Archive for March, 2012

Is Broccoli Like Healthcare?

We had an Ojai Library Foundation board meeting last night.  A dozen of us meet once a month to discuss the needs of the three library branches in the Ojai Valley and what we can do to make life a little bit better for them.  Looking around the table I realized that nearly all of us are old.  And, while besieged by the unrelenting ravages of a deteriorating body, we enjoy relatively decent health due in no small part to socialized medicine.  I’ve been a Socialist for almost seven years and I’ve got a red, white and blue card to prove it.  Carried in my wallet, all I need do is fumble through it, get past my AARP supplementary coverage card, the AARP drug card and my AARP membership card to find the holy grail of healthcare, my Medicare card.

Before I became a Socialist, I got semi-annual notices from Blue Cross cheerfully announcing a ten or fifteen percent increase in my monthly premium.  These unwelcome messages were generally preceded by an introductory comment about the uncontrollable increase in the cost of medical care.  Never accompanied by a “gee, we’re sorry to do this to you” or “please accept our sincere apologies for dragging more money out of your pocket and into our bank account”, Blue Cross knew full well that I was a captive audience unable to thumb my nose at them, sentenced to eternal imprisonment in their clutches, afraid of losing my coverage, and then being denied reinstatement because of the dreaded pre-existing conditions monster.

When I had a boat, the usual joke was that the two happiest days in a boat owner’s life were the day he bought it and the day he sold it.  I think that the same applies to the day you become a Socialist, tear up your Blue Cross card and stuff your Medicare card in your wallet…except the happiness continues for the rest of your life.  Ah, Socialism.

We are now observing an historical battle between the forces of light and darkness.  Depending on your political persuasion you can be whichever you choose to be.  If you believe that it’s every man (and woman) for himself, that this country is based on hard work, the luck of the draw, fending  for yourself, and healthcare being like broccoli, then you can choose to consider yourself aligned with the forces of light.  But if you think every man (and woman) has an obligation to help those less fortunate, and that healthcare is not like broccoli, then you too can label yourself a member of the light force.  Sith or Jedi, it’s a matter of perception.

The Supreme Court is made up of the same sort of people, some say Sith, some say Jedi.  Their personalities, predilections and biases are there for all of the world to see.  And now we and they are once again facing a turning point in our country’s history.  Are we like broccoli or are we something else.? Are we like Scalia or are we like Ginsburg?  Are we like Thomas or like Sotomayor?  You know the cast.

Reading about the Court’s deliberations and listening to the talking heads is like watching a pro basketball game.  The home team is in the lead, then the visitors, then back again.  All the while you know that you can get up off the couch and do something more useful like grab a beer, because the outcome won’t be determined until the last two minutes of the game.

Frankly, I think the Court should dump the whole thing, not just the mandate. Then the Republicans can spend the rest of the campaign season explaining why 40 million Americans were deprived of healthcare, why the pre-existing condition monster was freed from captivity, why the richest 1% of the population continues to enjoy unprecedented tax breaks, and why they and us Socialists can have unlimited access to expensive drugs and unnecessary medical procedures.

But just remember this in November.  The most important thing a president can do is appoint a justice of the Supreme Court.  Congress can pass laws but only the Court can bless them.


Pages

Recent Comments