Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"A Mission Not Yet Accomplished"

David Leonhardt, economics reporter at the New York Times, reflects on the implications of weak recovery, market "optimism" and Congressional deficit-mania conspiring to slow growth of new jobs - and makes two modest, pragmatic suggestions that would be "no-brainers" in a saner political environment not rife with demagogues, ideologues and a GOP leadership whose admitted top priority is weakening the President for 2012:
"Work wanted!"
It’s obviously been a good week for the Obama administration. But it comes at a dangerous time, for both the administration and the economy. The excitement over tracking down Osama bin Laden could end up making the president and his advisers less panicked over the state of the economy. And they should be a little panicked.

For the second straight year, the recovery seems to be at risk of stalling. The economy grew at an annual rate of only 1.8 percent last quarter — eerily similar to the 1.7 percent growth last spring, just when job growth started slowing down...

Dr. Atul Gawande: IPAB Is Needed To Establish "Rules Of The Road" To Move Towards Better System

Think Progress' "Wonk Room":
On Friday, during an event at the Center for American Progress, Dr. Atul Gawande defended the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) — a 15 member commission formed by the Affordable Care Act that is tasked with controlling health care costs. The board has come under Republican criticism for “rationing” health care to seniors since President Obama announced his intention to expand its functions as a means of lowering health care spending. During his town halls in Wisconsin for instance, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) repeatedly characterized the board as a “rationing” body that would restrict coverage and benefits to current seniors.
But Gawande — a doctor and prize-winning author — argued that while competition is important to reducing health spending, the government should establish a body to ensure that “what we are driving towards are better quality and lower costs“: