Morning Must Reads: The Big Deal

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Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy

–That’s what a signature with 22 pens looks like. Here’s who get them.

–Probably the most touted immediate effect of the health care bill, a measure preventing insurance companies from denying children coverage on the basis of preexisting conditions, may not kick in as advertised until 2014. The AP reports that while minors who already have coverage now can’t be dropped if they get sick, uninsured children can still be denied new coverage based on previous conditions. The White House is looking to address any ambiguity in the language of the bill quickly.

–David Leonhardt writes this in today’s New York Times: “Beyond the health reform’s effect on the medical system, it is the centerpiece of his deliberate effort to end what historians have called the age of Reagan.” I totally agree.

Patrick Ruffini writes Republicans could have preempted the Democrats’ health care push by more seriously addressing the endemic problems of the the system during the Bush administration.

–John Dorschner of the Miami Herald points out the individual mandate, central to conservative objections and legal challenges, has long been considered a Republican idea.

–Speaking of the mandate, I find it somewhat puzzling that Mitt Romney is eagerly flying the repeal flag. Many have pointed out the similarities between RomneyCare and ObamaCare, and it will certainly play into the 2012 GOP presidential primary. While I don’t think it’s necessarily as devastating an issue to Romney as some suggest — like his faith or his previous position on abortion, it’s not an insurmountable hurdle in a potentially weak field — I don’t see how highlighting the issue does him any favors. He has had no trouble flying under the radar on conservative causes celebres in the past.

–Despite assertions that health care “poisoned the well,” Republicans are taking a hard look at the political implications of opposing upcoming financial regulatory and education legislation.

–Tensions between the U.S. and Israel continued as President Obama and PM Netanyahu met at the White House last night. The announcement of more new construction in East Jerusalem came at the worst possible time, and Bibi’s visit lacked all the trappings of a normal meeting between heads of state. Glenn Kessler parses.

–Not surprisingly, conservative third-party candidates in November would cut into the Republican vote.

–With Justices Stevens and Ginsburg speculated to be nearing retirement, USA Today looks at Judge Diane Wood.

–And capitalism responds to Biden’s candidness.

What did I miss?