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January 9, 2005

SS Privatization is Wrong, Healthcare Needs to Be Fixed

Molly Ivins rocks! Have you ever heard her speak live? She's hysterical. In her most recent column, she explains how big business fat cats are the only people who'd benefit from privatizing Social Security and exactly why the healthcare system needs to be fixed.

A few choice graphs:

And for robustly ignoring reality, you can't hardly beat spending $50 million to $100 million on a propaganda campaign to convince America there's something seriously wrong with Social Security while you ignore the collapse of the American health care system. It is common to begin all discussions of American health care with a complete lie, uttered in this example by President Bush: "We live in a great country that has got the best health care system in the world, and we need to keep it that way."

The peerless investigative team of Donald Bartlett and James Steele reports in their new book, "Critical Condition: How Health Care in America Became Big Business - and Bad Medicine," one of our most enduring myths is that we have "world class health care."

"To be sure, it does offer the very best of care to some folks," they write. "It does offer world-class high-tech surgery and some space-age medical procedures. But these benefit 2 or 3 percent of the population at most, along with the richest citizens of other countries who come here for the highly specialized treatment. ... Many countries around the world take far better care of their people, achieve better results for their health care system and do it all with far fewer dollars. ... The statistics are even grimmer when life span is counted in years of healthy living. ... By this measure, the United States in 2002 ranked a distant 29th among the countries of the world, between Slovenia and Portugal."

It's always good to know I'm not crazy - that other people recognize the Shrub's scheme to "fix" SS really is meant to break it. And just imagine what the $50-$100 million they're raising for a propaganda campaign could do for starving genocide victims in Darfur, Sudan. But when a millionaire like Shrub only gives $10,000 to tsunami relief, how can you expect his administration to prioritize humanitarian crises?

Posted by cj at January 9, 2005 8:09 AM

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