THE INVISIBILITY'S THE THING. This is a rather bizarre point by Michael Kinsley:
If a superior level of care is available, the care being guaranteed to everybody is inferior. In other words, you are rationing -- denying people useful, if not vital, health care to save money. Worse, you are letting people buy their way out of the rationing if they can afford it -- the way affluent young men were allowed to buy their way out of the Civil War draft.
At the moment we don't guarantee anyone any level of health care, so this moral dilemma can be saved for another day.
THE CIRCLE OF LIFE HEALTH CARE. Interesting Wall Street Journalarticle today explaining that some HSA plans actually cost more than high-deductible plans without the tax shelter. That's because HSAs, for all their faults, actually do have some regulations, do generally cover preventive care, and do limit out-of-pocket expenses. All this has certain insurers worrying that HSAs will attract folks who actually want to use the health care system, at least compared to even more skeletal plans.
POWER TRIPS. The new Center for Public Integrity (CPI) study on privately funded congressional travel got big write-ups in the The Washington Post and The New York Times, which both predictably obscured the notable Republican tilt of the information uncovered.
JIM LEACH IS MAKING SENSE. Turns out the moderate Iowa Republican has a bunch of stuff to say that, as Heather Hurlburt observes, "many Democrats, and nearly all Republicans, are either afraid to say or not thinking hard enough about." The thing about Leach, though, is that I've heard him say a number of smart things over the past several years, but have never really seen him do anything about them.
MARRIAGE VERSUS DEATH BY TERROR. The airwaves and newsstands are full of Newsweek magazine�s retraction of its 1986 prediction that a mature single woman�s chances of getting married were the same as her being killed by a terrorist. Relax, girls, Newsweek is �Rethinking the Marriage Crunch,� and that worst of all fates, single female life, can mostly be avoided. Even if you had the temerity to acquire a college degree.
SHOCKING. I've got to give a hand to John Derbyshire's editors at the New English Review, who published the piece Matt cites. The gap in quality between this piece and the writings of someone with the same name and professional history at National Review's The Corner could serve as a case study on the dangers of turning to blogging when you should really just be writing articles, and of the difference between carefully constructed thoughts and tossed off asides. Derbyshire actually deserves to be quoted at some length here, and not just because of his disagreement with Ramesh Ponnuru.
MORE CRAZY ZINSMEISTER ANTICS.Gregspots a falsehood in the bio of new Bush domestic policy chief and all-around eccentric Karl Zinsmeister. The New York Sunpicks up the story and the White House responds.
MORE PARTY OF DEATH. The liberal media's sinister conspiracy of silence regarding Ramesh Ponnuru's Party of Death continues apace, but diehard rightwinger John Derbyshire got a review copy and is even less impressed than Peter Berkowitzwas.
ANOTHER BORING POST ABOUT IRAQ. After reading it, Al Gore's actual statement on Iraq strikes me as significantly more open-minded and conciliatory than Garance's gloss below or the one ABC News gave to it made it sound. By which I mean that, as a member of the anti-war base, I find Gore's take on this to be annoying and something I hope he'll change his mind about, while I've found, say, Hillary Clinton's comments to be more along the lines of infuriating.
GORE SHOWS HIS ROOTS.ViaMickey Kaus, Al Gore raised questions about setting a deadline for withdrawing from Iraq during his This Week appearance yesterday. Some will say that this puts Gore to the right of likely '08 presidential contenders John Kerry, Russ Feingold, and, after his recent comments, perhaps even Evan Bayh, but I'd disagree. Gore has always been a sensible centrist, and his opposition to the invasion of Iraq was a manifestation of his steady understanding of the dangers of pre-emptive war at a time when too many people were seduced by the chest-thumping and martial rhetoric of the right, and not of any native dovishness.