While there are periodic calls from libertarians and others for the privatization or elimination of the program, given the first political opportunity to dramatically influence the Medicare program, a conservative White House and Congress sought to strengthen, not weaken, the program. To be sure, debates will linger about whether Medicare is too large or too small. Debates remain about the allocation of Medicare dollars. But December 8, 2003, demonstrated that there is no debate on this most fundamental fact: Medicare must survive.
"The Great Society Meets the 21st Century," Orthopedic Technology Review, January 2004, by Michael Johns: 'Medicare Must Survive'
What, exactly, is the cost of this inaction? Estimates of the total national cost of medical malpractice range from $20 billion to $45 billion annually. But this number hardly tells the whole story. There also is the more hidden cost of defensive medicine, including unnecessary testing and second opinions that send patients scurrying through processes that would not otherwise be ordered and deepen the financial burden of America’s health care system by an estimated three percent of our country’s total health care expenditures. Who ultimately pays these costs? Reckless doctors? Faceless insurance companies? Seldom mentioned, the totality of these expenses ultimately falls exclusively on the consumer, since each malpractice award translates ultimately to increased malpractice insurance premiums, which, in turn, translates to either higher health care costs, fewer physicians (with less competitive pricing pressure), or both.
"Malpractice: Where Will It End?" Orthopedic Technology Review, September/October 2003, by Michael Johns: Advocating Statutory Constraints on Medical Malpractice
The tragedy of Africa seemingly has no end. Viewing it from afar, the casual Western onlooker can be forgiven if the scenes begin to meld: Ethiopian famine in 1987, Somalian civil war and ensuing famine in 1992, and now Central Africa in 1997. The pictures and footage assume the role of media footnotes: snapshots of hopelessness, disaster, and death that seem as far away as the moon and as unrealistic as some science fiction film. Yet, like the African crises before it, the tragedy of Central Africa is very real and, in a global age, perhaps not as distant as some would like to think. With a foreign policy appropriately rooted in some sense of humanitarian decency, the Central African crisis will not be easily ignored by American policymakers. It screams for remedy.
"Africa Deserves a Closer Look," The World and I, February 1997, by Michael Johns.
Ultimately, in its collapse, Laos was important because it proved the validity of the so-called domino theory, which preached that communism--once victorious in South Vietnam--would metastasize throughout the region. Laos, like Cambodia, proved the domino theorists correct. On August 23, 1975, just four months after Saigon's fall, communist Pathet Lao (meaning "Land of Lao") guerrillas entered the Laotian capital of Vientiane and seized control of the nation. It was an event that, while clearly destructive to American interests in Asia, served as something of a wake-up call to those American isolationists who had downplayed the regional threat of communism. It also ushered in a horrid era for this nation's 4.8 million people.
"Let's Not Forget Laos," The World and I, September 1995, by Michael Johns: The 'Domino Theory' Proved Right
The breakup of the former Yugoslavia--like the breakup of the former Soviet Union--presents challenges, some of which (such as developing tranquil relations among peoples of varying and often hostile ethnic and religious orientations) may, indeed, earn the label 'complicated.' But with the Bosnian war now in its third year, it is worth asking whether Washington has for too long outthought itself on this issue. Does the Bosnian crisis not hold some fundamental truths? Most certainly, it does. And if these truths could be agreed upon in a bipartisan fashion, might they not lay the foundation for the development of a comprehensive American policy that could assist in the deterrence of aggression and ultimately an assurance of peace in the region? The answer again is yes.
"How to Save Bosnia," The World and I, July 1994, by Michael Johns: Seeking Bipartisan Consensus to 'Save Bosnia'
Seventy years ago this November, Vladimir Lenin created the modern totalitarian state, transforming simpler forms of tyranny into history's most sophisticated apparatus of rule by terror.
"Seventy Years of Evil: Soviet Crimes from Lenin to Gorbachev," Policy Review, Fall 1987, by Michael Johns: In the former Soviet Union, we face an 'Evil Empire'.
No chronology of Soviet atrocities can convey the crushing of the human spirit under Lenin and his successors. But the retelling of 70 years of grisly facts leaves little doubt that what we face today in Soviet communism is, indeed, an 'evil empire.'
Seventy Years of Evil: Soviet Crimes from Lenin to Gorbachev," Policy Review, Fall 1987, by Michael Johns: In the former Soviet Union, we face an 'Evil Empire'
Up against the ropes in the Iran-Contra affair, Ronald Reagan should have come out swinging, announcing clearly that this government carries itself in the tradition of the Marquis de Lafayette, that freedom fighters will no longer be left to die in the jungle, like Brigade 2506 at the Bay of Pigs.
"Peace in Our Time: The Spirit of Munich Lives On," Policy Review, Summer 1987, by Michael Johns: Defining the Reagan Doctrine
The time has come to stop talking about the lessons of Vietnam, and to start talking about the lessons of Afghanistan."
The Lessons of Afghanistan: Bipartisan Support for Freedom Fighters Pays Off," Policy Review, Spring 1987, by Michael Johns: Urging America to Discard its 'Vietnam Syndrome'