Pundit Wire

Author Archives: Jim Jaffe

Camp Tax Reform Strategy. Just Do It

camp There was a fairly recent time when the word most associated with the chairmanship of a major committee in the House of Representatives was powerful.  Retiring Representatives Dingell and Waxman enjoyed the aura that came with the gavel.

That was then.  Confirmation of how things have changed came this week when the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee unveil a tax reform plan that everyone agrees is both credible and going nowhere.

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Lobbying’s Hidden Persuaders

lobby There are two interesting additions to the annals of political influence which focus on quiet issue lobbying.

The quiet lobbying game works best when no one looks carefully at the sausage-making machinery. It offers a stark contrast to the money game where contributors present themselves as 800-lb gorillas who are willing to spend as much as it takes to make things happen their way.

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The Bang Of Your Medical Buck

doctor Is it wise policy to encourage Americans who already spend more than $8 billion annually on these tests to get more? And why does Obamacare, which generally favors evidence-based medicine, mandate this service despite new research suggesting mammograms don’t save lives.

Despite our discomfort with a public debate, our healthcare system is constantly asked what treatments are worth paying for.

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Obamacare: It’s Working

new york The relentless flow of good news about Obamacare may explain why a growing number of elected Republicans are walking away from the issue.  Two new bits of insurance news suggest progress that backers of reform find quite encouraging…

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Christie Comes Out A Winner?

christie wiki The echo chamber created by Washington’s beltway wonders how seriously New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s presidential plans have been harmed by revelations that his henchmen took revenge on Democrats by causing traffic jams on the George Washington Bridge. It is far too early to tell, but based on current information it is fairly easy to shift perspective and see how this could accelerate rather than impede his political career.

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Obamacare: A Guide for the Perplexed

healthcare Any serious effort to Obamacare must begin with a basic question:  compared to what? Once the early administrative glitches are resolved, the basic goal is to provide Americans with an improved relationship with the nation’s healthcare system. 

And there are many ways to do so.

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Back To The Center

bell curve The center is holding.  Despite the enormous stresses of responding to a deep, painful recession while awkwardly implementing a long-sought national health insurance program, America’s politics are moving back toward the middle, fueling frustrated responses from fringe elements who see opportunities for fundamental change evaporating.

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Tea Party Waives Regular Order

members The good old days in Congress are probably gone forever and that is just as well because they were never really as good as nostalgia suggests. Should the newcomers seek his counsel, Rep. Gutierrez might tell them to be careful what they wish for.

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