Wednesday, April 05, 2006

NYT: "Massachusetts Sets Health Plan for Nearly All" (Pam Belluck)

Massachusetts is poised to become the first state to provide nearly universal health care coverage with a bill passed overwhelmingly by the legislature Tuesday that Gov. Mitt Romney says he will sign.
The bill does what health experts say no other state has been able to do: provide a mechanism for all of its citizens to obtain health insurance. It accomplishes that in a way that experts say combines methods and proposals from across the political spectrum, apportioning the cost among businesses, individuals and the government.
"This is probably about as close as you can get to universal," said Paul B. Ginsburg, president of the nonpartisan Center for Studying Health System Change in Washington. "It's definitely going to be inspiring to other states about how there was this compromise. They found a way to get to a major expansion of coverage that people could agree on. For a conservative Republican, this is individual responsibility. For a Democrat, this is government helping those that need help."
The bill, the product of months of wrangling between legislators and the governor, requires all Massachusetts residents to obtain health coverage by July 1, 2007.

The above is from Pam Belluck's "Massachusetts Sets Health Plan for Nearly All" in this morning's New York Times. Picked as the must read story by Eli, Keesha, Brandon, Rob and Trina. The other articles we'll highlight (two at the request of members) are problematic. (Highly problematic.) So consider Belluck's to be the best of today's paper as evaluated by members.

Zach notes Robert Parry's "Condi, War Crimes & the Press" (Consortium News):

During the three years of carnage in Iraq, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has shifted away from her now-discredited warning about a "mushroom cloud" to assert a strategic rationale for the invasion that puts her squarely in violation of the Nuremberg principle against aggressive war.
On March 31 in remarks to a group of British foreign policy experts, Rice justified the U.S.-led invasion by saying that otherwise Iraqi President Saddam Hussein "wasn't going anywhere" and "you were not going to have a different Middle East with Saddam Hussein at the center of it." [Washington Post, April 1, 2006]
Rice's comments in Blackburn, England, followed similar remarks during a March 26 interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" in which she defended the invasion of Iraq as necessary for
the eradication of the "old Middle East" where a supposed culture of hatred indirectly contributed to the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
"If you really believe that the only thing that happened on 9/11 was people flew airplanes into buildings, I think you have a very narrow view of what we faced on 9/11," Rice said. "We faced the outcome of an ideology of hatred throughout the Middle East that had to be dealt with. Saddam Hussein was a part of that old Middle East. The new Iraq will be a part of the new Middle East, and we will all be safer."
But this doctrine -- that the Bush administration has the right to invade other nations for reasons as vague as social engineering -- represents a repudiation of the Nuremberg Principles and the United Nations Charter's ban on aggressive war, both formulated largely by American leaders six decades ago.
Outlawing aggressive wars was at the center of the Nuremberg Tribunal after World War II, a conflagration that began in 1939 when Germany’s Adolf Hitler trumped up an excuse to attack neighboring Poland. Before World War II ended six years later, more than 60 million people were dead.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, who represented the United States at Nuremberg, made clear that the role of Hitler's henchmen in launching the aggressive war against Poland was sufficient to justify their executions -- and that the principle would apply to all nations in the future.

Zach has nother Parry highlight that we'll note in the next entry. On this one, Zach wondered why the Times didn't have a reporter like Parry? (I don't think the system of the Times allows for strong reporting -- my opinion. And apparently that of many members today based on the stories that are dealt with in the next entry.)

Remember to listen, watch or read transcripts of Democracy Now! today. Almost forgot, Gary Hart is a guest on KPFA's The Morning Show today which airs from seven to ten Pacific time, nine to eleven central and ten to noon eastern.

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