Did The New York Times intentionally construct a brilliant juxtaposition of wealth and poverty on its front page this morning?

Above the fold, we have “In Sour Economy Some Scale Back on Medication”:

As people around the country respond to financial and economic hard times by juggling the cost of necessities like groceries and housing, drugs are sometimes having to wait.

“People are having to choose between gas, meals and medication,” said Dr. James King, the chairman of the American Academy of Family Physicians, a national professional group. He also runs his own family practice in rural Selmer, Tenn.

Then below the fold, “And at the End, All the Comforts of the Carlyle”:

So when Mrs. McDill, who grew up in society in Washington and was enjoying an outdoors life in South Woodstock, Vt., learned she had terminal cancer this summer, her family immediately booked her a suite on the eighth floor for an open-ended stay, but one they sadly knew would not be open-ended enough.

The family hired 24-hour hospice care, but Mrs. McDill, at least until the very end, was in sufficient mental and physical shape to enjoy her final stay at the Carlyle. The hotel, at Madison Avenue and 76th Street, is one of New York’s most luxurious, with a long list of celebrities, presidents and royalty who have stayed or lived there.

Month-to-month suites at the Carlyle are always expensive, but less so during the summer months, when they cost about $17,000 a month.

It’s almost like the conjunction “and” at the beginning of the second headline invites a reader to combine the two stories into a single thought, which puts into focus the two diametrically opposed narratives: some people can’t afford medicine and others enjoy their last weeks at a lavish hotel in New York. Intentional or not, the pairing brings into sharp focus the disparity to health care in the U.S. Kudos.

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Katia Bachko is on staff at The New Yorker.