Reading: Marathon men and medical care | Arkansas Blog

Reading: Marathon men and medical care

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Here are a couple of recommendations from the Sunday New York Times:

* ON RUNNING: An essay in the sports section by Amby Burfoot and George Hirsch pays tribute to "the honorable clan of the long distance runner." That would NOT include Lyin' Paul Ryan, the vice presidential candidate whose loose connection to a fact-based world covers a broad spectrum of topics:

As amateur marathon runners for nearly 50 years, we were surprised when our sport made headlines recently for an unusual reason.

Last month, The New Yorker published an article on the Michigan dentist Kip Litton, who digitally fabricated an entire marathon and outsmarted computer timing systems. Then Representative Paul D. Ryan, the Republican candidate for vice president, misstated the finish time of his only marathon. He told an interviewer he had run “a 2-hour-and-50-something” marathon when his actual time was 4:01:25. That was roughly equivalent to a golfer’s claiming a 3 handicap when his typical round is 100.

We have rarely encountered tales like Litton’s and Ryan’s. For true distance runners, to lie about time or distance is to lie to ourselves, to diminish the importance of the many sacrifices we make to reach the starting line

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That New Yorker story is fascinating, by the way.

* WHY CONSERVATIVES SPURNED THEIR OWN HEALTH CARE IDEA: J.D. Kleinke of the American Enterprise Institute makes the conservative case for Obamacare. Yes, I said AEI. Yes, I said FOR Obamacare. As Ernie Dumas has written a number of times, the idea of a health mandate was conceived in conservative think tanks and Mitt Romney — heard of him? — endorsed the concept heartily in Massachusetts.

If Mitt Romney’s pivots on President’s Obama’s health care reform act have accelerated to a blur — from repealing on Day 1, to preserving this or that piece, to punting the decision to the states — it is for an odd reason buried beneath two and a half years of Republican political condemnations: the architecture of the Affordable Care Act is based on conservative, not liberal, ideas about individual responsibility and the power of market forces.

This fundamental ideological paradox, drowned out by partisan shouting since before the plan’s passage in 2010, explains why Obamacare has only lukewarm support from many liberals, who wanted a real, not imagined, “government takeover of health care.” It explains why Republicans have been unable since its passage to come up with anything better. And it explains why the law is nearly identical in design to the legislation Mr. Romney passed in Massachusetts while governor.

...IN the partisan war sparked by the 2008 election, Republicans conveniently forgot that this was something many of them had supported for years. The only thing wrong with the mandate? Mr. Obama also thought it was a good idea. [my emphasis supplied]


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