increasing medicare age would cost more, the sexy parts wallpaper, benign versus dangerous exceptionalism

Krugman, Joe Lieberman’s Plan to Make Health Care Worse and More Expensive. How is increasing the retirement age for Medicare going to increase costs? Delaying Medicare eligibility is bad for health

The authors found that, relative to those with insurance before age 65, those without insurance prior to Medicare eligibility spent much more money on health care after they became Medicare eligible. In other words, people wait to get care until their Medicare kicks in.  This is bad both for health and for the federal government’s bottom line.

Delaying Medicare even longer would likely make this worse. People would forego care longer, health would suffer, and Medicare would pay for the consequences later.


[1] McWilliams JM, Meara E, Zaslavsky AM, Ayanian JZ. Health of previously uninsured adults after acquiring Medicare coverage. JAMA. 2007;298:2886-94.

[2] McWilliams JM, Meara E, Zaslavsky AM, Ayanian JZ. Use of health services by previously uninsured Medicare beneficiaries. N Engl J Med. 2007;357:143-53.

Lieberman has never been the brightest legislator, but he has deteriorated steadily since he drink all that Con kool-air after 9-11. He has a relatively large and experienced staff and no one bothered to lift a finger to do even basic research. Not a good message to be sending America’s youth.

the sexy parts wallpaper. i can’t check every visitor’s i.d. apparently the new standard for behavior on the web is do do a background check and age verification on everyone you have any contact with. i’m a little busy so we’re using the honor system. if you’re too young, do not download this wallpaper.

For whatever dumb reason I previously mentioned that I believe in some kinds of American exceptionalism. An easy statement to be misunderstood considering how loaded the term is. My version is kind of simple. People is Canada, Sweden, India or wherever tend to support their soccer team, Olympic swimmer, Nobel prize nominee and so forth. That is a kind of native pride exceptionalism. Nothing to apologize for. One kind of exceptionalism that is a little mores serious is the kind involving players on the world stage. Some countries make an active if sometimes flawed effort to be a force for good. It is that part of us that is sometimes, though not as often as I would like, better than some others – such as China, Uzbekistan, the Congo and North Korea to name a few. It does get tricky because Uzbekistan is one of the countries where the CIA had Black Sites during the Bush administration. This is the kind of exceptionalism that is dangerous, The case against “American exceptionalism”, Americans have always been proud of their republic — but not too proud to learn from others

“Let me be clear, President Obama,” Cain concludes. “America is the greatest nation on Earth. We are not just any other nation, and we are certainly not analogous to our friends in Europe and elsewhere.”

So says the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, pizzas and mafia godfathers being as American as apple pie. You might expect a little more modesty from the would-be first magistrate of a country that cannot produce adequate numbers of decently paying jobs, cannot share the gains from economic growth with the majority of its people, cannot address its long-term challenges because of political paralysis, and cannot seem to achieve a clear victory in any of its three ongoing wars.

Cain’s attitude would be amusing, if it were not so dangerous to America’s future.

The ideology of American exceptionalism holds that the Founders of the United States were the most brilliant individuals who ever lived and that the future prosperity and power of the country are to be attributed chiefly to the genius of the federal constitution, drafted in 1787 in Philadelphia (never mind that this was the second U.S. Constitution, replacing the first, the Articles of Confederation, a miserable failure). In the same way that Bible-thumping fundamentalists insist that all of the answers to all of today’s problems can be found in the Good Book, American exceptionalists thump the Federalist Papers. If the history that followed the American founding provides any guidance to us today, it is only the subsequent history of the United States itself. As good American exceptionalists, we are not allowed to peep beyond our borders, to learn from the successes and mistakes of people in other countries. ( I would also note that the original did not have a bill of rights and several worthy amendments have been added since than such as women’s right to vote and the abolish of slavery)

Americans have always been proud of their republic — but not too proud to learn from others. When America worked, Americans did not hesitate to copy the innovative ideas and best practices of other countries.

Consider the two 19th-century “American systems.” One was what was known as the American system of manufacturing — the use of interchangeable parts in production. The other was the American System of Henry Clay and his allies and disciples, including Abraham Lincoln — a coherent plan for industrializing the United States, based on a combination of infant-industry protectionism, national banking and national investments in infrastructure. Both American systems were influenced by — cover the ears of your children, America! — the French.

Herman Cain embodies the kind of cruel and strange exeptionalism that is running rampant. Perhaps because it is in its last gasp. This is a guy who almost makes Sarah Palin look like a scholar. He confused the Declaration of Independence with the Constitution.

In technological innovation, America lagged behind Britain, France and Germany until the 20th century. The 19th century U.S. textile industry was founded by industrial espionage on the part of individuals including Samuel Slater, a British immigrant, and Francis Cabot Lowell, a Boston merchant, who pirated British technology in defiance of British law. Many Americans believe that Edison invented the light bulb and that Henry Ford invented the car. In fact Joseph Swan, a British inventor, developed the light bulb, and British courts compelled Edison, who had filched from Swan, to share his British profits with Swan. The automobile was invented by Germans and improved by French innovators, before Henry Ford and other American automakers got into the business.