The American Prospect

A monthly political journal of liberal though. Contains articles that generate debate, further ideas, and set agendas; and provides a forum for working through the controversies and hard choices facing all Americans. Includes regular topics and features.

Articles from Vol. 21, No. 7, September

A 20-Year Odyssey
In the two decades since Paul Starr, Robert Reich, and I founded The American Prospect, there have been surprising gains and losses to the liberal project. After the ascendancy of Reaganism, our purpose was to articulate a muscular liberalism, defined...
All Politics Is Identity Politics
Are there two political forces more vilified than interest groups and identity polities? No matter what your ideology or political party, if you want to prove that you are truly committed to the betterment of our nation, you are almost required to...
A Public Plan for Connecticut?
Connecticut could become the first state to offer its own public-plan option, even before most of national health reform unfolds. After several years of debate about expanding coverage, a couple of gubernatorial vetoes, and assorted false starts,...
Can Reform Spell Relief? A Long Search for a National "Pain Care" Policy Yields a Modest Step in Public Health
Hundreds of pages into the Affordable Care Act lies Section 4305, "Advancing research and treatment for pain care management." Amid the partisan waves lashing at "Obamacare," this provision for pain care stands out as a tiny bipartisan island. But...
Forget Populism: "The People" Are No More Virtuous or Incorruptible Than Elites, and Pandering to Them Won't Advance Liberal Political Goals
You've heard the strategy before: Speak for the people. Decry powerful special interests and elites (if that includes financial institutions, bless your stars for aligning). Show indignant anger that the times demand. Mobilize frustration. In short,...
Getting Insurers to Behave: Job No. 1: Write New Rules for Health Insurers and Make Sure They Follow Them
Now that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is law, the Obama administration has to translate the law's requirements into specific rules, particularly for the health-insurance industry. The act requires insurers to do a lot of things they...
Globalizing Reform: America's Top Financial Diplomat Works to Save the World from Our Mistakes
In October 2009, a newly installed government in Greece revealed that the nation, aided by Wall Street banks, had concealed the magnitude of its deficits for years. It became clear--at least to policy-makers in the United States who pride themselves...
Health Reform 2.0: If Reform Is to Succeed, Progressives Will Have to Fight for a Stronger Government Role, Including a Public Option
Health reform is law. Now comes the hard part. Sen. Tom Harkin put the point well when he described the health bill as a "starter home." What Harkin neglected to mention is that the home isn't built yet, and the construction zone is in the path...
Many Paths to Victory: While Republicans Try to Make All Races National in the 2010 Election, Democrats Have as Many Strategies as They Do Candidates. Will Any of These Approaches Work in a Tough Year for Incumbents?
FLORIDA: Yes We (Still) Can "A three-way race in a midterm election, 750,000 additional Democratic voters in the state of Florida, [and] I'm the only candidate of the four major candidates [who] hasn't run as a Republican in the past," Kendrick...
National Reform Meets Politics in the States: States Are Beginning to Carry out the Law in Different Ways-Or Not at All
The battle for the passage of health reform may have been won, but the battle over putting it into practice is just beginning. That conflict will unfold not only in Congress, on K Street, and in the courts but also in the states, which are charged...
Organic Debate
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] A blogger at FAIR FOOD FIGHT calls HEATHER ROGERS' July/ August cover story ("Slowed Food Revolution")"a resounding warning shot" for its exposure of the administration's hostility toward the organic-food movement: "I've been...
Prospects: Past and Future: America's 20-Year Tug-of-War
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] It's months before the November elections, and Republicans have practically broken out the champagne to celebrate their coming victories, while many liberals are chalking up prospective losses to the failure of the president...
Reading Progressive History, through the Prospect
For most of the 20-year history of The American Prospect, I have been not a writer but a reader of the magazine. When the first issue was published in 1990, I was probably exactly the sort of reader the founders had in mind. In fact, having just been...
Reform's Mixed Impact on Immigrants: The New Law's Implications Seem Clear, but the Indirect Effects Could Be Critical
