Monday, February 07, 2005
Givest thou me a break: I was flipping channels and actually listened to about 15 seconds of Paul Begala on CNN's "Crossfire." Begala decried the fact that President Bush's proposed budget increases the co-pay for veterans by more than 100 percent.
Dang! More than double. Of course, that phrasing begs a question: what is that in dollars -- not as a percentage of the current fee?
Answer: The new co-pay would be $15, up from $7.
It should be no surprise that The New York Times piece uses the same tool, seeing how most people wouldn't see the extra $8 as a really big deal.
WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 - President Bush's budget would more than double the co-payment charged to many veterans for prescription drugs and would require some to pay a new fee of $250 a year for the privilege of using government health care, administration officials said Sunday.
The proposals, they said, are in the $2.5 trillion budget that Mr. Bush plans to unveil on Monday. White House officials said the budget advanced his goal of cutting the deficit, which hit a record last year.
The Times doesn't reveal the $15 number until the 10th paragraph.
One thing the San Diego Union-Tribune has is an excellent health-care plan -- it's the best I've had from any company I've worked for. The company pays about 95% of the premiums -- and the co-pays are still very comparable to the proposed number for veterans. I'm confident that most people will compare their own health-care plans to that veterans receive and would count veterans as pretty lucky.