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Blog Profile / Kevin Drum

Filed Under:Politics / US Politics
Posts on Regator:6284
Posts / Week:34.1
Archived Since:February 16, 2011

Blog Post Archive

Take Two: Just How Good Are Generic Meds Anyway?

A few days ago I wrote a post about generic painkillers and the fact that doctors themselves—who should know better—often don't use them. "If physicians aren't really sold on generics in their own personal lives," I asked, "does this mean they're not really sold on them in their professional lives too?" Well, perhaps I got it backwards. Show More Summary

Medicare Actuaries Are Big Fans of Obamacare's Cost Reduction Programs

As long as we're perusing the 2014 Medicare Trustees Report, here's another interesting chart. It shows just how much the Medicare actuaries expect to save thanks to all the cost-reduction measures included in Obamacare. It's a pretty speculative forecast, of course, but their estimate is that Obamacare will reduce federal spending a lot. Show More Summary

Chart of the Day: The Great Medicare Spending Mystery

Here it is: the biggest question mark in the entire federal budget. The 2014 Medicare Trustees Report is out today, and it shows, rather remarkably, that the cost per person of Medicare in 2013 was absolutely flat compared to 2012. Even more remarkably, they expect the combined increase over the next two years to be zero as well. Show More Summary

House Republicans Pass Bill to Lower Taxes on the Rich and Raise Taxes on the Poor

So what are Republicans in the House of Representatives up to these days? According to Danny Vinik, they just passed a bill that would reduce taxes on the rich and raise them on the poor. I know, I know: you're shocked. But in a way,...Show More Summary

Why on Earth Are Argentine Bonds So Hot Right Now?

What's the hottest ticket in the global bond market right now? That's right: Argentine bonds. They're on a tear. But why? Didn't Argentina just lose—once and for all—its case against vulture funds who own old Argentine bonds and areShow More Summary

Congress Might Actually Pass a Bill to Address VA Problems

Since I've been griping for a long time about Congress being unable to pass so much as a Mother's Day resolution these days, it's only fair to highlight the possibility of actual progress on something: House and Senate negotiators have...Show More Summary

Friday Cat Blogging - 25 July 2014

Say hello to Mozart, the latest addition to the Drum family menagerie. One of my mother's neighbors found him wandering around, so naturally he ended up at my mother's house. He's a very sociable cat and appears to be very pleased with his choice of home. Show More Summary

Doctors Aren't Really Very Smart About Buying Generics

Sarah Kliff takes a look today at our use of generic drugs. Long story short, it's surprising how few of us save money by buying generic pain medicine instead of name brands (Advil, Tylenol, Bayer, etc.). Why? In most cases, I suppose it's just ignorance: people don't realize that the "store brand" is genuinely identical to the name brand. Show More Summary

Republicans Maybe Not as Inept as We Think

Paul Waldman thinks Republicans have become a bunch of bumblers and idiots: Think about it this way: Has there been a single instance in the last few years when you said, "Wow, the Republicans really played that one brilliantly"? InShow More Summary

Gruber: "It Was Just a Mistake"

Why did Jonathan Gruber tell an audience in 2012 that states which failed to set up Obamacare exchanges would be depriving their residents of federal subsidies? Jonathan Cohn caught up with Gruber this morning and got an answer: I honestly don’t remember why I said that. Show More Summary

57% of Republicans Want to Impeach Obama

This is completely, barking insane: I don't even know how to react to this stuff anymore. A solid majority of Republicans wants to impeach President Obama for....what? An EPA regulation they don't like? Postponing Obamacare's employer...Show More Summary

Did Congress Actually Intend to Withhold Subsidies From Federal Exchanges?

In the Halbig case, the plaintiffs argued that the provision in Obamacare limiting subsidies to people enrolled through state exchanges was no typo. In fact, they argued, Congress intended to limit subsidies to state exchanges as an incentive for states to set up their own exchanges instead of relying on the federal government. Show More Summary

Power Outage Blogging

Hey, I'm back! It turned out that today was the day for our annual neighborhood power outage, and at first I thought I was sitting pretty. I've got a Windows tablet, which means it's compatible with MoJo's blogging software. I've got my Bluetooth keyboard. Show More Summary

Help Us Solve the Rotisserie Chicken Mystery

Megan McArdle alerts me today to a story from a local TV station that answers a question I've vaguely wondered about for a while: Why is it cheaper to buy a cooked and seasoned rotisserie chicken than a raw chicken? Cat Vesko provides...Show More Summary

A Question About Botched Executions

I'm reluctant to ask a question that may strike some people as too cavalier for a subject that deserves only serious treatment. But after yesterday's botched execution in Arizona—the latest of several—I continue to wonder: why is itShow More Summary

Quote of the Day: John Boehner Invites Obama to Ignore Congress on Immigration

From House Speaker John Boehner, who is currently beavering away on a plan to sue President Obama for dealing with too many problems on his own: We’ve got a humanitarian crisis on the border, and that has to be dealt with. But the president...Show More Summary

A Quick First Look at Paul Ryan's Anti-Poverty Plan

Paul Ryan is out today with his anti-poverty proposal, and my first reaction after a quick skim is that I'm surprised at how limited it is. Maybe that's fine. There's no law that says every white paper has to offer a comprehensive solution to every federal program ever invented. Show More Summary

For Lower Back Pain, You Can Skip the Tylenol

Here's the latest from the frontiers of medical research: About two-thirds of adults have lower back pain at some point in their lives, and most are told to take acetaminophen, sold under brand names like Tylenol, Anacin and Panadol....Show More Summary

The Great Third-Pound Burger Ripoff

This is from a New York Times Magazine piece about America's innumeracy problem: One of the most vivid arithmetic failings displayed by Americans occurred in the early 1980s, when the A&W restaurant chain released a new hamburger to rival the McDonald’s Quarter Pounder. Show More Summary

Chart of the Day: Oil Is Getting Harder and Harder to Find

Oil expert James Hamilton has an interesting summary of the current world oil market up today, and it's worth a read. His bottom line, however, is that $100-per-barrel oil is here to stay: The run-up of oil prices over the last decade...Show More Summary

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