Saturday, September 26, 2009

Healthcare beyond Thunderdome

After the President's speech on healthcare a couple of weeks ago, I fell mostly silent on the issue. I thought I would have something to say about The Speech. I really did. But I didn't. In the end, it was only a speech--a good one--a hopeful one--but a collection of nice words and sentiments pulled like beads along a hidden string of probable intentions and actions.

If you're going to be Braveheart and slap on the blue face paint, raise the axes, mallets, and the other ploughshares turned into swords with your compadres high upon a hill, once you start screaming, charge!, you really want everyone to run in the same direction. So I was kind of waiting to find out what direction that was going to be before I finished putting on my makeup.

Senators Wyden and Rockefeller came out first for the public option. Then, Senator Schumer, whose job, apparently, is to figure out from whence the money comes and where it goes (I find it oddly menacing that he wants people to call him "Chuck"), did a 180 on the public option. While he hasn't started screaming, charge!, quite yet, he is no doubt telling certain people behind the scenes that they can run for dogcatcher in their next election if they don't care to support a public option. Yes, it would appear that Schumer would be the one to channel dear old LBJ. New York is the new Texas.

And just like Putin is no longer running Russia, Schumer no longer has anything to do with Democratic fundraising and the doling out of funds. And, no, Senator, you bear no resemblance to any Russian dictator. Honestly. Republicans are saying that.

The gathering storm, although everyone denies it, appears to be progressive voters. "Progressive" just seems to mean "small donor," something like Janis singing, "freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose." Democratic fundraising is down, says the Washington Post, due to small donor complacency and certain big donors shutting their checkbooks over financial services regulatory policy. When I read that, I really didn't have to read any of the boy blogger politics sites to know that was not the case. I got my own instincts and sources.

Smells like reverse spin to me. Um, yeah, it's because we're fighting hard for the little guy that our big donors have their noses out of joint. And our small donors are just, well, um, "complacent," yeah, that's the word because we're doing so much for the little guy.

Yah gotta watch out for the little gals, too. This girl, yes, this mommy, is not opening up her pocketbook again until she sees a real public option with real regulatory control on the table and Blue Dogs lined up to vote for it, all saying, yes, ma'am, that was our intention from the start. No, ma'am, we don't agree with Senator Kyl when he starts questioning whether real men should have to pay the costs of adding maternity care to healthcare policies.

In other words, you go, Senator Stabenow, who reminded the senator from Arizona that his mother had needed maternity care.

Maybe it's the mommies who will lead us away from the Road Warrior vision of this country proposed by various members of the Republican party. Even my jaw dropped when Eric Cantor told a woman at a town hall meeting in Richmond that if her relative didn't have the money to pay for health insurance or treatment, she should sell her property and then go looking for charity. Because there are so many charities and other social programs that help the indigent in this country, he said. Yes, he used the word "indigent." I mean, if the government's going to spend any money on healthcare, it should spend it on a big stadium, call it Thunderdome, and have the indigent and the newly indigent battle one another, gladiator style, for the right to medical care. There's ratings for you--healthcare in this country could be funded solely from advertising revenue.

When Janis Joplin recorded "Me and Bobby McGee," didn't the album cover have a picture of her posed on a Harley?


Elizabeth said...

speechless, I am

can't you run for office? but then again, why would you? keep up the poetry -- all your writing is that...

Dale said...

I'm with Elizabeth. I want you in there, blue paint agleam, leading the charge!

Dale said...

(I laughed aloud about Schumer channeling LBJ.)

Faith said...

As a child of NYC in the 50s, I loved NY is the new Texas.

I just love all of your posts, Jeneva.