Weekend Update 11-03-2012

This election is indeed about Medicaid and the lives of millions of people. If you’re even going to pretend to be “pro-life” you can’t ignore it. And count my oldest daughter among those who might even be alive today because of Medicaid. She had pneumonia as an infant and it was because we were covered by Medicaid (as young teen parents) that we were able to get her prompt treatment. Would she have died in other circumstance? That’s impossible to say, of course. But many people do each year. Medicaid is, literally, a lifesaver. And, as Krugman points out, it’s the private sector insurance industry that has runaway administrative, premium, and service costs. Across the board, the government programs have drastically lower administrative costs and do a much better job of containing service costs. The assertion that, at least in this arena, the private sector is more efficient, is simply an ideologically driven myth completely unsupported by the facts.

I should write something on the utterly absurd notion dominating the right that government can’t create jobs — that government jobs are somehow not “real” jobs or a substantial agent in our economy. But in the meantime, Krugman does a good job of exposing it for the flat-earth thinking that it is.

‘But are we ready to become a country in which “Nice country you got here. Shame if something were to happen to it” becomes a winning political argument?‘ Indeed, it seems absurd to reward blackmail and, in a political sense, terrorism. The GOP has already demonstrated it’s perfectly willing to point the economic gun at this country’s head and I don’t see any sign that they aren’t willing to pull that trigger.

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