J. Goodrich

J. Goodrich is a recovering economist and the sole proprietor of the political blog Echidne of the Snakes. She also blogs for TAPPED.

Recent Articles

IT'S NOT A CHOICE. IT'S A CHILD.

This is the message on an anti-abortion bumper sticker. I was reminded of it when reading what the National Review Online has to say about the family of Bethany Wilkerson , a two-year old who has received treatment under the SCHIP and whose story is used as an ad for expanding the program by TrueMajorityAction. Those who have followed the Graeme Frost debate probably know what the main conservative argument here is: What the Frosts and Wilkersons have experienced is mostly the fault of their own bad decisions, and those of us who don't make bad decisions shouldn't have to pay taxes that cover those who do. Mark Hemingway 's NRO article takes the bumper sticker message in my post's title and turns it upside down : While USAction and a labyrinthine maze of leftist activist groups prepare to rally around images of Tampa Bay's Most Photogenic Baby holding up a crayon sign that says "Don't Veto Me," Dara and Brian Wilkerson are real poster children — for irresponsible decisions. On the...

HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM, REPUBLICAN STYLE.

Politico reports that the Republican party soon will unveil its own universal health insurance proposal to compete with the ones the Democratic candidates have presented. This is exciting. All we know so far is this : "Republicans are working on a plan that will provide access to all Americans to high quality health insurance, make sure that we increase the quality of insurance that we have in American, and we want to foster a sprit of innovation," said [John] Boehner on "Fox News Sunday." "This is a plan we'll see over the next coming months where we put the patients in charge of their health care." The "spirit" of innovation might be the secret ingredient which makes this plan different from all the others the conservatives have offered over the last decades, largely consisting of less and less insurance and more and more out-of-pocket costs for the patients as a way of putting the consumers "in charge" of their health care. Medical savings accounts, another popular conservative...

RINSE, PLEASE.

A New York Times article tells of the rise of untreated cavities due to lack of access to dentists. Anyone who has followed the debate about what the correct number of physicians in a medical market should be will find this discussion familiar. On the one hand, there is an obvious lack of services for some communities, especially the poor, but not only the poor. On the other hand, the professional organization representing the supply side (here the American Dental Association ) fights tooth and nail against any attempts to increase the number of providers to bring down the price and to increase the availability of the services. These professional organizations also oppose the use of paramedics or the equivalent dental profession: dental therapists, in the performance of some limited services. Dental therapists, for example, are used to drill and fill teeth in some countries. But the American Dental Association doesn't like them : "What we're extremely uncomfortable with is that they...

AN IRAQI HELL WITHOUT HOPE.

That is how Roger Cohen described the situation in Iraq under Saddam Hussein , to contrast it with the current situation which, according to Cohen, is an "Iraqi hell with hope." Ok, if Cohen wants to discuss the state of Iraq, let's talk about the situation for women. As far as I can tell the usual discussion of Iraqi women goes something like this: Of course the educated and professional women in Iraq are worse off than they used to be under Saddam, what with the fundamentalists gaining power and noticing all those unveiled and employed and car-driving women who need to be controlled, and of course women are now in danger of being kidnapped or raped if they go out alone, but the majority of Iraqi women never had many rights to begin with, and they're not really clamoring for them, so why should we? Besides, there are more important problems in that country than women's rights. Sadly, this way of telling the tale clashes with the human rights argument. Unless one is willing to assume...

THE MEMORY HOLE.

Fred Barnes appears to have an Orwellian Memory Hole in his office wall. How else to explain his recent statement criticizing Barack Obama as not being strong on national security because he was opposed to the Iraq war in 2002, when, according to Barnes, "the entire world believed that Saddam Hussein in Iraq had weapons of mass destruction"? Yes, I know that Barnes is propping up the myth of Democrats being weak on national defense here, but I still find it astonishing to see an attempt at rewriting history so very soon after the actual events. No, the entire world did not believe that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, and even many of those who did think he might have some didn't find that a sufficient reason for attacking Iraq, especially at a time when the United States had its hands full in Afghanistan. Remember that other war? I guess it has disappeared down the conservative Memory Hole, too. Paul Krugman , among others, points out that debates in the media still...

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