
Matthew Vadum doesn't really like liberals. But he does like Margaret Thatcher. And he's annoyed by all the liberals who are currently enjoying a round of Thatcher-bashing. So what to do when a liberal (gasp!) defends Thatcher?
Blog Post by: Harold Pollack, on April 9, 2013
I’ve been following my left-liberal friends’ reaction to Margaret Thatcher’s death. I take it they’re not huge fans of her historical legacy. I’m not such a big fan myself. But one aspect of her legacy deserves some notice. The Thatcher government responded rather effectively and humanely to the HIV/AIDS crisis. Embracing harm reduction measures such as syringe exchange and methadone maintenance, it saved thousands of lives. Indeed the words “harm reduction,” anathema to American drug control policy until the Obama administration, were official watchwords of British drug policy.
Blog Post by: The Century Foundation, on March 28, 2013
Last weekend “This American Life” and “Planet Money” ran a story by Chana Joffe-Walt examining the growth of the U.S. disability insurance system. Her report found that one in four residents of Hale County, Ala. get disability benefits. It was a thought-provoking and heart-wrenching report, but Century Foundation Fellow Harold Pollack says there is more to the story. Pollack, also an expert on disability policy at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration, says while the Joffee-Walt’s piece struck many good points, it oversimplified the disability insurance program. He chatted with WonkBlog’s Brad Plumer about the piece and his thoughts on America's disability insurance program. Read the full interview on Washington Post’s WonkBlog. A short excerpt can be found below:
Blog Post by: Harold Pollack, on January 4, 2013
From the perspective of expanding and implementing near-universal coverage, the best news of the year was probably the reelection of President Obama, for whom health reform serves as the domestic policy centerpiece of his administration. The second-best bit of news was the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius. Had Mitt Romney become president, or had the Supreme Court struck down the individual mandate as unconstitutional, we probably would have witnessed the downfall of the ACA only two years after its historic passage.
Blog Post by: Greg Anrig, on December 4, 2012
Read Washington Monthly's Can the States Sabotage Obamacare? by TCF's Greg Anrig below:
After surviving near-death experiences on Capitol Hill, in the Supreme Court, and during the presidential election, the Affordable Care Act is now confronted with unanticipated sabotage in conservative state capitols. The passive aggression of many Republican governors and state legislatures, who are balking at implementing key elements of the law, threatens to create severe political blowback against health care reform upon its launch in a little over a year while undermining the effectiveness of the legislation. Policy analysts always recognized that relying heavily on states to administer the act posed major challenges, but the unexpected depth and breadth of state-level resistance has created the real possibility of a fiasco come 2014.
Blog Post by: , on August 27, 2012
This past week, I reviewed polling data from 2011 showing how opposed the public was then to the conservative idea of cutting funding for the Medicare program and turning it into a fixed-amount voucher system that seniors would have to use to purchase private health insurance. I suggested the public was unlikely to be much friendlier to the idea this year.
This week we have new polling on the issue and, as expected, the public continues to support keeping Medicare as it is today. Let’s start with their general support for keeping Medicare (or Social Security) benefits as they are: By 51 percent to 33 percent in a new Pew poll, the public thinks this goal is more important than taking steps to reduce the budget deficit.
Blog Post by: Harold Pollack, on July 19, 2012
It is beyond foolish to spend $2.8 trillion on health care without examining the quality of medical services, without exploring the link between services provided and subsequent patient outcomes.
Blog Post by: Benjamin Landy, on July 8, 2012
Earlier this week, I explained how the majority of new revenue raised by the Affordable Care Act will come from the richest 5 percent of households; hardly the apocalyptic middle class tax hike Republicans have described. But end-times rhetoric (“Obama lies; freedom dies”) is more exciting than wonky explanation, as Fox News has discovered. “Democrats can fight back,” writes Mother Jones’s Kevin Drum, “but only by explaining that the mandate tax will only be paid by about 4 million people, not everyone, and then explaining that the other taxes in Obamacare mostly fall on high earners and corporations. This is, needless to say, a losing strategy. If you’re explaining, you’re losing; and if you’re explaining about taxes, you’re digging yourself a big fat grave.” In other words, good policy doesn’t always make good politics.
Blog Post by: Benjamin Landy, on July 3, 2012
Within hours of the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the GOP-Fox News messaging complex had settled on a new line of attack: rebranding President Obama's landmark health care reform as "the largest tax increase in history" and a massive burden on the middle class. This latest spin is so outrageous it hardly passes the laugh test, let alone any serious analysis. Yet Republicans appear determined to repeat this falsehood until, as tends to happen in our postmodern media, it takes on the veneer of truth. Or at least truthiness.
Blog Post by: Andrew Fieldhouse, on June 28, 2012
Following the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its lynchpin—the individual mandate—my Economic Policy Institute colleague Josh Bivens noted all the ways conservatives have tried to keep health care from being delivered efficiently, notably by blocking government from using its monopsony power and economies of scale wisely. This, of course, is difficult to square with conservatives’ professed concerns about public debt, because rapidly rising health costs are, by far, the single biggest impediment to stabilizing long-run public debt (if the economy operates at full potential over this long-run). Political opportunism aside, reasonable policy should unequivocally aim to lower health care cost-growth; so here’s some evidence worth revisiting on the comparative efficiency of public versus private provision of health care.
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