Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

July 1, 2009


Facing South - In this year's health reform debate, Congressional Democrats quickly took proposals for a single-payer system off the table, claiming it was "unrealistic." But more than 9 million people in the U.S. have already signed on to a single-payer system that's proved both workable and popular: TRICARE, the Department of Defense's program for active-duty military and retirees.

Even more interesting: According to a Facing South analysis, nearly half of TRICARE beneficiaries live in the South -- states where Congressional leadership has been most vocal in opposing public involvement in health care. . .

The high Southern enrollment in government-run TRICARE, where the military pays private doctors in a single-payer system, seems at odds with the vocal opposition of Southern lawmakers to anything smacking of public involvement in health care.

Take South Carolina: The Palmetto State has the 8th-highest TRICARE enrollment in the nation, nearly a quarter-million people. . . Contrast TRICARE's popularity in South Carolina with these words from Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) last week, who has led the Republican party's attempts to torpedo health proposals that involve the government:

"[Democrats] think we're stupid," said DeMint. "They think that you don't know that government does not work well, that the same people who cleaned up after Hurricane Katrina are the ones who can really run our health care system with that personal touch that we all want ... They're talking about a government plan that can do things that no government plan has ever done."

The 233,725 people who chose to use TRICARE in DeMint's home state likely disagree


Anonymous Mairead said...

People who repeatedly play "Ain't it awful!?!" make themselves look intentionally futile.

They could probably save themselves considerable energy for more productive work by remembering Adam Smith's dictum: '"All for ourselves and nothing for other people" seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind'.

OF COURSE the same ones who consistently decry socialism are the biggest demanders of social goods for themselves. That's what it's all about. How can they know they're better than us unless they have everything and we have nothing?

July 3, 2009 6:52 AM  

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