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January 16, 2003

Maybe I'm missing something here...

...but I just tuned into a live press conference in which the president is apparently discussing the high cost of malpractice insurance in the state of Pennsylvania, a cost which, he argues, forces physicians to move away and practice elsewhere:

So what happens is, doctors say gosh, I can't afford it here in Pennsylvania, I'm moving. I'll just take my heart and my skills to another community where I can afford it. When that happens, somebody hurts. Somebody doesn't have the care, some mom fixin' to have a baby, wonders out loud--when she wonders out loud whether or not the doc is going to be there to deliver the baby, heard a story by the way today about that. It's a sad situation. Lot of uncertainty in our society. Lawsuits run up the cost for you the patient. But they also create a sense of uncertainty in America for people who need the stability of good care.

I had a chance, when I talked to the docs, to talk about people who literally had tears in their eyes when they described their situation. Deborah D'Angelo and her husband are leaving Scranton to go to Hershey. They wanted to stay here in Scranton, they were raised in Scranton, I met one of Deborah's patients who really needs her to be in Scranton. They chose so because they can get their insurance there and they can't here.

Um, okay. But if the issue here is the high cost of malpractice insurance in Pennsylvania, and Bush's argument hinges on physicians (or "docs," if you prefer) who are forced to leave the state because of those costs, then why is he telling us about a doctor who is moving from Scranton to Hershey--which are, of course, both Pennsylvania cities?

Update: Emphasis Mine says there's more to those beleaguered docs than meets the eye.


January 15, 2003

Okay , one quick one
WASHINGTON - Pledging to build a culture that respects life, President Bush is declaring a National Sanctity of Human Life Day.

Story here. I assume the forehead-slappingly obvious irony of this speaks for itself.

Update: I did not realize this was an encore. August reports:

This is not the first time Bush declared such a "holiday." He did this last year, as I recall from a comic I made almost a year ago to this day.

Now, why is Bush apparently making nearly the same day as last year "National Sanctity of Human Life Day?" The Yahoo article fails to mention why: it's the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.

Anyone interested in suggesting that's an amazing coincidence may do so as I laugh my head off at them.

You may have noticed...

...that work and life are taking precedence over blogging this week, here at thismodernworld.com. I always feel a little silly mentioning my periodic absences--I'm sorry, my devoted fans, I shall return and bestow more pearls of wisdom upon you as soon as I am able--but when I don't, I get a bunch of mail asking where I am, am I okay, etc., etc.

So: I'm fine, just busy. I'll pick up the slack when I can. In the meantime, there are many fine blogs listed over on the links page. I'd like to make particular note of the indefatigable Atrios, who is all over the Pickering story, among other things. Just scroll down.


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