The WonkLine: September 3, 2010

Welcome to The WonkLine, a daily 9:30 a.m. roundup of the latest news about health care, the economy, national security, immigration and climate policy. This is what we’re reading. Tell us what you found in the comments section below. You can also follow The Wonk Room on Twitter.


National Security

“Israeli and Palestinian negotiators cleared the first hurdle on Thursday in their elusive quest for Middle East peace: they agreed to keep talking, two weeks from now in Egypt.”

“North Korea is preparing its biggest political gathering in 30 years, drawing parallels with the 1980 summit that ensured Kim Jong Il’s succession amid speculation he will transfer power to his youngest son.”

“One of the principal owners of the Afghan bank at the center of an accelerating financial crisis…said depositors had withdrawn $180 million in the past two days.”

Health Care

“An estimated five million uninsured children in the United States were eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) but were not enrolled in either plan, according to a new report.”

“As health care costs continue their relentless climb, companies are increasingly passing on higher premium costs to workers.”

Don Berwick responds: “Former health and human services secretary Michael Leavitt was incorrect in calling the Affordable Care Act’s Medicare reforms an ‘illusion'”


Senate candidate Carly Fiorina (R-CA), who has taken a hardline stance on immigration, said Wednesday night that she would support the DREAM Act, a measure that would legalize many undocumented students.

Of the 37 gubernatorial races this year, candidates in more than 20 states have endorsed adopting a strict Arizona-style immigration law.

Contributions by unauthorized immigrants to Social Security “are much larger than previously known,” totaling a net benefit of somewhere between $120 billion and $240 billion.


The economy lost 54,000 jobs in August (but added 67,000 private sector jobs), and the unemployment rate held steady, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to a new Pew Research Center survey, “just over a quarter of the nation’s 139 million currently employed workers endured a bout of unemployment during the Great Recession.”

Obama administration officials “are shooting down a Washington Post report claiming the president’s economic team is considering a second stimulus package.”