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The first provisions of healthcare reform took effect yesterday, with House Republicans still bent on getting rid of the whole thing one way or the other. We look at the details and the rhetoric. Also, Washington gets tough on China over Yuan's value, and comedian Stephen Colbert testified before a committee of Congress today, in the same style he uses on cable TV.

Banner image: University of Miami Pediatrician, Dr. Lee Sanders examines Aalliyah Negron, 6, as her sister Jensenia Bonilla,4, (R) watches in an examination room at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine on September 23, 2010 in Miami, Florida. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images


Jonathan Cohn

Making News Washington Gets Tough on China over Yuan’s Value 7 MIN, 47 SEC

yuan.jpgThe House Ways and Means Committee today opened the way for retaliation against China over its undervalued currency, the key to a massive trade imbalance that critics say costs the US billions of dollars and millions of jobs.  Greg Ip, author of The Little Book of Economics: How the Economy Works in the Real World, is US Economics editor for the Economist magazine.

Greg Ip, Economist magaqzine (@greg_ip)

Main Topic Healthcare Reform: The Policies and the Politics 36 MIN, 2 SEC

After months of political brawling on Capitol Hill, President Obama made history last March by signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a sweeping reform of America's healthcare system. Yesterday, the first provisions went into effect, and Obama was in campaign mode, with his eye on November's elections. House Republicans have promised to repeal several portions of the reform in their "Pledge to America." With Obama still in the White House, that's impossible, so they've taken the matter to court while they whittle away in Washington. Meantime, public distrust and confusion are so widespread that many Democrats are playing down what they once called a major achievement. We look at the new provisions. What are the benefits? What are the flaws? Do the Republicans have any better ideas?  

Noam Levey, Los Angeles Times (@NoamLevey )
Mollyann Brodie, Senior VP for Executive Operations, Kaiser Family Foundation (@Mollybrodie)
Avik Roy, Bipartisan Policy Center / Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity (@Avik)
Jonathan Cohn, Huffington Post (@CitizenCohn)

Reporter's Notebook Stephen Colbert Talks Immigrant Labor on Capitol Hill 7 MIN, 9 SEC

With no pre-election consensus on government spending, Congress has cancelled floor votes for the rest of this week to work on preventing agencies from shutting down. But a House committee took time today to hear testimony from Stephen Colbert. The comedian tossed out his prepared testimony in favor of a series of suggestive one-liners. But among the jokes was a serious message following Colbert's day of service as a farm laborer, in response to a United Farm Workers program called "Take Our Jobs." David Corn is Washington Editor for Mother Jones and columnist for PoliticsDaily.com.





David Corn, Mother Jones magazine (@DavidCornDC)

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