Obama

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Ezra Klein makes his call TKTK: I think health reform is going to go the way of stimulus. The stimulus was a huge and important accomplishment. If you had told liberals in 2007 that they were going to pass an $800 billion dollar spending bill that made good on decades of promises about infrastructure rebuilding…

I can’t claim to be ‘objective’ or neutral on health-care reform — but who can? Everybody needs health care, some more than others. I need it less than most, as my family and I are, knock on wood, generally blessed with good health. Even so, we laid out $18K last year for health care, still…

A key component of health-care reform — and saving our ass from going bankrupt and sick from spending too much on lousy treatments — is establishing comparative effectiveness measures, otherwise known as “actually knowing WTF works and what doesn’t.” This idea terrifies companies who don’t want such objective measures. It also generates a lot of…

Having lived with fire ants, stepped in fire ants, laid down with fire ants, and been bit just about everywhere by fire ants, the news that parasitic flies turn fire ants them into zombies by eating their brains pleases me immensely. Speaking of pleasure: Vaughn whacks the dopamine = pleasure meme. Sharon Begley says Obama…

Ezra Klein thinks the stars — and the forces — are so far lining up much more promisingly than in 1994: The opponents of health reform are, at this juncture, entirely isolated. Industry is adopting an attitude of relentless positivity. Republicans are grudgingly attempting to appear cooperative. The only straight opposition is coming, as Maddow…

Obama gave a major education speech at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce yesterday. The money quote: For decades, Washington has been trapped in the same stale debates that have paralyzed progress and perpetuated our educational decline. … It’s more money versus more reform, vouchers versus the status quo. There has been partisanship and petty…

Ezra Klein reviews Obama’s handling of yesterday’s health summit — a piece well worth reading for a taste of how sharply focused and serious Obama is about truly comprehensive health-care reform. Karen Tumlty, a health-care expert, describes in Time her own family’s grueling wrestling match with the health-insurance industry. A timely story — no pun…

I noted earlier that Harold Varmus, Obama’s key science advisor, was on the Daily Show, but after viewing again the clip of his short appearance I thought it should get its own little show here. Varmus is everything you’d want as a public face to science — immensely accomplished but amiable and everyday as could…

Over at Healthcare ZDNet, a site new to me, Dana Blankenhorn says The Obama strategy for achieving health reform is now clear. Get the money first. This changes the terms of the debate, from what will it cost to how do we do things more efficiently? He’s got a point, but it seems to me…

My brother, who started his medical career as a pulmonary tech at a naval hospital and is now the medical director for the National Disaster Medical System — a system that draws heavily on medical personnel normally employed outside government — sent me this account of his Inauguration Day, which he spent overseeing the NDMS…