Why Winkenwerder is Such a Popular Guy

The Washington Post, in a March 16 story, presented this gem of a quote from Dr. William Winkenwerder Jr., Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs: “Our spending today [on health care for the active, retired, and reserve US military] is greater than the entire Ministry of Defense budget in Germany.” The figure to which he refers is $38 billion. What, exactly, is the comparison supposed to signify? One could also say—because it’s true—that the Pentagon health care budget is only one third the amount Americans spend each year on booze ($116 billion). The question is: So what