Paul Waldman

Paul Waldman is a weekly columnist and senior writer for The American Prospect. He also writes for the Plum Line blog at The Washington Post and The Week and is the author of Being Right is Not Enough: What Progressives Must Learn From Conservative Success.

Recent Articles

The Coming Democratic Infighting Over Single-Payer Health Care

(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli) Members of the California Nurses Association and supporters rally in the Capitol rotunda in Sacramento, California, on June 28, 2017, call for a single-payer health plan. B eware Democrats: There's a new litmus test on the way that you'll have to satisfy if you want to avoid being branded an establishment sellout. It concerns single-payer health care, and while this one can get silly in some quarters, there are serious questions that everyone on the left, from the most moderate Democrat to the most committed leftist, will have to answer. With the Republicans proving that a health plan embodying conservative principles can garner the support of as much as 16 percent of the American public, there has never been a better time for liberals to make the case for an expansion of government's role in health care. No long ago, single-payer was either something supported by fringe figures, or an idea that Democrats would say they would favor if we were starting from...

Republicans Resort to the Same Strategy They Always Use on Health Care: Lying

Cheriss May/Sipa via AP Images
Cheriss May/Sipa via AP Images Tom Price, Secretary of Health and Human Services, speaks at President Trump's press conference with members of the GOP, on the passage of legislation to roll back the Affordable Care Act, in the Rose Garden of the White Hous. A t some point in the last few days, key Republicans in the White House and Congress got together to figure out what their message would be on the health-care bill the Senate may pass this week. Perhaps the conversation happened in person, or on a conference call or over email—I don't know, but given the perfect harmony in which they were singing on the Sunday shows, there's no doubt it took place. And at the end of that discussion, a decision was made: The best way to defend the Senate bill is just to lie about it. And so they did. Here, for instance , is Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey on Face the Nation , claiming that "the Senate bill will codify and make permanent the Medicaid expansion" (a lie), and that "no one loses...

Medicaid Is the Future of American Health Insurance -- If It Can Survive the Next Two Weeks

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images
Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images Participants hold signs during the Senate Democrats' rally against Medicaid cuts in front of the U.S. Capitol. W hile liberals often say that their ultimate goal in health care is "Medicare for all," the current debate over the Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act should show us that if there's a path to a universal and secure health-care system, it may be more likely to come through Medicaid, which is now America's largest insurer. That is, if Medicaid can survive the next two weeks. Republicans in the Senate are hoping to vote before the July 4 congressional recess on their health-care plan, which they will do without holding a single public hearing or committee markup (where amendments are voted on). In fact, their terror that the public might actually get a look at their bill is so complete that most of the Republican senators haven't even been told what's in it. But one thing we do know is that it represents an outright assault...

Everybody Needs to Stop Telling Hillary Clinton to Shut Up

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at a fundraiser for the Elijah Cummings Youth Program in Israel in Baltimore, Monday, June 5, 2017. Y ou've seen the headlines, begging Joe Biden to just give it up and get out of our faces already. " Dems want Joe Biden to leave spotlight ," says The Hill . " Dear Joe Biden, please stop talking about 2016 ," says a USA Today columnist. " Joe Biden is back. Should Democrats be worried? " asks The New Republic . " Can Joe Biden please go quietly into the night? " asks a column in Vanity Fair . A Daily News columnist begins his missive with , "Hey, Joe Biden, shut the f--- up and go away already." Folks sure do hate that guy. And all he did was give a couple of commencement speeches and an interview or two. OK, you've probably guessed: Joe Biden wasn't the subject of all those headlines. In fact, when the former vice president has made noises suggesting he still yearns to sit in the Oval Office, reporters treat...

The Trump Doctrine Emerges, and It's as Bad as We Thought

(Photo: Sipa USA via AP)
(Photo: Sipa USA via AP) Environmental activists protest Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, outside Trump Tower in Chicago on June 2, 2017. D onald Trump possesses a remarkable ability to appall us by doing exactly what he said he would when he ran for president. True, he has abandoned some promises and flip-flopped here and there, but mostly on the stuff that everyone knew was bogus from the start, unless you were possessed of an epic naïveté. (Oh dear, he's not really going to "drain the swamp" and stick it to Wall Street? I'm shocked.) Nevertheless, with each new decision, initiative, and reaction, the Trump presidency turns out to be as bad as we thought—or worse. The most alarming thing is that he is exactly who he seemed to be. This week's reality-TV-style announcement that he will pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement showed Trump at his most Trumpian, commandeering the media's attention for a lurid and self-congratulatory display of...

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