RSS Feed
Froma Harrop




The real redistribution in health reform

April 10th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

Thank you, thank you, Medicare for publishing the amount various doctors bill you.  Apparently, one eye doc in South Florida collected $21 million from Medicare in one year.

Today’s NYT lists Democrats on the receiving end of these doctors’ generosity.

Now fraud investigators have data to work with, insurers can question doctors who prescribe a CT scan for every headache, and consumers can avoid getting cut open for no good reason.

Of course, the American Medical Association opposes such disclosure for (mostly) obvious reasons.




US and Canada: Together at Last?

April 8th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

Mountie and Trooper 1941

Diane Francis at the National Post in Toronto makes a very persuasive case for the United States and Canada to become one country.

Set aside the cultural similarities (and differences). The economic and security issues — as China, Russia and others try to carve up Canada’s very rich but poorly defended natural resources — make this marriage an imperative.


And Mexico?  What about Mexico? Stay tuned for thoughts on that.



Obamacare is not a losing issue

April 1st, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

Listen to Bill Clinton, you guys.  When you are afraid to defend the good you’ve done, you leave voters believing you didn’t do good.

Face the flaws and praise the rest.


TWITTER:  @FromaHarrop


Pregnant in spikes

March 22nd, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

Did you get a load of the spike heels on the pregnant-lady fashion model?  Surely, I was not the only one to choke at the high-heel torture cages featured with the “bump-friendly designer duds” in today’s WSJ.

Still looking for a date?

The  article talks of the scandal caused in the ’50s when Lucille Ball appeared pregnant on “I Love Lucy.”  Women have come such a long, long way since then, haven’t they?

Why would a woman already carrying the extra weight of a pregnancy wear back-and-foot-killing vixen footwear? Perhaps she’s still looking for  a date.

TWITTER:  @FromaHarrop


GOP Florida win not broad vote against Obamacare

March 14th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

Pelosi makes her point

Nancy Pelosi happens to be right.  Alex Sink’s loss in this week’s Florida special election said little about how most voters feel about Obamacare.

Republican David Jolly appealed to a generally older electorate that, frankly, already has government health coverage through Medicare.

Had the Republican vowed to do to Medicare what he’d do to Obamacare, he would have lost big.

Part of the spiel is that Obamacare takes away from Medicare. Though believed by many, this happens to be not true.

If anything, Obamacare will  make Medicare more politically palatable to younger voters. After all, they’re paying most the bills.

TWITTER: @FromaHarrop


A federalist for only some seasons

March 13th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

Hello?  Aren’t you federalists — a group to which nearly all Washington Republicans vow allegiance — supposed to be for enhancing state powers?  Recall Reagan’s “devolution revolution,” a call to move power from Washington to state and local governments.

Well, just as there are Sunshine Patriots there are Sunshine Federalists. These are partisans purporting to believe in federalism, except when they have the opportunity to meddle in the affairs of state and local governments.

Dave Camp, R-Mich., has put out a pretty courageous blueprint for tax reform, so let’s not come down too hard on him.  But his plan would repeal the deduction for state and local taxes on federal tax returns, thus making it harder for states and localities to raise the revenues needed to operate.

Conservative pundit Ramesh Ponnuru argues that ending the deduction would force state governments to get smaller.

But any real conservative federalist would hold that




Who belongs downtown?

March 13th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

Successful American cities would be nuts to turn away the hipsters gentrifying formerly poor or blue-collar neighborhoods.  There’s a loss, of course, when venerable gritty streetscapes get overrun by shops selling artisan pizza shops and hand-embroidered jeans.  But (a) the cities desperately need the tax revenues that come with the monied “creative class,” and (b) these newcomers are living in them.

Billionaire needles invade Manhattan

The people (or rather things) that don’t belong downtown, however, are the billionaire needle towers — new residential skyscrapers used by Russian tycoons, Chinese industrialists and other rich foreigners merely as a safe place to park their money.  The condos go for $20 million, $50 million, $80 million and are typically empty most the time. The result is dead, ugly space squatting in the middle of a precious downtown.

I expand on this in:




Happy Fat Tuesday from the “Louisiana of the North”

March 4th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

Me and my sister Marsha at Mardi Gras ball

Here’s me and my sister Marsha partying at the Mardi Gras Ball, held last Saturday in Cranston, RI.

An appropriate venue. Rhode Island has been called the “Louisiana of the North” for its exotically corrupt politics and the good food.

The zydeco prince C.J. Chenier provided more joy than even the booze.

My selfie with C.J. Chenier

BTW, my new column contrasts the week’s two big dress up events, Mardi Gras and the Oscars.

Here it is:


TWITTER: @FromaHarrop


BBC ‘gets’ the nuance on Hillary age talk

February 28th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

BBC media blogger, Anthony Zurcher, offers a sophisticated view of age remarks directed at Hillary Clinton.

His reading of my column was a bit more perceptive than Kurtz’s.  I especially appreciate his noting that my mission was to discuss the intersection of ageism and sexism, not to promote Clinton’s candidacy.



Must we demagogue tax reform also?

February 27th, 2014 by Froma Harrop in Froma Harrop

Republican Dave Camp offers a serious plan on reforming our insanely complex tax code.  It contains enough balance to irritate both the left and the right — the right doubly so since it would close loopholes dear to some deep-pocketed interests under Republican protection.

GOP strategists would prefer to spend the months leading to the midterms beating up on Obamacare, which even they know is here to stay. Fixing the tax code (like immigration) is hard, messy work, isn’t it?

You don’t have to like everything in the Camp proposal. I certainly don’t. But Camp has given us an honest plan and starting point.

Running for office may be more exciting than running the country, but every now and then the parties must (or at least should) subject themselves to the imposition of governing.


Column correction: The tax code is a 70,000-page abomination, not a 7,000 page abomination as I first wrote.

TWITTER:  FromaHarrop


« Older Entries