Saturday, October 10, 2009

It only matters if you enjoy chewing, speaking, social interaction, and substantial employment

The American Way of Dentistry - Slate

Aside from the physical risks of scanty or nonexistent dental care (see the story of Deamonte Driver for an extreme example), it's also worth noting the social consequences. As the author of the above article rightly observes: "In a country in denial about class divisions, a mangled mouth is the clearest indication of second-class citizenship. Missing or rotting teeth are like a scarlet T, declaring their owner to be trash."

Some inequities, some forms of senseless unfairness in life, are probably unavoidable. But some are not.

And then do the same with their salaries

Let Congress Go Without Insurance - The New York Times

The change that matters most

The Rabbit Ragu Democrats - The New York Times

Off the deep end. Way, way off

Meet the Man Who Changed Glenn Beck's Life - Salon

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Monday, October 5, 2009

No fair!

Interesting comment today in Roger Cohen's NYT column:
Whatever may be right, something is rotten in American medicine. It should be fixed. But fixing it requires the acknowledgment that, when it comes to health, we’re all in this together. Pooling the risk between everybody is the most efficient way to forge a healthier society.

Europeans have no problem with this moral commitment. But Americans hear “pooled risk” and think, “Hey, somebody’s freeloading on my hard work.”

A reader, John Dowd, sent me this comment: “In Europe generally the populace in the various countries feels enough sense of social connectedness to enforce a social contract that benefits all, albeit at a fairly high cost. In America it is not like that. There is endless worry that one’s neighbor may be getting more than his or her 'fair' share.”

So, to the extent such attitudes are in fact to blame, we can say that hundreds of thousands of Americans suffer or die each year from lack of health care due to the simple, shameful fact that millions of us are using the moral-reasoning algorithms of a six year old. ("But Mommmm! I don't wanna share!")

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Yes, government can expand human freedom. That's not a typo

The Centrist Public Option - Washington Post

The G.O.P. health plan: don't get sick

And if you do, die quickly. (Nice summary, Rep. Grayson.)

The GOP, of course, is using Grayson's presentation to whip up another wave of phony outrage amongst the unthinking faithful-- as if the real source of their irritation isn't that Grayson is right (precisely why he shouldn't apologize: truth is always a valid defense). But apparently some Republi-weenies can't handle the truth -- or a dose of their own medicine (not that it has ever occurred to a serving Republican to characterize an opponent's position accurately).