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Watch Your Words

I enjoy reading Paul Krugman and almost always agree with him. And while I agree with what he is trying to say in his latest column, Can It Happen Here?, on single payer health insurance, he really has to watch his word choices to avoid giving people unnecessary avenues of attack.

Let me try to clarify my point. Health care is provided by medical professionals. No one, to my knowledge, is seriously advocating making those professionals government employees, or in nationalizing health care facilities. The debate is about paying for health care, not about providing it.

People should be aware that there are a great many places in the United States where there is no health care of any kind. If you get sick, you have to be taken somewhere else. In a lot of rural America there are no doctors, clinics, or pharmacies available. This is not a debate about universal health care, because even if “Medicare For All” were enacted tomorrow, the people who live in those areas still wouldn’t have access to health care.

For those who don’t know, if you have Medicare, you can go to any doctor who accepts Medicare insurance, and that is probably the majority of doctors in the country. Medical decisions are made by the doctor, not Medicare.

August 12, 2008   3 Comments

Georgia On My Mind

and McClatchy’s as they have a number of good pieces on the the situation:

[Uodate: here’s the CIA’s Map of Caucasus Ethnic groups so you can see what a mess the area is.]

A background piece on the run up to this mess, U.S. knew Georgia trouble was coming, but couldn’t stop it. The Kremlin has been trying to pick a fight for a long time to punish Georgia for it’s preference for the West, and Saakashvili just wouldn’t or couldn’t understand it was a trap.

A report on the latest bombing of the city of Gori, Civilians were only targets left as Russia kept bombing

GORI, Georgia — On the day that Russia declared an end to its war in Georgia, Jumberi, a taxi driver who gave only his first name, took a long drag on a Marlboro Red cigarette and said that after the first bomb hit, all he saw was body parts.

He motioned to the shattered windshield of his Toyota Corolla and the bloody handprints on the side of the car — left there when the wounded and dying collapsed as they begged him to take them to the hospital.

“I heard the sound of the jets, but I did not see them,” he said. “They were just bombing and bombing the city. Everything was out of control.”

[Read more →]

August 12, 2008   3 Comments