Dana Goldstein

Dana Goldstein, a former associate editor and writer at the Prospect and The Daily Beast, is a Spencer Fellow in education reporting at Columbia University. Her work on politics, women’s issues, and education has appeared in BusinessWeek, Slate, The New Republic, and The Nation.

Recent Articles

The Baucus Health Plan, on Abortion and Immigration.

Max Baucus released his Senate Finance Committee health reform plan today, and there are no huge surprises. As Ezra writes , low subsidies and high premiums mean health care costs will continue to cause personal bankruptcy for many unlucky Americans. The better news is that Baucus expands the health insurance exchanges to large employers; in the House bill, only small companies can participate in the exchanges. And of course, the expansion of Medicaid to childless adults is a major progressive victory. Abortion and immigration are two issues that divided the bipartisan Gang of Six until the bitter end, so I took a close look at where Baucus came down. On abortion, his mark-up is clear: The basic health care package he envisions does not cover most abortions: Federal funds continue to be prohibited from being used to pay for abortions unless the pregnancy is due to rape, incest, or if the life of the mother is in danger. Private insurance companies can choose to offer plans that...

How Will Young Adults Afford Insurance?

There's been some grumbling that young people haven't mobilized for health reform as strongly as they did for Obama during election season. Katha Pollitt expressed the sentiment in a column last month: We need you to stand on street corners handing out fliers that explain what healthcare reform is really all about and how people can make sure it doesn't get swallowed whole by the drug and insurance companies. Surely you're not too young and strong and healthy and vegan to care about boring parent stuff like health insurance? This is unfair for a few reasons. First of all, progressives of all ages have been outmaneuvered during this debate. As Robert Reich wrote here at TAPPED, even middle-age lefties haven't been able to get their act together in terms of organizing a health reform march on the Washington Mall. And while there are some great benefits for young adults in the various health reform proposals -- primarily the right to stay on a parent's health plan until age 26, and an...

Paulites, Progressives, Health Reform...and the U.S. Constitution.

The United States Constitution has taken on major significance in the health reform debate, with grassroots "teabaggers" calling universal health care -- and indeed, much social spending -- unconstitutional. In a piece for the Daily Beast , I reported on how this Constitutional originalism is borrowed from the Ron Paul campaign. (Ironically, many Paulites and teabaggers, while complaining that the Constitution doesn't explicitly provide for a universal health care system, would like to amend it to ban abortion. They can't seem to decide if the document ought to be interpreted strictly or loosely.) Considering the current foment around Constitutional interpretation, it was poignant to see the House of Representatives pass yesterday, on a voice vote, a bipartisan resolution recommending that every high school in America devote one week each fall to teaching seniors about the Constitution. Resolutions, of course, are non-binding and mostly symbolic. And who doesn't support exposing...

More on Domestic Violence and Health Reform.

Regarding my earlier post , it's important to point out that insurance company discrimination against domestic violence victims applies regardless of whether the woman is still married to or living with the abuser. In other words, women who have successfully left an abusive relationship and turned their lives around continue to be punished for a crime that was committed against them . A 1994 Judiciary Committee report found that eight of 16 large insurers considered past domestic violence-related medical claims when choosing whether to insure a customer and what premium to charge her. A 2000 Health and Human Services report on rural domestic violence features this particularly horrific story: ...a woman from rural Minnesota was beaten severely by her ex-husband. After remarrying, she applied for health insurance and was told that should would not be covered for treatment relating to the abuse-related pre-existing conditions of depression and neck injury. Insurance discrimination...

Morning Must-Read: Domestic Violence (Still) a Pre-Existing Condition.

The White House and allies are trying to build support for health reform by emphasizing exactly how horrific insurance company discrimination against "pre-existing conditions" can be. One example: In Washington, D.C. and eight states, domestic violence is considered a pre-existing condition. And as Ryan Grim reports at the Huffington Post , one of the Republicans in the influential Gang of Six, Mike Enzi , has a history of support for insurance companies' discrimination against domestic violence victims: Under the cold logic of the insurance industry, it makes perfect sense: If you are in a marriage with someone who has beaten you in the past, you're more likely to get beaten again than the average person and are therefore more expensive to insure. In human terms, it's a second punishment for a victim of domestic violence. In 2006, Democrats tried to end the practice. An amendment introduced by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), now a member of leadership, split the Health Education Labor...

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