Sunday, January 23, 2005

The Price of Terror Alerts

Terror alerts have, of course, disappeared from the news. My Netscape headlines inform me that 10 terrorists are now being sought in the Boston area, but the Department of Homeland Security no longer sees fit to notify FoxNews of the latest color code for fear and trembling.

It is just as well. I heard an administrator for one of the Harris County hospitals speak today. His hospital is a provider of last resort, for the working poor, those "too rich" for Medicare, etc. Most of their funding comes from the county, but that funding is flat in the last years, even as the need increased last year alone by 18%.

One reason the funding is flat, interestingly enough, is terror alerts. It seems the Harris County Commissioners are concerned about readiness for "bio-terrorism" threats and the like. Perhaps they should be. Perhaps all those color coded alerts Tom Ridge announced on a weekly basis were not just the boy crying wolf.

The situation in Boston, however, argues otherwise.

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