August 25th, 2009 19:48 EST
We Need Health Care Reform
The best thing I can do for the health care debate is to take care not to heap more on the pile of know-nothingness abuilding every day. But it does occur to me that the debate "because it addresses death and taxes "has revved up a national neurosis that now obscures everything else, putting us exactly where the insurers want us, in their clutches.
Fear of death and reduced circumstance if not poverty is rampant. We know that we the masses are not as well off as the Dow suggests. We know there are predators everywhere trying to sell us bridges, and we know that Washington belongs to the predator class. We know our would-be rescuers have made deals behind our backs with villains. We look around and find no one to trust, nothing but the status quo. We have a press that every day stares truth in the face and cannot find a way to spell it. Witness those yellow and orange security alerts that we all knew were bogus "and now we have former Homeland Security boss Tom Ridge telling us so.
So no matter how ignorant the objections to the President`s ill-defined and ill-explained health care plan may be, the underlying fears are real and deserve the respect any good doctor should give his patient.
We must die and we must pay taxes, or our society will collapse, but we don`t wish to be hurried to do either, and we don`t wish to be harried along a public Via Dolorosa. We like to celebrate the grand ideals that attended our national birth, but we know when we go back to work Monday morning that taxes were at the root of our quarrel with King George, not ideals.
Our anger is irrational. When is anger not? Our fears are real, and for good reason. We have been lied to and cheated, and we have witnessed the government rewarding the liars and cheaters with our hard-earned money "money greatly diminished by those very same liars and cheaters. So why on earth would we trust such a complicit government?
Because we need health care reform. Because we need cheaper and more available health care. Because we need to be a healthier and more prosperous people. Yes, but the trouble is we don`t trust our leaders to get us there, and we have good reason not to trust them. We fear that in claiming to improve things they will make them worse.
I have been deeply disheartened by Americans` seeming unwillingness to pay for others` health care. I ask myself: Are these Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus who are being so uncharitable, so damnably selfish?
Please, God, I have mumbled in the middle of the night, let it not be that Americans are so uncaring. Let us not be merely particles of some giant consuming machine that exists to buy things that are not good for us and that make the callous and greedy richer and greedier.
I think, after much agonizing, that it is simply the wrong time to bring massive health care reform up. Yes, I know it`s true that poor but exorbitant health care are beggaring the nation, staggering business, and leaving millions to sicken and die. I know. We all know. But we are just beginning to shake off a massive betrayal of our trust, not just by Wall Street and fat-cat bankers, but by a government that hornswoggled us into believing that a free market economy without government supervision would benefit us all. It didn`t. It betrayed us. And our elected officials, Democrat and Republican, betrayed us because they were "and still are "pocketing money from the scoundrels. The health care debate is not about our health, it`s about bought and paid-for politicians.
Djelloul (jeh-lool) Marbrook was born in 1934 in Algiers to a Bedouin father and an American painter. He grew up in Brooklyn, West Islip and Manhattan, New York, where he attended Dwight Preparatory School and Columbia. He then served in the U.S. Navy.
The pioneering Online Originals (U.K.), the only online publisher to receive a Booker nomination, published his novella, Alice Miller`s Room, in 1999. Recent fiction appeared in Prima Materia (Woodstock, NY), vols. I and IV, and Breakfast All Day (London, U.K.).In his younger days his poetry was published in literary journals including Solstice (England) and Beyond Baroque and Phantasm (California). Recent poems appear in Arabesques Literary and Cultural Review (www.arabesquespress.org), Perpetua Mobile (Baltimore), and Attic (Baltimore). He is the English language editor of Arabesques Literary and Cultural Journal (www.arabesquespress.org).
He worked as a reporter for The Providence Journal and as an editor for The Elmira (NY) Star-Gazette, The Baltimore Sun, The Winston-Salem Journal & Sentinel and The Washington Star. Later he worked as executive editor of four small dailies in northeast Ohio and two medium-size dailies in northern New Jersey.
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