Home > Uncategorized > Moonbats abound at New York Times.

Moonbats abound at New York Times.

Apparently denial of reality is commonplace at, perhaps, the best example of journalistic degradation formerly known as The New York Times. I once wrote about Ruy Teixeira trying to spin the disasterous elections earlier this month. Now his colleague, Nicholas D. Kristof, has attacked his readers as well. In attempting to discredit opponents of socialized medicine, Nicholas made several egregious errors. Unfortunately, I don’t think he cares that he was wrong. The propaganda piece starts:

Critics storm that health care reform is “a cruel hoax and a delusion.” Ads in 100 newspapers thunder that reform would mean “the beginning of socialized medicine.”

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page predicts that the legislation will lead to “deteriorating service.” Business groups warn that Washington bureaucrats will invade “the privacy of the examination room,” that we are on the road to rationed care and that patients will lose the “freedom to choose their own doctor.”

All dire — but also wrong. Those forecasts date not from this year, but from the battle over Medicare in the early 1960s. I pulled them from newspaper archives and other accounts.

Not only were those people right, but it’s apparent Nicholas is ill-equipped to speak on such matters. The facts are medicare is broke and draining the budget, so it is a cruel hoax. It was the beginning to socialized medicine, because here we are arguing about inflicting this abomination upon the entire country. Bureaucrats have invaded the examination room and rationed care to recipients as well as restricting who qualifies.

I guess those facts don’t matter to Mr.Kristof. Unabated he continues:

Yet this year those same accusations are being recycled in an attempt to discredit the health reform proposals now before Congress. The heirs of those who opposed Medicare are conjuring the same boogeymen [SIC]— only this time they claim to be protecting Medicare.

Indeed, these same arguments we hear today against health reform were used even earlier, to attack President Franklin Roosevelt’s call for Social Security. It was denounced as a socialist program that would compete with private insurers and add to Americans’ tax burden so as to kill jobs.

Daniel Reed, a Republican representative from New York, predicted that with Social Security, Americans would come to feel “the lash of the dictator.” Senator Daniel Hastings, a Delaware Republican, declared that Social Security would “end the progress of a great country.”

John Taber, a Republican representative from New York, went further and said of Social Security: “Never in the history of the world has any measure been brought here so insidiously designed as to prevent business recovery, to enslave workers.”

In hindsight, it seems a bit ridiculous, doesn’t it? Social Security passed, and the republic survived.

Of course, the fact that these two programs have over $100 trillion in unfunded liability is of no consequence. Not to mention that some historians contend that the institution of the Social Security Act triggered the 1937-1938 Roosevelt Recession. I suppose if you’re from the Austrian school of economics, like Paul Krugman, you can afford to make disingenuous connections that really make no sense in the grand scheme of things. Krugman’s article sounds a lot like this Kristof character’s in its complete disregard of context.

Similar, ferocious hyperbole was unleashed on the proposal for Medicare. President John Kennedy and later President Lyndon Johnson pushed for a government health program for the elderly, but conservatives bitterly denounced the proposal as socialism, as a plan for bureaucrats to make medical decisions, as a means to ration health care.

The American Medical Association was vehement, with Dr. Donovan Ward, the head of the A.M.A. in 1965, declaring that “a deterioration in the quality of care is inescapable.” The president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons went further and suggested that for doctors to cooperate with Medicare would be “complicity in evil.”

The Wall Street Journal warned darkly in editorials in 1965 that Medicare amounted to “politicking with a nation’s health.” It quoted a British surgeon as saying that in Britain, government health care was “crumbling to utter ruin” and suggested that the United States might be heading in the same direction.

“The basic concerns and arguments were the same” in 1935 against Social Security, in 1965 against Medicare, and today against universal coverage, said Nancy J. Altman, author of “The Battle for Social Security,” a history of the program. (The quotes against Social Security above were taken from that book.)

These days, the critics of Medicare have come around because it manifestly works. Life expectancy for people who have reached the age of 65 has risen significantly. America is no longer shamed by elderly Americans suffering for lack of medical care.

Again, Mr.Kristof doesn’t understand context. If you can keep putting off paying the electric bill by constantly adding to an unlimited credit line, then I suppose that “manifestly works” too. Reasonable people understand you can’t continue to do this. Add to that the fact that we may be taking that very care away from our elderly under this plan.

Yet although America’s elderly are now cared for, our children are not. A Johns Hopkins study found that hospitalized children who are uninsured are 60 percent more likely to die than those with insurance, presumably because they are less likely to get preventive care and to be taken to the doctor when sick. The study suggested that every year some 1,000 children may die as a consequence of lacking health insurance.

It’s true that preventative care helps survival rates, but there is no reason to assume that these procedures would be covered or that these children in question qualify for the insurance. Remember what I said about disingenuous connections?

Why is it broadly accepted that the elderly should have universal health care, while it’s immensely controversial to seek universal coverage for children? What’s the difference — except that health care for children is far cheaper?

I knew it would happen. In the attempt to marginalize dissenting voices the elderly card was used, but when faced with the obvious issue of rationing their care if we extend coverage to everyone, those same elderly are thrown under the bus. Now we have the Kristof version of “justification” for the rationing of healthcare from the elderly, and again the entitlement pimps use our children.

Pathetic. Yes America, you apparently deserve “free” healthcare and to hell with those who stand in your way. Get it at all costs. It’s “owed” to you.

Granted, there are problems in the House and Senate bills — in particular, they falter on cost-containment. In the same way, there were many specific flaws in the Social Security and Medicare legislation, but, in retrospect, it’s also clear that they were major advances for our nation.

It’s now broadly apparent that those who opposed Social Security in 1935 and Medicare in 1965 were wrong in their fears and tried to obstruct a historical tide. This year, the fate of health care will come down to a handful of members of Congress, including Senators Joe Lieberman, Blanche Lincoln, Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu. If they flinch and health reform fails, they’ll be letting down their country at a crucial juncture. They’ll be on the wrong side of history.

Yes, let’s not worry about how to pay for it. The ends justifies the means. I mean, it won’t be us who has to foot the bill. We can just keep kicking it down the road indefinitely.

Those opponents were not wrong. Kristof is. Sometimes people just refuse to see how right they were. So I guess where you stand in history depends entirely on who is telling the story. For the longest time it was understood what ended The Great Depression. The war effort. Yet when faced with the obvious shortcomings of the Regressives economic policy, it became vital to rewrite that history. That’s exactly what Kristof is trying to do here.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. February 18, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Interesting description. I love to read it Marcy

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