The potentially fatal flaw in America's health-care reform is the same feature that appeals most to its supporters: the ability of those with a serious preexisting health condition to buy affordable insurance. That feature will encourage healthy people to become or remain uninsured until they have a costly medical diagnosis.
CAMBRIDGE – Obamacare, officially known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is the health-insurance program enacted by US President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats over the unanimous opposition of congressional Republicans. It was designed to cover those Americans without private or public health insurance – about 15% of the US population.
Opponents of Obamacare have failed to stop it in the courts and, more recently, in Congress. The program was therefore formally launched on October 1. Although it has been hampered by a wide range of computer problems and other technical difficulties, the program is likely to be operating by sometime in 2014.
The big question is whether it will function as intended and survive permanently. There is a serious risk that it will not.
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China’s success in the next five years will depend largely on how well the government manages the tensions underlying its complex agenda. In particular, China’s leaders will need to balance a muscular Communist Party, setting standards and protecting the public interest, with an empowered market, driving the economy into the future.
The preference of some countries to isolate themselves within their borders is anachronistic and self-defeating, but it would be a serious mistake for others, fearing contagion, to respond by imposing strict isolation. Even in states that have succumbed to reductionist discourses, much of the population has not.
When the Bretton Woods Agreement was hashed out in 1944, it was agreed that countries with current-account deficits should be able to limit temporarily purchases of goods from countries running surpluses. In the ensuing 73 years, the so-called "scarce-currency clause" has been largely forgotten; but it may be time to bring it back.
Republican leaders have a choice: they can either continue to collaborate with President Donald Trump, thereby courting disaster, or they can renounce him, finally putting their country’s democracy ahead of loyalty to their party tribe. They are hardly the first politicians to face such a decision.
As the global economic recovery strengthens, and central banks move to raise interest rates, they need to improve their communication with the general public. To do that, they should follow the trail blazed by Donald Trump.
With talks on the UK's withdrawal from the EU stalled, negotiators should shift to the temporary “transition” Prime Minister Theresa May officially requested last month. Above all, the negotiators should focus immediately on the British budget contributions that will be required to make an orderly transition possible.
In recent decades, as President Vladimir Putin has entrenched his authority, Russia has seemed to be moving backward socially and economically. But while the Kremlin knows that it must reverse this trajectory, genuine reform would be incompatible with the kleptocratic character of Putin’s regime.
As a part of their efforts to roll back the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, congressional Republicans have approved a measure that would have courts, rather than regulators, oversee megabank bankruptcies. It is now up to the Trump administration to decide if it wants to set the stage for a repeat of the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008.