Happy Hour Roundup

October 25, 2013
Specialists help callers and potential customers find health insurance at a customer contact and call center for HealthSource RI, Rhode Island's health insurance exchange.  (Brian Snyder/Reuters)
Specialists help callers and potential customers find health insurance at a customer contact and call center for HealthSource RI, Rhode Island’s health insurance exchange. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)

1. Sarah Kliff’s report on the big news out of today’s Health and Human Services briefing.

2. A classic from Jonathan Chait: either White House officials know what they’re doing, or they’re deluding themselves … or they’re expecting a December 1 meteor strike.

3. As Ezra Klein points out, at least two major questions about fixing Healthcare.gov were answered today.

4. Conor Friedersdorf makes a good point about irresponsible conservatives and the temptation for liberals to respond by getting lazy.

5. He should note, however, that Healthcare.gov doesn’t put personal medical information at risk because it doesn’t actually have any of it, other than whether applicants smoke or not — as Brian Beutler points out in a smart post.

6. Also: Philip Klein points out the reasons why simply extending open enrollment is not a cost-free way out of the Web site mess. Basically, as Klein pointed out earlier in the week, there is no pain-free solution if things aren’t really fixed on the administration’s new timetable; on the other hand, that still doesn’t mean that the whole thing would collapse.

7. While Abby Rapoport has the news from Ohio, where Republican John Kasich managed to expand Medicaid despite a legislature that didn’t want it.

8. And Steve Benen notes that Republicans may already be realizing that when (and if) Healthcare.gov starts working properly, they don’t exactly have a response, much less a policy.

9. Timely reminder from Kathy Ruffing: “Social Security lifted 22 million people out of poverty in 2012…. This includes not just 15 million elderly Americans but also many younger people, including 1 million children who either received their own benefits as dependents of retired, disabled, or deceased workers or lived with relatives who received Social Security.”

10. Good question from Kevin Drum: Is the jig finally up for Mickey Mouse?

11. Ted Cruz has a lot less of an excuse than the rest of us do for not realizing how and when the government is subsidizing him. John Sides sets him straight.

12. Just how good a Majority Leader has Harry Reid been? Scott Lemieux makes the case that he’s been very good indeed. I agree — although I’m in the minority, since I think both parties in both chambers have very solid leaders right now.

13. “Here’s What Would Happen if the US Listened to Sheldon Adelson and Bombed the Iranian Desert.” Molly Redden explores the truly nutty idea from a man who, remember, gives tens of millions of dollars to Republican candidates. Any chance those candidates will be confronted about this one in the next cycle?

14. Ed Kilgore takes us through the recent arguments over coal and regulation. Very helpful.

15. And if you’ve ever wondered about state-specific holidays, Reid Wilson has it covered. Excellent!

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Ryan Cooper | October 25, 2013