Thursday, July 10, 2008

Unglued Idiot of the Day Award - Paul Krugman of the New York Times

A very upset woman once phoned her bank, outraged that checks she had written were bouncing. “What do you mean, I have to stop? I still have lots of checks left.”

In his article, Mr. Krugman acknowledged that Medicare is broke:

This year, the automatic cuts (Medicare expenses far exceed income) would have reduced doctors’ payments by more than 10 percent, a pay reduction so deep that many physicians would probably have stopped taking Medicare patients.

In previous years, payments to doctors were maintained through bipartisan fudging: politicians from both parties got together to waive the rules. In effect, Congress kept Medicare functioning by expanding the federal budget deficit.

In other words, Medicare is broke.

Mr. Krugman applauds the Democrats for solving the Medicare insolvency problem by ignoring it. According to Mr. Krugman, this is a positive step towards universal rather than privatized health services.

Let’s see if we can sum this up. The government run health system, Medicare, is insolvent and cannot pay its obligations without violating the rules that established its payment methodologies.

The Democrat answer is not to do anything to rescue Medicare from insolvency, like privatization, but instead to increase payment rates beyond legally established levels, and expand the federal budget deficit.

Why do we criticize the woman who wrote checks beyond the funds in her account, when we elect leaders to do the same with our tax money?

For being such a vocal advocate for irresponsible Medicare management, Paul Krugman is today’s honored recipient of the Unglued Idiot of the Day Award. From the evidence of his past articles, Mr. Krugman will consider criticism of his advocacy of irresponsible government spending to be an honor.

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