Saturday, November 03, 2007

Saint Rudy Talks Numbers

Well, we all know Saint Rudy's favorite number--9/11. After all, on 9/10 he was a bum, about to slink away from NYC, and the next day he was America's sweetheart. That's pretty good for a guy most people would be afraid to invite to their houses for spaghetti.

And it's damn good for a guy who went to court to demand the right to bring his mistress to a home he shared with his wife and young children. No Bill Clinton there. More like, "Damn right I was with Ms. Lewinski, and I'm bringing her home to meet the wife and kids right now."

But now Rudy is on a mission to make sure health care doesn't get to the bootless and unhorsed. To that end, he put an ad on the radio:
In the radio ad, Giuliani, who has suffered prostate cancer, said the U.S. survival rate for the disease was 82 percent, but the survival rate in Britain was just 44 percent "under socialized medicine."

It appears, though, that Mr. Giuliani got his statistics from the same folks who said we needed to invade Iraq:
A health department spokesman said the latest figures from Britain's Office of National Statistics showed a five-year survival rate of 74.4 percent for prostate cancer.

That's a significant difference. And that's not all:

Even that difference, as experts explained, probably has nothing to do with the British National Health Service and much to do with the aggressive screening programs employed in this country. (And for the moment, let's merely mention another highly pertinent issue, namely that the great majority of prostate cancers occur in men over 65, which indicates that many if not most are treated successfully under Medicare -- our version of national health insurance for the elderly -- or by the Department of Veterans Affairs, which comes as close to truly socialist healthcare as any system in the world.)

But the supreme irony is this--Saint Rudy was actually treated under a government program--specifically GHI, then a non-profit health care network popular with New York City employees (like me). So I guess it's easy for him to say we don't need to help those who've got nothing. After all, that was his entire approach to the school system--My kids don't go there, so what the hell do I care? That's why he had no problem proposing welfare recipients be required to work in public schools. Why shouldn't people chronically unable to find jobs serve as role models for our kids? After all, they're not his kids.

Sadly, that approach is precisely the one taken by the current administration, which has no qualms about sending kids to toxic waste sites or fighting tooth and nail when people ask leased schools be inspected as thoroughly as city-owned schools. Note they don't build sports stadiums on toxic waste sites. The billionaires who own the teams would never put up with that.

I read somewhere, "If Rudy becomes president, every day will be 9/11"
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