EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
The Republic has had better weeks. It opened with a Supreme Court decision on race preferences that bids fair to institutionalize this injustice in the national life for a minimum of another generation Ã¢€“ proceeded through a Supreme Court decision on sodomy that seems logically to demand a high court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage Ã¢€“ and ended on Friday with the Republican Senate passing a prescription-drug benefit that amounts to the first major national social entitlement since 1974.
Kevin wryly observes, “Hmmm, doesn’t seem like such a bad week to me.”
Me, I’m right down the middle on this one:
I do tend to agree with Frum on this aspect of the issue, though:
The logic behind the emerging new entitlement is lopsided. Should it become law, Americans will qualify for federal assistance with their medication not according to how sick they are (a large majority of seniors spend less than $1500 per year on prescriptions), not according to how poor they are (the Senate bill provides for full coverage of all but the very wealthiest senior citizens), but according to how old they are.
It seems to me that coverage should be either universal or means tested. Having the taxpayer subsidize the wealthiest cohort of the population at the expense of the rest strikes me as odd. Also somewhat amusing, since the Democrats tend to make that argument when it comes to letting people keep their own money (tax cuts) but not when it comes to providing goodies for old people (who tend to be quite well off).