Why Is Healthcare So Much More Expensive in the US?
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As dispute rages over what Republicans call "Obamacare," Americans are spending more on healthcare than people anywhere else. Why — when they're getting the same results? Will the president's reform make a difference? Also, the latest jobs report signals a strengthening recovery, and the US and Afghanistan resolve a dispute over prisoners.
Banner image: Paramedics and EMTs arrive with a patient at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Jobs Report Signals a Strengthening Recovery ()
The latest report from the Labor Department shows that 227,000 new jobs were created last month. But the unemployment rate is still 8.3 percent -- the first time in six months that it hasn't declined. Jonathan Cohn is senior editor at The New Republic magazine.
Healthcare in the US: The Politics and the Prices ()
March 23 will be the second anniversary of President Obama's Affordable Care Act, a massive collection of complex provisions that is sure to be a major issue in this year's re-election campaign. While voters are under siege by advocates on both sides, the US Supreme Court will add to the confusion by considering whether it's constitutional. (A decision is expected in June.) In the meantime, Americans are spending more on healthcare than anyone else, and rising costs are increasing the federal deficit. Why do we spend twice as much as other countries for the same care and similar outcomes? Will "Obamacare" change that? If not, what else do we need?
- Noam Levey: Los Angeles Times, @NoamLevey
- Uwe Reinhardt: Princeton University, @uwejreinhardt
- Jim Capretta: Ethics and Public Policy Center and American Enterprise Institute, @aei
US and Afghanistan Reach Prison Handover Agreement ()
The planned US withdrawal from Afghanistan at the end of 2014 may ultimately depend on negotiations with the Taliban. For the moment, the US forces and the Karzai government are focused on negotiations with one another. One sticking point was American control of Parwan Prison, near the Bagram military base north of Kabul. President Karzai set deadline of today to resolve it and, at the last minute, the deadline was met. We get an update from Heidi Vogt, who's in Kabul for the Associated Press, and from Julian Barnes, Pentagon reporter for the Wall Street Journal.
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