To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Tuesday, September 26, 2023


Fiddlin’ While Health Care Burns



All advanced, wealthy countries have health systems more egalitarian and cost-effective than the U.S., although each has its quirks. Morally speaking, the random unfairness that condemns the uninsured to bad health and the risk of untimely death offends the national conscience. In any event, probably a truism by P.J. O’Rourke, “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.”

One week before the end of July, all’s well on the Health Care front – the leader of the U.S. Senate and the House leader promised a bipartisan bill in two weeks. But, the Senate Democrats said, “Slow down.” But, John F. Kennedy said, “The U.S. has to move very fast to even stand still.”

President Obama said, “That’s OK, just keep working.” Republicans have been attacking to weaken, if not defeat, historic changes in the way America pays to make everyone hale and hearty. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Senate Finance Committee will act before lawmakers break after the first week in August. As said California’s Jerry Brown, “Inaction may be the biggest form of action.”

So, the naysayers and ayesayers have spoken, and the soothsayers speak, Health Care may not happen ’til 2010. One party wants to propose, the other wishes to dispose. “No” is an act of procrastination. Aaron Burr said, “Never do today what you can do as well tomorrow.” Mark Twain went a bit further, “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.”

“No” is an automatic response to a request by, *Sen. Coburn to “Pork-Barrel,” *Sen. Inhofe to environmental concerns, *babies and above to parents, *parents to those babies as teens, *Ex-President George H.W. Bush to broccoli, *a political party to another – anytime, *wife to hubby for more action in the bedroom, * husband to wife for less action in the mall fitting room, *and these days, by each party in the health care contest.

In the home, children rave at the other, Did, Did Not, Did, Did Not … In the halls, lawmakers rant at others, Will, Will Not, Will, Will Not …

The White House Correspondents Dinner is an annual roast, held in May, usually hosted by a famous comedian, and headlined by the President. Speakers make fun of politicians and presidents. The 2009 event invited 2,500 journalists, politicians, and celebrities.

Politics today – same as 1932, when Groucho Marx belted the song, “I’m Against It” from the movie “Horse Feathers” – an apt title. Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn is well-experienced and qualified to do the Groucho role in 2010.

Coburn’s wife is a former Miss Oklahoma and his daughter, Sarah, has quickly risen to national prominence in the opera world; described as a “luminous, superbly expressive soprano.”

Coburn: “I’m in love with the opera, Do I cry? I have. I also laugh a lot – the plots are the same; either it’s a jealous husband, or an upset father.”

So, backed by a chorus of lawmakers, Coburn sings, “I don’t know what they say, It makes no difference anyway, Whatever it is, I’m against it. No matter what it is or who commenced it, I’m against it. Your proposition may be good, But let’s have it understood, Whatever it is, I’m against it. And when you’ve changed it or condensed it, I’m against it. I’m opposed to it, on general principle, I’m opposed to it.” The chorus, “He’s opposed to it. In fact, indeed, he’s opposed to it.”

A generality by Storm Jameson: “Could anything be absurder than a man? The animal knows everything about himself – except why he was born and the meaning of his unique life.”

Cecil Acuff lives in Perkins, OK and is a frequent contributor to The Oklahoma Observer

Previous article
Next article
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.
Mark Krawczyk
Mark Krawczyk
March 9, 2023
Exceptional reporting about goings on in my home state as well as informative opinion pieces that makes people think about issues of the day...........get a SUBSCRIPTION FOLKS!!!!!!!
Brette Pruitt
Brette Pruitt
September 5, 2022
The Observer carries on the "give 'em hell" tradition of its founder, the late Frosty Troy. I read it from cover to cover. A progressive wouldn't be able to live in a red state without it.