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  • Richard Farr

Pushing dimensions at the NYT

Once again I find my morning coffee interrupted by the desire to rewrite some odd English in the The Gray Lady of Record (Shifting Dollars From Poor to Rich … by Margot Sanger-Katz). It’s quite correct to say that the

… Affordable Care Act gave health insurance to millions of Americans by shifting resources from the wealthy to the poor and by moving oversight from states to the federal government

But it can’t be that the egregious Mitch McLiar’s latest “healthcare” bill (motto: “We could not possibly care less about your health”)

pushes back forcefully on both dimensions

because you just can’t push a dimension, much less push “on” it.

Squeeze the ACA in two dimensions? Push the ACA in two directions? Neither of these is what was intended either. The McLiar bill seeks to abolish the ACA, and in doing so reverse two already-stated (and quite distinct) effects it has had. So, if you’re desperate for a metaphor, perhaps:

“The ACA is a platform designed to better support the health of the poor. It’s a rickety, weak, unstable platform, mainly because it was built while Republicans did everything they could to prevent its being built at all – loathing as they do the modern idea that in a civilized society healthcare should not be a market good. The new McLiar bill seeks to dismantle the platform entirely, and rebuild to a smaller, weaker, even more rickety design, in which two of the earlier platform’s principal legs have been radically shortened.”


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