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May 21, 2003

Mandated Inequality

"A Congressional aide said White House officials had made it clear that "they really must have an unequal drug benefit."
Yes, that's what this administration is all about-- inequality.

Divide people along economic lines, offer extra benefits to the wealthy, create as many different tiers of service as possible, and fracture any potential solidarity between the poor and middle class.

That's what's at stake in the debate on drug benefits and Medicare. It infuriates the rightwing that a single program, Medicare, covers both poor and middle class elderly, since it makes cutting and slashing it almost impossible. Usually, conservatives destroy programs by targetting the most politically vulnerable parts, slashing that, then moving on to the next vulnerable part-- it's called salami tactics for the thinly sliced political dicing involved.

You can't do that with Medicare since any cuts potentially effect all elderly together. So conservatives want to divide the program into multiple tiers of service through instituting managed care and differential benefits for those willing to pay for them. That will politically divide the program among different constituencies and then in a few years the right can then play divide and conquer games to destroy the program-- all in the name of "efficiency" of course.

Posted by Nathan at May 21, 2003 09:08 AM