Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Friday, September 10, 2004

Bush's Blind Spots ( "The shocking waste of America's health system reflects the fact that, most of the time, doctors and patients decide what medical services are necessary, but the bills are paid by insurers and the government....But there are plenty of ways to get Social Security privatization wrong. Any reform would have to involve benefit cuts, and these take political courage. "

If Mr. Mallaby believes that America's soaring health care costs are due to the fact that patients are not good shoppers, then why do all other industrialized nations whose governments provide health care coverage pay far less for that coverage and have longer life spans and lower infant mortality rates among other indicators? The "waste" comes from U.S. government supported monopolies on drugs and physicians. And as far as Social Security, it is still shocking and depressing to me that the idea that it is in some dire financial trouble has become the accepted truth. Yes, a small tax increase may be needed to fund the program in 30 years, similar to those increases the program has had in each of the past 3 decades. The reason this idea has taken hold is because it is unseemly to talk about defaulting on treasury bonds. Instead, we talk about the SS program being in such dire straits that benefits will HAVE to be cut. And of course we blame this on the Baby Boomers even though we supposedly took care of that problem in 1983 when SS rates were raised slightly, and most Boomers will be dead in 2030 when this supposed crisis hits.