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    Saturday, February 24, 2007

    Second Hand Book Reviews: A review of Medicare Meets Mephistopheles, a satire:

    After an incisive explanation of the Medicare program, Hyman sets forth his vision of Medicare as a diabolically inspired program that should be terminated. Using the seven deadly sins as his framework, Hyman begins his analysis with avarice, in particular the "staggering amounts of money" spent on Medicare. Closely related is the sin of gluttony, the medical largesse available to beneficiaries, paid for by future beneficiaries. Next comes envy of the elderly by the younger members of the population, a phenomenon that Hyman admits has not been a problem.

    Sloth is crucial to the devil's success because it effectively paralyzes legislators and administrators who, Hyman maintains, reinforce one another's tendencies to ignore Medicare's serious financial crisis and spotty quality of care. In Hyman's telling, lust is found in legislators' desire to expand the program to achieve greater bureaucratic and political power. From there, Hyman moves to the politics of anger, noting that Democrats become angry when changes to Medicare are suggested, while Republicans are angry that Medicare even exists. Hyman saves the devil's favorite sin, vanity, for a broadside attack against health policy analysts for defending Medicare.
     

    posted by sydney on 2/24/2007 02:00:00 PM 0 comments

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