The Corpus Callosum

For
some reason, my Father used to say that when he made an
indisputable point of some significance.  It is in the href="http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=put+that+in+your+pipe+and+smoke+it"
rel="tag">Urban Dictionary in case you are curious
about the expression.  It is also the title of href="http://www.autoblog.com/2007/07/17/put-that-in-your-pipe-and-smoke-it-fords-made-of-hemp/">a
post on Autoblog about a 1941 Ford made of organic plastic,
which had been made from plant material.  Apparently they now
are researching a similar idea using hemp.

href="http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2007/01/13/plastic-bodied-1941-ford/">i-797bc20922d98f8f0f4c646a5426b4ba-hemp_ford.jpg

That’s
a photo of Henry Ford swinging an axe at the plastic, to demonstrate
its resilience.  

Anyway, BlueNC
tipped
me
to a column by href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ezra_Klein" rel="tag">Ezra
Klein about the href="http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/medicarehealthinsurance/a/schip.htm"
rel="tag">S-Chip program:

href="http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/tapped_archive?month=07&year=2007&base_name=post_4385">THE
STATE OF PLAY ON S-CHIP
Tapped

…The House bill also has another element, which the Senate bill
completely foregoes: Reform of the Medicare Advantage plans. For a
longer explanation of this issue, Bob Berenson wrote a piece on it back
in December. But the quick lay of the land is this: Back in 1982,
Congress tried to unleash the magic of the free market by
letting private insurers offer Medicare plans for seniors who wanted
them. The insurers would be paid at the same rates as Medicare and, if
they were indeed more efficient, could then offer more expansive
benefits and out-compete the public program.

They were not more efficient. But they’ve been
very good at lobbying Republican Congresses. And so now, the
government is paying these private plans about 120 percent of what
Medicare gets per patient
. In other words, the
government is overpaying these plans in order to help them out-compete
the public plan
— which they’re still not doing. It’s an
almost hilariously absurd state of affairs, were it not actually
costing us all a lot of money…[emphases added]


Now, with that ember in your pipe, read this: one of href="http://www.familiesusa.org/resources/newsroom/statements/2007-statements/presidents-budget.html">Bush’s
campaign promises from 2004:

“America’s
children must also have a healthy start in life. In a new term, we will
lead an aggressive effort to enroll millions of poor children who are
eligible but not signed up for the government’s health
insurance programs. We will not allow a lack of attention, or
information, to stand between these children and the health care they
need.” (President George W. Bush, Republican National
Convention, September 2, 2004)


Feeling woozy yet?   href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/18/AR2007071801434.html">Inhale
this:

…President
Bush yesterday rejected entreaties by his Republican allies that he
compromise with Democrats on legislation to renew a popular program
that provides health coverage to poor children, saying that expanding
the program would enlarge the role of the federal government at the
expense of private insurance.

The president said he objects on philosophical grounds to a bipartisan
Senate proposal to boost the State Children’s Health Insurance Program
by $35 billion over five years. Bush has proposed $5 billion in
increased funding and has threatened to veto the Senate compromise and
a more costly expansion being contemplated in the House…


How’s that ember doing?  Seeing any flames yet?

i-54b0511942b11708f1dae9e56b68c8ca-minority_children.JPG

href="http://www.familiesusa.org/assets/pdfs/schip-leveling-the-playing.pdf">link
(PDF file)

By the way, the href="http://www.aha.org/aha/index.jsp" rel="tag">American
Hospital Association, the href="http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2007/07/02/edsa0702.htm">American
Medical Association and the href="http://www.tobaccofreevermont.org/press.php?ID=73"
rel="tag">American Cancer Society href="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=%2Fn%2Fa%2F2007%2F07%2F18%2Fnational%2Fw154523D70.DTL&type=politics">support
the increase.  It is also is href="http://www.aarp.org/issues/dividedwefail/divided_we_fail_coalition_urges_congress_to_protec.html">supported
by ,
the rel="tag">Business Roundtable, and the href="http://www.seiu.org/media/pressreleases.cfm?pr_id=1455"
rel="tag">Service Employees International Union.

Ordinarily, a politicians would have to be batty to oppose something
that is supported by the AMA, AARP, big business, and
labor.  But we are not talking about any ordinary
president.  We are talking about a president who has such
moral character, that he would support something on purely
“philosophical grounds,” even if it means breaking a campaign promise.