Jonathan Cohn at The New Republic debunks an Obamacare "victim" story. Diana Barrette has been featured on many news programs as an Obamacare victim — her plan with a $54 monthly premium was canceled, and the plans on offer in the Obamacare exchanges will cost her a lot more. Or do they? Cohn points out that Barrette makes $30,000 a year, and thus is eligible for a generous subsidy. She can get a better plan for about $100 more a month. "If she got sick enough to end up in the hospital, even with these plans she’d likely be out several thousand dollars. Still, she wouldn’t owe tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, which is what a serous illness costs to treat — and what her current plan wouldn't cover. These are the kinds of expenses that can ruin somebody financially," Cohn explains. When asked about her new plan options, Barrette told Cohn, "I would jump at it. With my age, things can happen. I don’t want to have bills that could make me bankrupt. I don’t want to lose my house." ProPublica reporter Charles Ornstein tweets, "That Obamacare 'victim' in Florida? In an interview, she says she's thrilled she can get decent coverage." And White House senior advisor Dan Pfieffer seems happy with the post: "Must read piece by @CitizenCohn on the ACA that debunks the @CBSNews piece from last week that got so much attention."
John Cassidy at The New Yorker on Bill de Blasio's liberalism. "Since the days of Bill Clinton and the New Democrats, it has been a totem of faith in some liberal-progressive circles that the key to lifting up the lower ranks lies in downplaying social and economic conflicts, cozying up to business interests, and tackling inequality covertly," Cassidy writes. De Blasio "has challenged this formula," but he's created expectations that will be tough to meet. "Even in the unlikely event that all his proposals are enacted, New York will remain a chronically unequal place. The forces responsible for rising inequality — technical progress, globalization, the decline of labor unions and a broader attack on workers’ rights, a culture of overcompensation on Wall Street and many corporate boards — are largely beyond the purview of any mayor." Most importantly, a "de Blasio mayoralty will be widely viewed as a test case for liberal reformers everywhere." Steven Greenhouse, who covers labor issues for The New York Times, tweets, "Bill de Blasio is seen by many as standard bearer for new era or progressive populism."