17 August 2009

Small Minds Can't Grasp Great Notions

Sir James George Frazier, in The Golden Bough, wrote, "Small minds cannot grasp great ideas..." We are seeing proof of this on a daily basis as the opposition to a public health care plan grows increasingly shrill, disoriented and detached from reality.

In the nineteenth century, long before Frazier wrote his seminal study of how the ancients' practices of magic evolved into religion, ethics and cultural morals, the Kaiser's Germany created the first national health care plan. To this day, one does not hear the naysayers citing that country's health plan as a negative---to them there is only Canada and England. Small minds.

In 1945, in this country, when I was a mere 6-years old, President Harry Truman went before Congress to say that the time had arrived in America for "Universal Health Care". At two months shy of 70, I am still waiting. Small minds won out.

In the 90s, President Clinton failed to accomplish the mission. Nearly another two decades have elapsed and we are still waiting and now find ourselves fighting a rear-guard battle for a watered down facsimile of health care reform. Again small minds won out and are in control.

This last week we were subjected to the discouraging news that President Obama had traded away drug reimportation and Medicare negotiation for lower prices in return for some sort of promise from PhrMA to reduce costs by a few billion dollars. Their profits are in the multi-trillions and they're going to reduce costs by a few billion? Small minds.

This weekend we heard from the administration that the "Public Option" is not essential to health care reform. Small minds are killing it as was killed the notion of a single-payer system even before negotiations got underway.

Where does that leave us, other than discouraged. I would say disillusioned, but, I gave up on illusions the night Bobby Kennedy was whacked by the mob.

My masters in Washington tell me that we need to rally around HR 3200 which has much of what we want; part D negotiation, closing the donut hole, public option, and stronger employer mandates and aim our advocacy at making the Senate bill in floor votes look as much like the House bill as we can.

So, despite the sense that I'm surrounded, running low on ammo and provisions, abandoned by the rear echelon command, and can see the enemies campfires on the hills all around us, I will once again--tomorrow, not today--pick up my rifle, sight in and fight to the bitter end. It is the Marine way, it is the American way, it is my way, and by God! someone has to stand firm against the small minds. Please join me, you can't live for ever!

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