I want to talk for a moment about the HC summit before it disappears from view. I found it predictably a yawner as everyone else I'm afraid. Oh, sure I liked Cantor's childlike enthusiasm and McCain's cranky loser sour grapes thing he had going and other humorous moments. I did set my watch for the end so I could hear Obama's summary which I thought would be the only news of the day, if any. Since it ran long I caught the last exchange before the summary and I'm glad I did. He asked the Republican side if there was any thought to adding to the 3 million people their plan would add since the Democratic plan added 30 million and he wanted to see where the negotiation ended. It ended there. Not a single Republican offered even an answer. Nope. 3 million, and that's it. Obama looked incredulous and he asked it again. Nope, 3 million. That's when it happened for me. I think it was the look in Obama's face that did it. I was now watching the end of Schindler's List. I half expected Obama to say, "This watch ... this watch, surely would buy another few people... this table, on Ebay would make it 3 miilion and two...couldn't it? The oldest story of them all in contemporary history played out in the silence of old, powerful white men. People's lives are a commodity, how much can we raise?
Three million? That's it? Gee whiz, in today's technology you could almost print that out. let me see who would these 3 million people be? Do I know any of them? Print it in my newspaper, like Healthcare lottery winners.. the few, the proud, the chosen! Perhaps then, and only then, we could print the names of the 37 million we have condemned. Who are they ? Do I know any of them? Them, that's the word isn't it...them. Oh my gosh, I know these people, they mow my lawn. Bob, yes, every summer with his two sons, oh my, why them? Surely, we can find a couple of grand for them? They're good people. Let me make some calls, send some emails, get an online petition. I catch my breath. I am no longer mocking Herr Schindler, I am him. We are all. I could go around my neighborhood with a glass jar one day a week and raise healthcare money for Bob, his two kids, and his diabetic wife.
I am ashamed.
The cost of the furniture in the Blair House meeting room would provide healthcare to ten more maybe 20, maybe 30, I don't buy furninture like that, how do I know? Couldn't Congress meet on folding card tables for 20 dollars a piece at Ollie's? Please, Herr Schindler? That doesn't happen in rooms where shame does not make the guest list.
I am ashamed.
What's the price tag, let's raise it ourselves. I'm ashamed I let people suffer even die because of some silly pipedream I have about the "better angels" of Congress. There are no better angels in Congress, I knew that before I searched for C Span.
Then I did the only sensible thing I've ever done about Heathcare in America. I put a glass jar on my desk. I emptied the change out of my pockets and let it clink to the bottom. I put a white paper tag on it that read, simply, for Bob! I drew a little smiley face on it because that's how I roll. I'm putting every penny I can find in that jar. And I'm giving it to Bob, who really does do my lawn with his two teenage sons, and whose wife is diabetic and who I know does not have health insurance. I want his name on that list damn it if I have to pay for it myself. Everyone.. get a name, get a jar.