This video from American Public Media's Marketplace isn't the
funniest Dr. Seuss ripoff ever, but it does accomplish the unlikely feat of
making the health-care arms race entertaining. If your hometown's plan for
prosperity involves becoming the next Pittsburgh--where the iconic U.S. Steel
Tower now wears the initials of the University of Pittsburgh Medical
Medicine, Daniel Callahan argues, has become the sustainer of false hope in the face of death and dissolution. Callahan calls for a medicine more modest in its aspirations and more careful in its promises. Giving up the illusion that it can extend life indefinitely for a few, this new medicine would devote itself to making life better for the many.
Yesterday, House Republicans passed a bill that, if enacted,
would repeal last year's health-care reform bill. It won't be enacted; it'll
never get past the Senate or the president. But the GOP took the House back in
part because of its promises to repeal reform, so a symbolic effort was
I can't stand the word "entitlement." I
use it sometimes, when people annoy me with their belief that the world owes
them something or that their needs are more important than those of others. But
when I do this, I'm guilty of the same thing they are: dismissing the
importance of someone else's desires and asserting the importance of my own. I
get caught in an entitlement trap.