Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The more we know…

…the better it sounds.

The Health Care Reform bill signed into law this morning has some features which have not been given much airing.  Ezra Klein, over at a Washington Post blog, offers this:

“Transparency and the health-care reform bill”  …hospitals will have to post prices. Insurance products will be presented with standardized information, consumer ratings and quality measures. The payments physicians take from drug and device companies will be in a public database. There will be independent funding for research on the relative effectiveness of different treatments. Some of these changes are small and some are big, but put together, the system is going to become a lot more visible in the coming years.

This is what the Republicans, such as my own Representative Bono (BoNO), find to be “socialism?”  They say “NO” to this transparency?

Trust, but verify.

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Friday, March 5, 2010

Not asking…

Today’s question, Dear Gentle Reader(s), is why doesn’t anyone from the cadre of supporters of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” bother asking a basic question.

For example, in today’s The New York Times, one Merrill A. McPeak pens a few thoughts under the headline “Don’t Change ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’”  The former Air Force Chief of Staff rests his case on this sentence:

Seventeen years ago, the chiefs — all four of us, plus the chairman and vice chairman — concluded that allowing open homosexuality in the ranks would probably damage the cohesiveness of our combat units.

Then he proceeds to argue against several other elements in the current discussion—rights, costs, etc.

What he doesn’t do is offer any evidence to bolster his “probably damage cohesiveness” statement.

As a matter of fact, his only other approach to this issue is found in the opening of the third subsequent paragraph,

Perhaps young American men and women will fight better when openly gay soldiers are included in the ranks, though I’ve heard no one make this claim.

McPeak should ask why no one makes this claim.  Perhaps it’s because the answer is self-evident based on the experiences of three of our most steadfast allies, Canada, Israel, and the United Kingdom, all of which have no policies which discriminate against sexual orientation in their armed forces.

McPeak uses probably and perhaps, but not whether.  He ought to ask whether unit cohesion would be damaged or not.  So far our allies haven’t halted their programs; that ought to indicate a bit of evidence.

The answer is there, General.  But you have to ask the question—if you’re truly interested.

Trust, but verify.

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