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

Reproductive Health in the Baucus Plan.

After health reform, who will decide what medical services insurance companies must cover? The House and Senate HELP committee bills empower an independent council of medical experts to make coverage recommendations to the Health and Human Services secretary. This is the group that would make controversial decisions about whether abortion, infertility treatments, or certain experimental procedures should be covered in basic health plans. The White House plan released yesterday stays silent on the question of who decides coverage specifics -- and that is likely because there is now an alternative in town. Sen. Max Baucus ' Finance Committee plan articulates broad areas of coverage that must be included, such as preventive care, primary care, hospital stays, and maternity care. But Baucus would allow insurance companies themselves to define what services each of those areas include, without government interference. Insiders say Baucus left the independent council out of his plan because...

About Immigrants and Health Reform.

The GOP got feisty tonight when President Obama said his health reform plan does not cover undocumented immigrants. South Carolina Republican Joe Wilson even called out " You lie !" from the gallery. So this is a good time to revisit some reporting I did on this issue last month: ...because President Obama has said comprehensive immigration reform -- including a path to legalization -- is on his agenda for later this year, anti-immigrant legislators are agitating about the eventual inclusion of today's illegals in tomorrow's health care system. They'd like to "contain costs" by writing a provision into health reform barring future legalized residents, at least for a period of time, from accessing government subsidized health care, as all current legal residents would be able to do. They'd also like language in the bill requiring government agencies to verify legal residency before enrolling people in the public plan or providing them with subsidies to purchase private insurance...

First Look at the Obama Plan.

President Obama is giving his speech on health reform right now. And the White House has just posted -- for the first time -- a detailed health reform plan . The highlights: Includes a public option that must be funded by its own premiums Includes an employer mandate for larger businesses Individual mandate with hardship waivers Beginning next year, offers more affordable options for patients with pre-existing conditions. For the rest of the market, most new insurance options won't be available until 2013. Reaches across the aisle through a commitment to malpractice reform Decreases drug costs by 50 percent for seniors in the Medicare "donut hall" The president is saying in his speech that progressives should remember that the public option is just a "means to an end" -- not a fix-all -- and that they should "remain open" to other ideas, such as co-operatives. So this plan should really be understood just as a jumping-off point for negotiations with Congress. It also doesn't mention...

Tweeting the Speech.

Follow me ! Our own Tim Fernholz is at Congress tonight and will have reactions and commentary later. -- Dana Goldstein

Health Reform Better for Poor than Middle Class. How Did We Get Here?

Matt Yglesias notes the Wall Street Journal is reporting that in his big speech to Congress tonight, President Obama will reaffirm his commitment to a public option -- a dinky public option . This awesome chart from Nick Beaudrot shows exactly how dinky it is; the pink boxes represent the public option. But it also demonstrates something else about health reform that you won't hear any Democrat say: It does more to help the destitute poor than the working or middle class. Even Max Baucus ' compromise plan , which contains no new public insurance option, expands Medicaid to all Americans below 133 percent of poverty. Currently, Medicaid is open only to pregnant women, children, single mothers, and the disabled. After reform, healthy, single adults will be eligible. That's a major progressive victory, and it's possible because insurance companies aren't interested in this segment of the population, which can't afford to enter the private market. Government can choose to expand here...

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