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Monday, January 16, 2006

A debacle of debacles

You know, if people's lives weren't at stake, what Bush and the Republicans have done with the Medicare drug benefit would be a pretty funny illustration of how much contempt Republicans have for government. They lied about the cost, they made it hard to comprehend, they put in the infamous "donut hole", they filled it with giveaways to the pharmaceutical industry, and they threatened their own Congress critters until it was passed. Now, predictably, it has all fallen apart and the states, including Minnesota, have to step in.

But you know what? This isn't funny. People's lives are at stake here. This wasn't just another chunk of corporate welfare, this wasn't just another example of paying back corporate contributors. This is about creating complete chaos where people are having problems getting the medicines that keep them alive. It's so bad, pharmacies are basically handing out drugs for free, hoping that the money will be figured out later.

It's been said that people like Grover Norquist, the conservative who wants to drown the government in a bathtub, are losing their power over Republicans. Based on the Medicare drug plan, though, it's hard to agree. These people honestly don't care about good government. In fact, they want bad government, so they can go back later and blame government for all the problems that their own policies are creating. Are people going to keep on putting up with this?

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