By the time you open these pages, the Senate will be locked in one of the most important legislative battles of our time: whether or not to extend health insurance coverage to all Americans, and how. But the health-care debate is only one of many facing this country, from higher-education quality to state budget deficits to American foreign policy in the Middle East.
Each of these subjects, and more, is covered in the Winter 2010 issue. In our cover story, Kevin Carey, an analyst at the think-tank Education Sector, explains that quality, not just access, is a pressing issue in American higher education, driven by a skewed ranking system that prioritizes lavish budgets and higher tuition rates over student aptitude. The answer, he writes, lies in bringing objective data to education “consumers,” no easy task in the face of an entrenched and surprisingly powerful higher ed lobby.
In foreign policy, Shadi Hamid examines the role that a more democratic Egypt can play in Middle East peace, if President Obama can just reorient his approach to the country. Peter Edelman presents a new agenda for the inner city, Greg Anrig offers a novel solution to the state budget crisis, and veteran Ted Kennedy watcher Thomas Oliphant gives his unique take on the Senate’s late Liberal Lion.