Health Care Reform
This fall the country will be talking health care again-or at least should be talking about it-as Congress moves to change the principles on which Medicare and Medicaid were established 30 years ago. A writer with a taste for irony could scarcely conceive a better plot, and as one of those who wrote the Clinton plan, I confess it strikes me as more than ironic.
Two years ago, Republicans were denouncing the secrecy surrounding the President's health care task force. This summer, Republicans have been meeting "behind closed doors" on a Medicare proposal scheduled to be released later this month, only a few weeks before Congress votes on it, thereby avoiding independent analysis of the costs, mobilization by opponents and other inconvenient aspects of a long national debate. Two years ago, the Republicans rang alarms about the Clinton plan's emphasis on managed care. Now the Republicans' own plans for Medicare and Medicaid emphasize managed care.
But superficial similarities are deceiving. The reform plans of 1993 generally aimed to extend rights to health coverage and health care; The Republican proposals this year would retract rights that already exist. The debate two years ago reflected a widespread belief that the health care system needed reform. The Republicans, like many in the business world, now begin with the happy thought that the system is reforming itself and that Government needs to be more like the private sector.
The health care system is certainly going through profound change. Health maintenance organizations and other forms of managed care are expanding rapidly. As managed care grows, demand for hospital care shrinks. Hospitals are merging, closing beds and cutting jobs; some new buildings stand vacant. The incomes of specialists in some areas are dropping, and primary-care practitioners are in demand. Once stubbornly independent physicians are selling their practices to hospitals and insurers or taking a fixed payment per enrolled patient and accepting the discipline of the corporation.
1. What is the writer's attitude towards the Congress's move to change the principles on which Medicare and Medicaid were established 30 years ago?
2. The phrase "behind closed doors" in the second paragraph could best be replaced by which of the following?
A) At home
B) In secret
C) In a room secure from attack
D) In prison
3. Republicans have been holding meetings "behind closed doors" in order to
A) mobilize support from their opponents.
B) Prepare for the upcoming national debate.
C) Release their proposals without running into any trouble
D) Discuss the Clinton plan in a detailed way.
4. What are the Republican proposals aimed at?
A) Extending rights to health coverage and health care.
B) Providing every American with free medical treatment
C) Depriving many people of their rights to free medical treatment
D) Withdrawing rights that have existed for a long time
5. Which of the following is NOT true of the development of managed care?
A) Nurses are in great demand
B) Physicians are no longer independent
C) Some new buildings are vacant
D) Demand for hospital care is on the decrease.
I'm sorry, I Won't Apologize
Almost daily, news reports include accounts of public figures or heads of companies being forced to say they're sorry. In a recent case, Marge Schott, managing partner of the Cincinnati Reds, at first did not want to apologize for her remark that Hitler "was good at the beginning but he just went too far. " Under pressure, she finally said that she regretted her remarks "offended many people". Predictably- and especially given her history with such comments-many were not satisfied with this response and successfully lobbied for her resignation.
This particular use of "I'm sorry" has a familiar ring. The other day my husband said to me, "I'm sorry I hurt your feelings." I knew he was really trying. He has learned, through our years together, that apologies are important to me. But he was grinning, because he also knew that "I'm sorry I hurt your feelings" left open the possibility-indeed, strongly suggested-that he regretted not what he did but my emotional reaction. It sometimes seems that he thinks the earth will open up and swallow him if he admits fault.
It may appear that insisting someone admit fault is like wanting him to humiliate himself. But I don't see it that way, since it's no big deal for me to say I made a mistake and apologize. The problem is that it becomes a big deal when he won't.
This turns out to be similar to the Japanese view. Following a fender bender, according to a Times article, the Japanese typically get out of their cars and bow, each claiming responsibility. In contrast, Americans are instructed by their insurance companies to avoid admitting fault. When an American living in Japan did just that-even though he knew he was to blame-the Japanese driver "was so incensed by the American's failure to show contrition that he took the highly unusual step of suing him."
