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In reading any of my newsletters, you may notice that I refer to members of Congress, Senators and Representatives, as "critters," -- "Housecritter" or "Senatecritter," "Chaircritter" or "Leadercritter."

I have been asked many times why I do this, why I show such little respect for these hard working public servants?  My answer is that there is no disrespect.

 "Critters" are cuddly little furry creatures you want to pet and take care of.  That's the way I feel about our Congressional-type persons, all cuddly and warm.  After 40+ years in DC, I've developed a nurturing attitude toward them, wanting to protect them and care for them <smile>.

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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, not merely the "Affordable Care Act, ACA" and definitely not the pejorative, "Obamacare." I use  the full acronym PPACA, rather than the frequently seen "ACA" to distinguish the new law and because it rolls off the tongue so easily, "P-PAKA."  There are a myriad of other "ACAs" but only one PPACA. You know immediately what it is.

"Obamacare" (like "Hillarycare" before it) has become the catch word of the Neanderthals that hope to encompass all their lies about the new law into one snappy term.  I will use "Obamacare" from time to time when I am trying to clarify the many lies being spread about the new law.


The "new and improved Medicare" law passed by Congress in 2003 and signed into law by President Bush on December 8, 2003 is "officially" named the "Medicare Modernization and Improvement Act of 2003.  The Bush Administration which deliberately withheld cost data from Congress in order to gain passage, prefers to acronymize the law as the "MMA." But not Jeanne!

With malice aforethought and with every intention to be both cynical and sarcastic, I have chosen the acronym: "NAIM" -- as in "New and Improved Medicare."

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Why do I use CM2, and not "CMS" as the acronym for the federal agency that runs the Medicare program, the misnamed "Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services," you ask?

Why not? No seriously, I was offended when the new occupiers of the Medicare-Medicaid complex in Baltimore announced the name change.  Yes, it was consistent with the Bush administration's efforts to mangle the meaning of plain language, like changing the term "estate tax"  to "death tax."  (After all, all 4% of Americans ever have estates large enough to pay even a piddling of estate taxes -- if they're that rich, they have lawyers and accountants to show them how to avoid the most onerous taxes -- but every American will die sooner or later. )

The name of the old "Health Care Financing Administration" (HCFA) was too political for the Bushies.  It implied, to them at least, that HCFA had some authority over ALL USA health care, and they couldn't have that misconception. (Never mind Medicare and Medicaid's 800-pound gorilla status, that truly does impact ALL USA health care.) We have to limit government and let's start with names and identities.  "Peace is war." "Love is hate."  You get the Orwellian idea.

So when Tom Scully announced the name change, I embarked on a one-woman Quixotic crusade to express my opposition. 

"Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services?"  They don't provide any services, so I got rid of the "S."

And there are two "M's" -- Medicare AND Medicaid.  If you only have one "M" in your acronym, one of these important programs is getting short shrift.

"CMM" sounded too much like a candy, and so I latched onto CM2, or as I prefer when your software let's you do it, CM2, after that little town in Michigan affectionately known by students at a nearby university of some renown, as A2.

As a former counsel to that little government agency, the Health Care Financing Administration, I couldn't just let that venerable name go. Besides, my dog is named "HCFA" -- but that's a whole other story.

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Generations XI and XII

We've all heard of "Generation X," that media-inspired group of 20-somethings that has aged a bit in recent years.  The term itself was first used in the mid-1970's and actually has a socio-economic, anthropological origin.  It is the term used to describe the 10th generation of Americans coming of age (around 21) since the founding of this nation in 1776.  The "X" does not stand for "unknown," it stands for the Roman numeral "10."

But hey, who could stop the media juggernaut with a dose of reality, not me.  But I try.


The generation of Americans "coming of age" in the mid 1990's is Generation XI, the eleventh generation since the founding of the nation.  Those turning 10 or thereabouts today, a will be part of Generation XII (12), not Generation Z, or "R," or "M," or any other letter of the alphabet.

Just another Quixotic crusade of mine. <sigh>

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