walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

google search feature

Over on google news, if you do a search on, say, medicare (add -blemish), you can go off to the left column and select "all dates", and then see this nifty graph. For this one, it'll show it from 1960-present, but if you adjust that to be 1950-1960, entertaining things happen.

First, there's the presence of whatever you call a scan error in the early 1950s. Just ignore that medicare because it's actually medicine. Second, a company (apparently "Tussy") made an anti-acne product called "Medicare" in the 1950s. That's why the -blemish is there, but it would take a lot more -blah to get rid of all the advertising instances of Tussy's anti-pimple product.

Second, and much more fascinating, is the coverage starting in 1956 (in the New York Times and elsewhere) of a health insurance scheme to provide coverage for spouses and children of active duty military. What, you might say? I never knew about that. Well, I read an _entire fucking book_ on Medicare's political history and I never heard of it either. (I have not dug the book up to make sure I didn't just forget it was in there so maybe I just spaced it.) Just imagine how I felt.

Third, and even more disturbing, within a couple years coverage was reduced (and possibly eliminated) because of massive cost overruns. Eventually it would be replaced with what I believe is called (was called?) CHAMPUS, but you should maybe do real research if you care.

But yeah. "Medicare" had a comet like career before it returned for old folks. This sort of gives me pause. After all, Medicare used to have a part something-or-other that it doesn't have any more, because it, too, turned out to be crazy expensive. Hey. I'm all over the universal coverage. I totally support whatever the hell gets passed, because we really need something. But what we _really_ need is some kind of cost control. _Somewhere._ And not by screwing the poor people, the people who had bad trauma, the people who had cancer and have recovered and everyone else with a "pre-existing" condition. And, increasingly, by screwing everyone who buys health care by telling them _after_ they try to make a claim that, no, by the way, we won't be paying for that.
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