What`s up with that? Well, it doesn`t take a big head the size of Joe Lieberman`s to tell you that selling devious health insurance, loaded with fine-print booby traps, is big business. Here`s another way to look at it: selling you insurance that will hang you out to dry when you get sick is just another way to pick your pocket, and that explains why there is any debate at all in Congress about health care. The big-time pickpockets are paying off our Congress.

In Insurance Nation most of the news you get about insurance is supported by advertising from insurers. So Senators Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson aren`t the only ones in the insurers` pockets. Don`t take anybody`s word for it. Read the unconscionable policies the insurers are pitching. There are so many tricks you couldn`t pay for enough lawyers to find them for you. And Lieberman, who comes from Insurance Central, and Nelson, a former insurance executive, know it better than most people.

Is this a nice thing to do to hard-working, generous Americans? Is it moral? Where are the big-mouth preachers and politicians who are always telling us what`s right and wrong? Ask them what`s wrong with this picture? No, don`t, they`ll bury you in blah.

What we`re seeing on television and in full-page newspaper ads every day is an innocent people being screwed in the name of private enterprise. Well, bank robbery is a private enterprise, too. So for that matter are murder and rape. Who protects us from these self-righteous rapists? Certainly not the pols and preachers. Certainly not good old American ingenuity. It`s hard at work conning us.

That leaves government, doesn`t it? But the insurer-extortionists would have us believe that turning to the government for protection from con men is un-American, socialist in fact. In other words, trying to stay healthy makes us commie rat bastards. So would you rather get sick and maybe die trying to fight smart-ass insurance employees whose sole purpose is to screw you out of insurance you paid for? Because that`s our fate, and it`s being written right now in the halls of Congress by bribed con artists you trusted to represent you for the good of the country.

Just look at those advertisements. Would you buy a damned thing from anybody who could conceive of such deception? Those ads might as well be for the credit default swaps that destroyed our economy. There is little chance for the middle class to recover from the grand theft perpetrated on it in the last two decades as long as the costs of health insurance and education remain out of reach. The predator class has been hard at work creating a beggar class, and that`s what the foofaraw in Congress and on television is about.

We used to smell snake oil a mile away. Now it`s the drug du jour. What happened?


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.

His book of poems, Far From Algiers, won the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize from Kent State University in 2007 and was published in 2008. His story, Artists Hill, adapted from the second novel of an unpublished trilogy, won the Literal Latté first prize in fiction in 2008. His poems have been published in The American Poetry Review, Barrow Street, poemeleon, The Same, and other journals. The pioneering e-book publisher, Online Originals (UK), published his novella, Alice MIller`s Room, in 1999.  

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.