Dropping It

Last night I found out the Democrats had managed to lose the Senatorship that belonged to Jack and Teddy Kennedy.  I had to watch two episodes of  “Gilmore Girls” Season 5 and eat a big piece of chocolate cake.  Then I had to do a half hour of sun salutations.

Which really didn’t help.  I still felt sick.

I believe we need to fix health care.  I believe every American should have health care, not merely because it is humane, but because it’s a huge and gross a waste of money for our citizens to live with this patchwork of for-profit health insurance companies.

A good chunk of our people get public health insurance they generally like (Medicare and Medicaid), then a big chunk don’t have any, and then there’s the rest of us, like me, who nominally have it, but live on the edge of financial ruin regardless, wondering when ours will evaporate or become too expensive or refuse to pay for our care.

I believe America’s hodge podge, wasteful system distracts us and drains money from more worthwhile endeavors.  It distorts the competition that should exist in our marketplace when some employers channel funds to health insurance and others don’t.  In competing with countries who have solid national health care systems, Americans have one hand tied behind their backs.

Or maybe I’m wrong.

Accepting that you might be wrong is a very comfortable position, if you can get there.  Maybe the Massachusetts voters are right.  Maybe the health care bill will pass anyway.  Maybe this one won’t pass, so a better one will.  (I still feel the need to add, “God forbid!”)  Maybe Americans need to get smashed down even harder by the health insurance and drug companies before they empower their leaders to put some limits on those corporate interests.

It’s great if, all through a contentious debate, you can keep in your pocket that tiny knowledge that you might be wrong.  I don’t think it means weakness.  I think it’s smart.  It keeps you alert to the arguments of the other side.

I can’t always keep that in my pocket, though.  I’m pretty sure that on this health insurance business I am 100% right.  This bill is a step in the right direction.  We have to make some step.  I know it’s not perfect, but we’ve waited at least 70 years for this.  I like a wobbly, wacky step more than staying frozen.

My parents’ dog likes to play fetch, and she jumps like a deer.  It’s entertaining and invigorating to throw the ball for her, but she doesn’t know how to give it up.  You throw it, she brings it back, and then she sits there with it in her mouth, like, “What?”  She doesn’t know how to drop it.  You have to have two balls to carry out a satisfying game.

I had the Massachusetts senatorial vote in my jaws last night, and it was hard for me to put it down.  I just wanted to chew on it and growl with it.  It’s even silly to call it bad news.  Don’t I believe a fluid, changing government is a good one?  Don’t I believe Americans will change their health care system when they are damn good and ready and not a minute before?  I do.

It’s still hard to drop it and say, I might be wrong.  It doesn’t mean I won’t keep arguing or fighting for what I believe.  It just means I don’t have to carry it around and let it choke me.

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