Rather than debate over whether Kristof wants to engage in a blame-game against professors or if he simply misses the material conditions of social change to which all of us -- professors included -- are subject, I'd like to take on some of his premises that did strike me as blatantly wrong-headed.
Even if Obamacare does help a lot of people, my question is: at what political cost and at what long-term cost to effective social insurance? Both the conception and the roll out of The Affordable Care Act will set back the effort of liberal Democrats to persuade regular people that government can be a force for the broad public good (Social Security has no such problems). The ACA is the social-policy equivalent of the Pentagon's apocryphal $800 hammer. Even with a great deal of catch-up and good luck, it will take a miracle for Obamacare not to be a net loser for Democrats in the 2014 mid-term elections.
We want a public option. We need a public option. And that public option already exists -- we just need to open it up, to all Americans.
Big Pharma has a new tool to make turbo-charged profits and insulate itself from efforts to rein in skyrocketing health costs.
Ladies and gentlemen, one cannot provide true reform, change we can believe in, or dramatically improved health care with bills that are insurance industry productions, passed with political payoffs, compromising our highest ideals.
The more complex a system is, the more it is at risk of failing in complex ways that were not anticipated by its architects. It would be hard to imagine a more complicated way of expanding health coverage than the Affordable Care Act.I say that, appreciating that Obamacare will eventually bring health coverage to tens of millions of uninsured people, that it will end the cruelty of denials of coverage based on "pre-existing conditions" (we all have the pre-existing condition of mortality); that it will allow young adults to stay on their parents' insurance to age 26; and that it will require free preventive care under all insurance plans. But there was a much simpler way of achieving this.
When the great actor Matt Damon recently said that President Obama "broke up with me," he hit the jackpot of telling political truth in the eyes of many progressive Democrats and independents.
Let's put the public search for affection back in its place -- i.e. in public space. There are great people all around you. You just have to reach out to them and connect. You bring yourself out in public. I'll provide the hotspot. And the chutzpah.
Arguments against reasonable, limited gun control are not based on empirical positions but on subjective gut-feelings. The reasons offered to oppose gun control are emotional responses meant to divert the argument from the evidence.
While there are reported concerns over government-approved, multi-state plans, the benefits certainly appear to outweigh them.
Here, people lose their houses and their property when they get sick, if their coverage is insufficient or non-existent. Here, too many people think that their neighbor should not have the right to see a doctor unless he pays for it. "Why should I cover that guy's bills? He can go to the emergency room!"
The week of July 16 will be crunch time for America's favorite marine theme park, as SeaWorld braces for the next grueling phase in the aftermath of orca trainer Dawn Brancheau's death, two and a half years ago in Orlando.
The Supreme Court's decision upholding the constitutionality of the Obama administration's health care law is a huge victory for the president. The Democrats will now drive home the major positive changes associated with the new health law.
Let me humbly suggest that as an alternative to a mandatory system rejected by the majority, we return to the idea of covering most people by attracting them to quality public and private programs through consumer choice. It's called Medicare and it works splendidly.
In striking down the least popular part of Obamacare -- the individual mandate -- the Court will inevitably bring into question one of its most popular parts -- coverage of preexisting conditions. And in so doing, open alternative ways to maintain that coverage.
Sadly for America, there is far too much money, and far too little sunlight, in a government that most voters believe, correctly, is corrupted by money that buys democracy in the dark.