Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Healthcare War

Every time I start to semiseriously consider just giving up on today's nasty partisan politics, a favorite writer will force me to take a deep breath, have a good laugh, and in this case - listen to some great music.

Here is San Francisco writer, Sam Barry's September 8 column. Sam is Dr. Betty Kamen's son-in-law. Dr. Kamen is an esteemed member of the Biosyntrx Scientific Advisory Board.

"We are fast approaching the time when we, as a nation—and here I am referring to the United States, not Denmark—must make a decision regarding the healthcare system. Broadly speaking, there are two positions on the healthcare crisis, which can be characterized as follows:

Position 1: Everyone should have healthcare. This should be a national priority. If you think otherwise you are an evil, greedy corporate lobbyist for Big Pharma, the insurance industry, or the AMA, or an insane member of the gun-toting Christian right-wing Republican conspiracy, located somewhere east of Berkeley and west of the Hudson River, probably in Texas or Colorado Springs.

Position 2: Healthcare is for sissies. I have a good job and I have healthcare because I earned it. Later, when I am older, I will have Medicare, which I also earned. Screw the rest of you, except for my loved ones, who deserve nothing but the best because I have family values. People who think differently than me are, in a word, Commies.

As you can see, these two positions are fairly far apart. As I see it, we can all either sit down at the negotiating table and hammer out an agreement that serves the best interests of the nation and its citizenry, or we can grab our weapons, get behind some barricades, and start shooting.

The last time we did this in the United States (the shooting that is)—if you exclude minor incidents like the pitched battles at recent congressional town hall meetings—was during the Civil War. While I am not suggesting we have another civil war over the healthcare crisis, it would solve a couple of problems: one side or the other would win, ending the debate; the economy would get a kick start; many National Guard troops would get to come home from Iraq and Afghanistan to fight Americans right here in America; and there would be some good songs written, which we could all then learn to play on the harmonica. Win, win, win all around."

Thank you Sam, for bringing some much-needed humor to the healthcare issue. As promised, here is a link of you playing two of my favorite tunes. http://www.redroom.com/video/sam-barry-and-todd-swenson-play-theme-black-orpheus-manh%C3%A3-de-carnaval-and-the-way-you-look-ton