It is important to be clear from the start. Any proposal that takes money from Medicare and funnels it into the pockets of private insurers—whether in the form of “vouchers” or under the guise of “premium support”—constitutes privatization of the government-run health care system for the elderly and disabled. It means the destruction of Medicare as a universal government health care program—the most significant social program enacted after World War II. The Times’ agenda in weighing the advantages of this or that version of premium support is to promote such privatization.
The Times has relentlessly campaigned for cutting health care costs for the government and the health care industry by reducing supposedly “unnecessary” procedures and “overtreatment” of patients. With the promotion of premium support, it now takes this campaign one step farther.
In Sunday’s editorial, it argues in typically duplicitous fashion that while “it is far too early to talk about scrapping traditional Medicare,” nonetheless “serious analysis and testing of premium support are clearly worth pursuing.” What follows are a series of arguments aimed at concealing the implications of implementing such a proposal.
The best approach to premium support, the Times opines, would protect beneficiaries “from any added costs if competition does not keep prices down.” The suggestion that either party or any faction of the thoroughly bribed US political establishment would impose price controls on the insurance industry is absurd, and the Times knows it.
Okay, books. I'm reading Ellen's Seriously . . . I'm Kidding. Don't forget that, if you're a community member, it's time to vote on the best books of 2011. Ballots are due by Saturday. I only vote for what I've read. A friend's been recommending this book forever so I'm reading it and may make it one of my five picks. It's a very funny book. I'm on page 123.
The Cover Girl jokes have been funny.
There was a joke about Harry Connick Jr., however, that I'm not sure of. It seemed strange to pick him for that joke unless it was true (that he's an awful guest on a talk show). It made me pause (and think back to some rumors). American Idol fans should know there's a full chapter on that. It's funny. With a dig at one person. You'll have to read it, I'm not going to spoil it for you.
But I am enjoying the book.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"