[with contributions from Matt O’Brien and Darius Tahir]

Shortages of essential drugs are becoming a serious problem. And I’m not talking about aspirin. In hospitals around the country, physicians are scrambling to find substitutes for medicines to treat life-threatening, but treatable, conditions like diabetes and cancer.

I have some notions about why this is happening and what we should do about it. But they are just that – notions. I’m going to resist the temptation to say more until I know more, which may be a while since I’m still working on a lengthy feature piece. (You may have noticed that yesterday’s Daily Deadline did not appear, making it neither daily nor on deadline.)

Instead, I’m going to refer you to a New York Times story by Gardiner Harris and today’s first hour of the Diane Rehm Show, on which Gardiner was a guest. I heard most of it in the car. It sounded like a fair assessment of the situation and well worth your time if, unlike me, you have it.

Elsewhere:

Graph of the day. And maybe story of the day, although it’s not a political development. It’s a report on long-term unemployment. And it’s getting worse. Via Suzy Khimm and the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Today in Republican amnesia. Via Greg Sargent, here’s the story of how Ronald Reagan called for spending government money on highways and infrastructure – and taxing the American people to pay for it. Communist pinko!

Why don’t conservatives get this? Right-wingers believe in market forces, except when it comes to increasing teacher pay in order to improve teacher quality. Jonathan Chait explains. And if you haven’t read it before, check out a 2010 McKinsey report on the subject of teacher pay in an international context. (Or read an op-ed on the subject by Matt Miller, who was one of the report’s lead writers. 

Whatever happened to Romneycare? As a political issue, that is. Jonathan Bernstein and Steve Benen would really like to know.

Trick or Treat … Trick! Rick Perry falls for a fake Occupy Wall Street note. Via Elspeth Reeve at the Atlantic.

Megan McArdle is worried… about low vaccination rates. I am too. What she says about “herd immunity” is spot-on.

What’s 99 percent of 1.3 billion? Occupy Wall Street is resonating in China, according to Damien Ma, also in the Atlantic.

Our Technological, Utopian Future: A New York Times piece by Craig Lambert describes how one of the side-effects of technological advances is that we’re doing more work—unpaid work, at that!

A new reason to get mad at your parents: A report in the Guardian notes how birth months can affect subsequent academic performance—in Britain, children born in August are 20 percent less likely to go to an elite university than those born in September. Similar birth-month effects often hold true in other countries and domains (the famous hockey player anecdote in Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers), and it’s probably worth taking a look at.

Fail to the Redskins. By Michael Tomasky in the New York Review of Books.

Elizabeth Warren can play in Boston: Fights for consumers? Check. Gives a good speech? Check. Knows about the Red Sox? Check. Jonathan Zasloff reports from a Warren fundraiser in Massachusetts. TNR's Alec MacGillis, noted Sox fan, chimes in. I knew hiring that guy was a good idea. 

Reader comment of the day: From “Chaitless,” on Republican hypocristy about the Affordable Care act:

“These are the same people who only care about federalism, checks and balances, balanced budgets, and the size of government when Democrats hold the presidency.”

True that.

Video of the Day: I just saw the new Maccabeats video, which I gather has been out for a while. It goes out to my son, one of their biggest fans. 

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