At first glance, the Affordable Care Act's implications for immigrants seem obvious. The legislation benefits legal immigrants and leaves out the undocumented. As of 2014, it provides legal immigrants with subsidies to purchase insurance, requiring...
The Cost of Delayed Reform: The Temporary Federal High-Risk Pools Won't Reach Most of the Medically Uninsured
Several million Americans without insurance face the challenges of cancer, heart failure, or other serious illnesses. As of 2014, they'll receive coverage through a new and inclusive system of health-insurance exchanges, affordability credits, and...
The Enduring Relevance of Affirmative Action
One of the most notable accomplishments of liberalism over the past 20 years is something that didn't happen: the demise of affirmative action. Contrary to all predictions, affirmative action has survived. This is a triumph not only for race relations...
The Middle Man: Lessons from Life in Washington's Ideological Gray Zone
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] As a journalist, I've worked for both the George Soros--funded Washington Independent and the libertarian Reason magazine. I've mostly covered Republicans and conservatives, but I've also paid plenty of attention to liberals...
The Next Health-Reform Campaign: The Supporters of Reform Knew They Had to Battle to Get It Passed. Now They Need to Wage Another Campaign to Implement It
Carrying out health-care reform presents challenges far beyond those of ordinary legislation or even such landmarks as Social Security and Medicare. After a law establishes a new program, the next steps are usually a bureaucratic process of policy...
The Opportunities of CLASS: A New Insurance Program for Long-Term Care Holds Great Possibilities-And Challenges
Establishing national responsibility for affordable health insurance was a monumental and much debated achievement. But deep within the health-reform legislation it passed last March, Congress also did something else extraordinary with hardly any fanfare:...
The Preventive Turn in Health-Care Reform
When health insurance developed in the United States in the 1930s, it covered hospital and later major medical bills, not preventive services. Insurance also had nothing to do with public health. And when Medicare was enacted in 1965, it too made no...
The Real Liberal Elite
The wealthy have long occupied an awkward place in liberal politics. Since the election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a movement that purports to speak for the common person has occasionally relied on fabulously rich candidates and backers. Yet something...
The Right Way to Please the Base
A video that made the rounds last summer summed up the problem nicely. Mike Stark of The Huffington Post hoisted a camera on his shoulder, hung out on the streets near the House office buildings in Washington, and asked passing Republican House members:...
Turning States from Adversaries into Partners: The States Came out as Winners in the Affordable Care Act, Though Some Don't Seem to Realize It
"Every word in a bill is subject for an argument in court," Justice Stephen Breyer recently observed, suggesting that the 2,400-page Affordable Care Act could keep the courts busy for a very long time. Constitutional challenges to the law are now under...
Unleashing Restraint: Health Reform Won't Stop Costs from Rising in the Short Term, but It Lays the Groundwork for Long-Run Control of Spending
Somewhere along its tortuous path to enactment, healthcare reform turned into health-insurance reform. Providing coverage to 34 million Americans and eliminating the unsavory practices of the insurance industry are major achievements. To pass the Affordable...
What Will Happen in Congress If the GOP Pulls off a Landslide Victory in November?
ADAM SERWER: So how's Obama going to get anything done once Republicans win in November and begin assembling articles of impeachment? JAMELLE BOULE: Well, initially, I figure Obama can accomplish some of his goals by making recess appointments and...
Whoa, Mama
"There is a bear in the woods," goes the voice-over on a classic 1984 campaign ad of Ronald Reagan's. "Some people say the bear is tame. Others say it's vicious and dangerous. Since no one can really be sure who's right, isn't it smart to be as strong...
Who Owns Freedom?
Shortly after Elena Kagan was nominated to the Supreme Court in May, a front-page headline in The New York Times reported that she "Leaned Toward Conservatives" on a key issue. The issue was the First Amendment, and based on a major law review article...
Will the Republicans Blow It? Tacking Right Doesn't Always Guarantee Victory on Election Day
The past two election cycles have not been kind to the Republican Party. Since 2006, the GOP has lost 14 seats in the U.S. Senate and 54 seats in the House of Representatives. So naturally Republicans have been looking forward to the 2010 midterm elections....
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