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Why Obama lost the first debate

George Lakoff, professor emeritus of linguistics | October 5, 2012

You don’t win a presidential debate by being a policy wonk. Obama violated all the basics of presidential debating.  The best defense is a good offense. You have to set the terms of the debate and press those terms. Obama failed. Here are those basics: State your moral values. Contrast them with your opponent’s. Project … Continue reading »

Protected class

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | May 6, 2011

For all the fierce debate in Washington about cutting government spending, it is striking how the interests of one class — the elderly — are protected by politicians on both sides. The Democrats roundly attack the GOP for proposing radical changes in Medicare and Medicaid that would, they charge, undermine the security and health of … Continue reading »

Health Reform and Jobs

Ken Jacobs, chair, UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education | November 16, 2009

Over the last few months, we have heard any number of outrageous claims about the potential impacts of the proposed health care bills (death panels, end to private insurance, etc.). Still, the claim made by Republicans during debate in the house—that the bill would result in a loss of 5.5 million jobs—stands out. They even … Continue reading »

Is the public option essential for meaningful health reform?

Helen Halpin, professor of health policy | October 12, 2009

The four goals of offering the public option as part of health care reform are 1) to reduce administrative costs, 2) to create purchasing power, 3) to force private health insurance to compete with it, and 4) to give the American people a choice of a public or private health plans. The big questions are: who will be eligible? how big will the premium subsidies be? and will it be a national public option with all states participating? If a national public option is offered through a Federal Health Insurance Exchange, it has the potential to transform the US health care system to one that is more efficient, affordable, accessible, equitable and offers meaningful choices to high quality care for the American people.