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New doctor

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That pundits should designate Sen. John Boozman to succeed Jack Kevorkian as "Dr. Death" seems, in a way, inevitable. Like Kevorkian, Boozman believes the populace could stand a little thinning-out. Both men were trained in health care, Kevorkian as a medical doctor, Boozman as an optometrist. Both ran for Congress.

Yet there are differences between the two that should not be overlooked.

Kevorkian thought the decision on when to die should be made by the individual, that people like himself should do no more than provide assistance to make the individual's departure as painless as possible. Boozman would take a more pro-active role. He and his fellow Republicans who've voted to end Medicare have effectively said that people who can't pay for their own medical needs should bed down for The Big Sleep as a group, ready or not. This is in some ways a more efficient approach, dealing as it does with death in volume, and without those medical technicalities that can stretch the process out so. Too, the Boozman plan is kinder to insurance companies, whose profits are lessened when they're undersold by a federal government that doesn't pay enormous salaries to executives, and that carries on as if a poor man's life were as valuable as a rich one's. Boozman and his party, embedded in their culture of death, will not go along with that.

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