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This Week: What's Next for Healthcare? PLUS: The GOP's 2012 'Twin Pillar' Strategy | The Nation

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Katrina vanden Heuvel

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Politics, current affairs and riffs and reflections on the news.

This Week: What's Next for Healthcare? PLUS: The GOP's 2012 'Twin Pillar' Strategy

WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE HEALTHCARE BATTLE? This week’s issue of The Nation looks at the battle over healthcare in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As we argue in the lead editorial, the fight is only just beginning. As many as eight Republican governors are already refusing to implement the law’s expansion of Medicaid that would help cover America’s poorest. In Texas, where 25 percent of the population is uninsured—the highest in the nation—Governor Rick Perry’s refusal leaves the 1.8 million living below the poverty line without coverage. Nation legal affairs correspondent David Cole hails the Supreme Court’s decision as a near total victory for liberals, but expresses concern over the fact that five justices were nearly willing to strike it down. Former healthcare industry whistleblower Wendell Potter warns of the health insurance industry’s propaganda campaign to convince us that the new law will actually increase the cost of healthcare, while they continue to insist that the Affordable Care Act is just another example of a government takeover by the Obama administration. And Nation columnist Katha Pollitt applauds President Obama for successfully standing up to America’s loudest religious institutions—admittedly a huge political risk—for women’s health and rights. She looks at nine ways the ACA will help women. Read that here.

THE GOP’S 2012 TWIN PILLAR STRATEGY. “Voters out, money in,” writes Nation columnist Ilyse Hogue of the GOP’s 2012 election strategy. While Republicans already enjoy a clear fundraising advantage with Super-PAC funneled money from casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, the Koch brothers and others, “victory requires dominating the system at both ends,” she explains. Poisoning the election process with money and influence is not enough—Republicans are waging a war on voting through voter roll purges, hyping negligible threats of voter fraud and pushing voter ID laws in over two dozen states—all of which disproportionately impact Democratic leaning voters: low-income citizens, college students, women, the elderly and people of color. “While it’s the money they flaunt, it’s the people they fear,” concludes Hogue. The people may very well be our own “not-so-secret weapon.”

ROMNEY DONORS SHARE LOVE OF OFFSHORE TAX HAVENS. Mitt Romney may not be forthcoming about the money he may be hiding in offshore tax havens, but it’s no secret that his top donors share his love of using tax loopholes to shelter earnings overseas. A Nation analysis by Washington reporter George Zornick revealed this week that of the top eleven contributors to the Romney campaign, seven are financial firms with significant offshore tax haven activity. Of the four that do not have havens themselves, two are accounting firms that do prolific business in helping set them up. The following info-graphic offers a look at Romney’s donors and their offshore tax haven activities. Zornick joined the MSNBC’s The Ed Show Wednesday night to discuss these findings and more. Watch that here.

THE GOP WAR ON VOTING. Nation contributing writer Ari Berman has been front and center on the GOP’s efforts to undermine voting rights across the country. As he reported this week, the Justice Department is fighting the state of Texas in federal court over its voter ID law—one of the strictest in the country—which could effectively disenfranchise nearly 1.4 million black and Hispanic voters in the state. Ari joined MSNBC’s NOW with Alex Wagner this week to explain why neither the facts nor the arguments are on Texas’s side. And on Monday, Berman joined Democracy Now! to explain how the Republicans are pursuing voter ID laws as a way to disenfranchise minority voters and effectively tip the election in their favor. In the case of Pennsylvania’s voter ID law, reports Berman, the number of people without proper IDs needed to vote will exceed Obama’s margin of victory in 2008.

GEORGE LOIS IN THE NATION. We’re proud to welcome one of the advertising industry’s original ‘Mad Men’ to the pages of The Nation. George Lois, the creative force behind a lengthy series of provocative Esquire covers and notable ad campaigns, says of The Nation, “I haven’t missed reading an issue of The Nation since I came home from the Korean War in 1952. The Nation is about the only reading that has kept me sane through the continuing disastrous Republican attacks on a humanistic, civilized democracy.” Look for Lois in the upcoming issue.

BEST REPORTING ON DETENTION AND RENDITION. Head over to ProPublica.com where Cora Currier and Suevon Lee have compiled a must-read list of “The Best Reporting on Detention and Rendition Under Obama.” National security correspondent Jeremy Scahill’s investigative report on “The CIA’s Secret Sites in Somalia” and Anna Louie Sussman’s 2010 Nation report, “Naji Hamdan’s Nightmare” are among the list of some of the most groundbreaking investigative reporting on the topic.

What were some of your favorite stories from the week?

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