The Japanese driver and I are not the only ones who are offended when someone obviously at fault doesn't just fess up and apologize. A woman who lives in the country told me of a similar reaction. One day she gave her husband something to mail when he went into town. She stressed that it was essential the letter be mailed that day, and he assured her it would. But the next day, when they left the house together, she found her unmailed letter in the car. He said, "Oh, I forgot to mail your letter." She was furious-not because he had forgotten, but because he didn't apologize.
1. What was Marge Schott forced to do?
A) To make a prediction of the future.
B) To say "Hitler was good at the beginning."
C) To say"I'm sorry."
D) To count figures.
2. The author felt
A) her husband regretted the choice he had made.
B) Her husband regretted what he did.
C) Her husband regretted her emotional response.
D) Her husband regretted the dirty words he had used.
3.According to the author, when one makes a mistake, he should
A) admit it and apologize.
B) Avoid admitting it.
C) Explain it away.
D) Make every effort to maintain his face.
4.According to the passage, what would Japanese drivers usually do after a car accident?
A) They would admit their own faults.
B) They would blame each other.
C) They would avoid admitting faults
D) They would sue each other.
5.What was the woman angry about?
A) Her husband's failure to apologize.
B) Her husband's failure to mail the letter.
C) Her husband's failure to go into town.
D) Her husband's failure to leave the house together with her.
What do you know about the sea? We know that it looks very pretty when the sun is shining on it. We also know that it can be very rough when there is a strong wind. What other things do we know about it?
The first thing to remember is that the sea is very big. When you look at the map of the world you will find there is more water than land. The sea covers three quarters of the world.
The sea is also very deep in some places. It is not deep everywhere. Some parts of the sea are very shallow. But in some places the depth of the sea is very great. There is one spot, near Japan, where the sea is nearly 11 kilometers deep! The highest mountain in the world is about 9 kilometers high. If that mountain were put into the sea at that place, there would be 2 kilometers of water above it! What a deep place!
If you have swum in the sea, you know that it is salty. You can taste the salt. Rivers, which flow into the sea, carry salt from the land into the sea. Some parts of the sea are saltier than other parts. There is one sea, called the Dead Sea, which is very salty. It is so salty that swimmers cannot sink! Fish cannot live in the Dead Sea!
In most parts of the sea, there are plenty of fishes and plants. Some live near the top of the sea. Others live deep down. There are also millions of tiny living things that float in the sea. These floating things are so small that it is hard to see them. Many fish live by eating these.
The sea can be very cold Divers who go deep down in the sea, know this. On the top the water may be warm. When the diver goes downwards, the sea becomes colder and colder. Another thing happens. When the diver goes deeper, the water above presses down on him. It squeezes him. Then the diver has to wear clothes made of metal. But he cannot go very deep. Some people who wanted to go very deep used a very strong diving ship! They went down to the deepest part of the sea in it. They went down to a depth of eleven kilometers!
1. When does the sea look beautiful?
A) When it is calm
B) When the weather is fine
C) When there is a strong wind
D) When there is a storm
2. How much of the earth's surface does land cover？
3. Why does the author cite the sea somewhere near Japan?
A) To show that the sea in some places is very deep.
B) To show that the sea in some places is very shallow
C) To show that its depth is 9 kilometers greater than the height of the highest mountain
D) To show that its depth is 11 kilometers greater than the height of the highest mountain
4. Which of the following statements about the Dead Sea is NOT true?
A) There are plenty of fishes in it.
B) It is a safe place for swimmers.
C) It is extremely salty.
D) No fish can be found in it.
5. Why can't people go very deep in the sea?
A) Because the deepest part of the sea is very cold.
B) Because the deepest part of the sea is very rough.
C) Because the pressure of the water at great depths is unendurable.
D) Because fierce fish usually live there.