Closing a virtual chapter…

I knew this day would come.

No, not the passage of health reform. The end of Jonathan Cohn’s blog, The Treatment.

For me and many others, the blog was a go-to source for both the latest update on process and good analysis on substance. As someone who had literally written the book on the health care crisis in America, Jonathan Cohn provided both the knowledge of complicated health policy wonkery, and the savvy of a reporter to decipher and explain the political process–but without the corrosive cynicism so often employed in his profession. He’s also just a nice person, with good values and a sense of fairness, even to those with whom he disagrees.

As he describes in his farewell post, his reporting also performed an important function at the magazine The New Republic, exorcising the past mistake of publishing the discredited Betsy McCaughey’s false yet devastating attack on the Clinton health reform proposal in 1993. The New Republic’s productive role in the past year’s health reform debate provided a kind of karmic balance.

I was honored that Jonathan asked me to contribute to the new blog he was starting up a year and a half ago. Beyond this and other blogs that focused on California policy and politics, I appreciated having a forum to weigh in on the federal fight. In my couple-dozen contributions, I tried to speak from experience, and provide a perspective of a Californian, of a veteran of previous reform fights, of an organizer not inside the Beltway echo chamber. I hope I was successful.

I actually am sad that The Treatment won’t continue. I know from experience that a blog can be very demanding time-wise, and there’s no doubt that with the law’s passage, there may be a drop-off in interest…. But there’s a lot of work is just beginning, at the Department of Health and Human Services; in 50 state Capitols; at state regulators; in the courts; and in the communities around the country. Here at the Health Access Blog, we’ll continue to try to cover some of this here in California, but we have our own time and staff constraints as well.

Until then, thanks to Jonathan for his dogged work and reporting, and his virtual hospitality for my work. Here’s a compilation of my TNR reports from how the health care debate was playing out in California:

* More Medicaid Means More Jobs 04/11/2010
* Medicaid: A Bargain, Not a Burden 04/07/2010
* And Now the Real Work Begins 03/24/2010
* More Alarming News from California 03/16/2010
* Would Obamacare Have Prevented the California Mess? 02/15/2010
* This Isn’t the End (Trust Me, I’ve Been There Before) 01/28/2010
* Why Rush Limbaugh Hearts Health Reform 01/04/2010
* On the Job 11/04/2009
* Conflicts of Interest: Who Does the Chamber of Commerce Really Represent? 11/02/2009
* How Conservatives Are Doctoring Insurance Numbers–And Why Obama Needs to Fight Back 09/14/2009
* What Democrats Can Learn From Health Care Battles in Sacramento and Boston 08/28/2009
* How the Media Should Be Covering Town Hall Shenanigans 08/26/2009
* As California Goes, So Goes The Nation Without Reform 07/21/2009
* A Moneyball Approach To Health Reform 07/08/2009
* Are We Asking Too Much Of Employers? Or Too Little? 07/05/2009
* Young And Not So Invincible 06/25/2009
* Taming The Insurance Wilderness 06/05/2009
* How Reform Can Save California (Next Time) 06/02/2009
* Beat The Clock 05/05/2009
* Official State Business: Why Sebelius Makes Sense 04/02/2009
* Is Massachusetts A Model, A Mirage…or Moot? 03/25/2009
* Health Care Reform, A San Francisco Treat 03/12/2009
* Ronald McDonald Is Not Reform’s Friend 02/14/2009
* This Cobra Doesn’t Bite 02/09/2009
* The Kids Aren’t Alright. Neither Are Their Parents. 01/28/2009
* Jump-Starting The Economy–and Health Reform 01/22/2009

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.

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