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Oh, let's call the whole thing off

April 13, 2011 - Rob Weaver
With President Barack Obama and Rep. Paul Ryan each proposing changes, minor or major, for Medicaid and Medicare, it is my hope that at the very least the confusing names of the programs might be addressed.

One of the two is a federal-state program that helps pay for health care for the needy, aged, blind and disabled, and for low-income families with children. The other is a federal health care insurance program for people aged 65 and older, and for the disabled.

Can you identify which is which? C’mon, you have a 50/50 chance!

News articles about either or both programs send many copy editors reaching for an AP Stylebook, just to make sure the program or programs are being referenced properly. I culled the description in the second paragraph from my own copy. The book almost falls open to the page with the entry.

If change does occur, I think Medicaid -- the federal-state program (did you get it correct?) -- should keep its name. Unless, of course, the program ends up getting replaced due to an amalgam of health care reform and budget reform.

I suggest Medicare be renamed Fedicare. Or anything but Fedicaid.

Then we’d be back where we started.


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