July 08, 2011

Giving away the store

As debt ceiling negotiations proceed in Washington, I can't help but wonder how much of the store President Obama is willing to give away in pursuit of a deal. My guess is...a lot.

It's kind of hard to believe that in barely two years, things have got to the point where the hard right is close to achieving the kind of drastic cuts to programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid that some of them have been dreaming about for years.

There's a new study out about one of the most vulnerable programs. As NPR reports of an examination of Medicaid,

"What we found in a nutshell is that having Medicaid makes a big difference in people's lives," said Amy Finkelstein, another MIT economist and one of the study's principal investigators.

Overall, researchers found that compared to people without insurance, those with Medicaid had better access to and used more health care; they were less likely to experience unpaid medical bills; they were more likely to report being in good health; and they were less likely to report feeling depressed.

In fact, says Finkelstein, among those with Medicaid, "We report almost a one-third increase in the probability that you report yourself as being happy."

Of course, things like human health and well being seem to matter a lot less these days than extending tax cuts for people who don't need them.


INEQUALITY. Here's a brief look at some gaps in well being.


1 comment:

Hollowdweller said...

According to the polls the public is supportive of debt reduction even if it screws up the econonmy.

I think they are getting what they wanted.

Where Obama screwed up is in caving on the Bush tax cuts.

I think he mistakenly thought that by extending unemployment benefits that he would somehow help the economy get back on track so he made the deal.

But unemployment, the payroll tax holiday and all the "crumbs from the masters table" he dropped on the poor and working classes have not made the difference that the gov't having all the money from the expired Bush tax cuts to use to fight the problem would have allowed.

He also gave up the high ground on the deficit when he did that.

Truth is a lot of the unemployed probably voted for the republicans and by extending their benefits he sheileded them from the consequences of their own actions.