When the drama over the botched rollout of the ACA’s health exchanges ends — and it will — Washington will need to confront a much bigger problem: our already-high health care costs are still rising far faster than the average family’s income. The main reason: rampant, unregulated consolidation of hospitals and doctors’ groups, which gives these monopoly providers unparalleled power to raise prices. Fortunately, argue Phillip Longman and Paul Hewitt, there’s a solution. Health care costs can be rolled back if Washington requires hospitals to make their pricesuniform and transparent, thereby creating for the first time a functioningcompetitive health care marketplace.
You already know that the Citizens United decision allowed corporations to spend as much money as they want on political campaigns. But as Haley Sweetland Edwards reveals, corporate lawyers are using the same radical legal reasoning-that companies have First Amendment rights to free speech-to challenge virtually every kind of government regulation, from labor rights to environmental protections. If Obama doesn’t fight this trend by appointing more judges who don’t think that “corporations are people, too, my friend,” it could be the end of federal regulation as we know it.
Dan Snyder’s Washington Redskins keep losing. Yet the billionaire owner keeps making money. And he keeps refusing to change the team’s inherently offensive name. Now Timothy Murphy gives us another reason to hate the guy. Nine years ago, Snyder finagled secret permission from the Bush administration to clear-cut trees on national park-controlled land behind his mansion to give himself an unobstructed view of the Potomac River. When his sweetheart deal became public, a decade-long campaign of bureaucratic retribution nearly sent an innocent man to prison.
Also in this issue…
Editor’s Note: Clintonism, Populism, and Hillary’s Next Move By Paul Glastris
The Disneyfication of Tibet
How tourism has become a tool of occupation. by Pearl Sydenstricker
Patronage for Plutocrats
Why elite colleges with the fewest low-income students get the most work-study money. by Jon Marcus
The Monthly Interview:
Independent ranchers and animal rights activists don’t agree about much, except that it’s time to stop using federal tax dollars to support the meat lobby. by Siddhartha Mahanta
A frenzy of hospital mergers could leave the typical American family spending 50 percent of its income on health care within ten years — and blaming the Democrats. The solution requires banning price discrimination by monopolistic hospitals. by Phillip Longman and Paul S. Hewitt
How a low-quality online college is helping poor students in Haiti and beyond. by Daniel Luzer
On Political Books
A Middle Course for the Middle Kingdom?
Competition with China really isn’t a zero-sum game. So why does it feel that way? by Daniel Kurtz-Phelan
How high schools condition students to accept their lot. by Richard D. Kahlenberg
Enjoy the issue!