National Health Service - A Dream
A strange dream. Written at 2 AM in the morning, after I woke up to the sound of applause that a strong bill had been forged out of the conference committee.
I was a member of the press; we were located in the House of Representatives during a vote. However, it wasn't really a vote - it was a conference committee that reconciled a bill between chambers of Congress - the House, and Senate. But it was a dream, and in that dream we were able to see how things were going. And I was wearing surf trunks.
The reporting was avid. I was part of a gallery of reporters watching the results of the vote. When I arrived, the vote was 717 to 64 in support of a National Health Service. For some reason it was known that both the top and bottom number could change. I remember saying to someone, its a National Health Service - and I don't call it the public option because its not optional. Just like us having to buy insurance. But then again, I also remember being in orange swim trunks. And talking to someone about how its hard to be taken seriously when you're wearing them.
Talking with someone in the press about where I live, I heard them announce the final vote. It was 688 to 88 in favor of a National Health Service. The floor erupted in support of the bill. People cheered and pumped their fist in the air and shouted at the top of their lungs. It was a "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" moment.
The Senate seems to think that we should all be forced to buy healthcare from Corporate America. Charles Lemos, a person I follow from the blogosphere - has written that the senate is a dysfunctional institution. While we , as Americans, seem to be marketed left, right and sideways about everything in sight the one thing that seems to be a constant is that corporations enjoy unprecedented control of American institutions and nowhere is this more evident than the Senate. We have drugstores now, on almost every corner - thanks to the effect of drug marketing. Why not have a private corporation handle your healthcare, and one day store your DNA profile so they can sell it to the highest bidder? Charles is right. The Senate is seriously broken.
So I'm dreaming about the House of Representatives? Is this healthy? The vast majority of Americans want a National Health Service. Just like Israel's. And Britain. It works. We import French Wine, right? Why? Because it works.
This of course, does not explain why I am in the House of Representatives wearing orange surf trunks and reporting on a conference committee vote.
This week is the most important week ever, for healthcare reform. The actual, real bill that will be signed into law is being assembled from two totally separate pieces. If the house stands up to the Senate, we win. The house bill has a National Health Service. It is a real reform package. Please contact your congressman and senator and tell them you support a national health service.
Why am I dreaming of the House of Representatives? Seriously, is there something wrong with me?