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Author Archives: Ezra Klein

Ezra Klein: AOL’s Armstrong needs Obamacare

Let’s get the obvious out of the way: As chief executive officer of AOL Inc., Tim Armstrong shouldn’t have stood up and blamed proposed changes to the company’s 401(k) plan on two discrete and, to many AOLers, recognizable medical catastrophes. Armstrong’s specificity — he blamed high medical costs stemming from two “distressed babies” of employees — was unnecessary, cruel and dumb.

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Ezra Klein: Pining for LBJ, we got Christie

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s recent scandals won’t impress anyone who has read Robert Caro’s biography of Lyndon Baines Johnson. In the fourth volume of Caro’s biography, he tells the story of Margaret Mayer, a Dallas Times Herald reporter who was investigating the television station LBJ owned. Johnson had his aides call Mayer’s bosses and let slip that if Mayer kept investigating Johnson’s business, Johnson might sic the Federal Communications Commission on the Dallas Times Herald’s businesses.

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Ezra Klein: Obamacare’s failings undermine Republican goals

On May 20, 2009, four Republicans — Reps. Paul Ryan and Devin Nunes and Sens. Richard Burr and Tom Coburn — unveiled their alternative to the health care plans then being considered by congressional Democrats. “We have introduced a comprehensive health care reform bill, the Patients’ Choice Act that, we believe, will bring us far closer to the goal of universal coverage than the Obama plan,” they wrote in a joint essay.

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Ezra Klein: Obama’s presidency depends on ‘just a website’

The flip side of the conservative desire to believe Obamacare’s problems are much worse than they actually are is the liberal desire to believe they’re much less severe than they actually are. One refrain that’s become particularly popular, perhaps because President Barack Obama uses it, is “Obamacare is more than just a website.”

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