Monday, December 14, 2009

Medicare Expansion and The Press

As of tonight it appears from the NY Times that the Democrats may abandon the absurd idea of Medicare expansion. We have demonstrated that it is absurd for two reasons; first, it creates a "free ride" for that group on the backs of those who have paid in and second it creates along with everything else an almost 85% Government coverage of health care. The Times states:

"Senate Democratic leaders said Monday that they were prepared to drop a proposed expansion of Medicare and make other changes in sweeping health legislation as they tried to rally their caucus in hopes of passing the bill before Christmas.After a tense 90-minute meeting on Monday evening, Senator Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana and chairman of the Finance Committee, was asked if Democrats were likely to jettison the Medicare proposal.“It’s looking like that’s the case,” Mr. Baucus said, indicating that the provision might be scrapped as a way of “getting support from 60 senators.”"

But the worst part is the vile attacks on Senator Lieberman by the left wing writers of the Washington Post. As noted by Michael Cannon of CATO who states:

"Blogger Matthew Yglesias has a response to my post on Ezra Klein’s slander that Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) is okay with the mass murder (or the mass negligent homicide) of hundreds of thousands of uninsured Americans. Yglesias claims that only one of the three studies I cited speaks to what he claims is the central point: the Institute of Medicine’s estimate of how many Americans die each year because they lack health insurance. Yglesias is incorrect. The central point/threshold question is whether giving the uninsured health insurance will save lives. All three studies speak to that point, and all three all cast doubt on the intuitively appealing idea that giving uninsured people health insurance ipso facto saves lives."

Specifically Klein in the Post states:

"To put this in context, Lieberman was invited to participate in the process that led to the Medicare buy-in. His opposition would have killed it before liberals invested in the idea. Instead, he skipped the meetings and is forcing liberals to give up yet another compromise. Each time he does that, he increases the chances of the bill's failure that much more. And if there's a policy rationale here, it's not apparent to me, or to others who've interviewed him. At this point, Lieberman seems primarily motivated by torturing liberals. That is to say, he seems willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score. "

Frankly that is well out of bounds. First the IOM study does not really state that. Second the IOM study is one of the "shingling the roof in the fog" studies that goes well beyond assuming elephants had wings. Third the statement by Klein is just wrong and in my opinion appears deliberately wrong solely for the intent to accuse a good man. This is the reason the Post and the others may just disappear from the scene.

There are valid reasons to not allow this expansion of Medicare. Yet there is no reason to behave the way Klein has. Perhaps his mother may speak to him, young little boys must not act that way...